Vefa Erginbas

Associate Professor

Contact Information:


Ruane Center for the Humanities 136


Ph.D. - History; The Ohio State University

Brief Biography:

I received my doctorate from the Ohio State University in 2013. I study Ottoman intellectual, cultural, and social history in the early modern period. My dissertation entitled “The Appropriation of Islamic History and Ahl-al-Baytism in the Ottoman Empire, 1300-1650” examines select Ottoman historians and litterateurs’ views of early Islamic history and succession struggle. My study demonstrates that despite the conventional view of the Ottomans as militant Sunnis, in the cultural and intellectual scenes, they showed a wide spectrum of beliefs and convictions, which were often at odds with the official Sunnism. An article on this subject recently appeared in the Journal of the Economic and Social History of the Orient (60/5) 2017. I am currently editing a book entitled Ottoman Sunnism: New Perspectives. Besides these works, I have written chapters in collected volumes and book reviews, some of which will be published within the next year.

Area(s) of Expertise:

Early Modern Ottoman Empire Modern Turkish History History of the Middle East

Selected Publications:

Erginbas, V. (2017) Problematizing Ottoman Sunnism: Appropriation of Islamic History and Ahl al-Baytism in Ottoman Literary and Historical Writing in the Sixteenth Century. Journal of Economic and Social History of the Orient.(60), 614-646.

Erginbas, V. (2013) Enlightenment in the Ottoman Context: Ibrahim Muteferrika and his Intellectual Landscape. Leiden; Boston: Brill

Selected Presentations:

Erginbas, V. Rethinking Nationalism, Sectarianism and Ethno-Religious Mobilisation in the Middle East . University of Oxford, Oxford, England - "Bridging the Sunni-Shi‘ite Divide: A Historical Look at the Appropriation of the Twelve Imams in the Ottoman Empire" January, 2018

Erginbas, V. Rethinking Ottoman Sunnitization Workshop. Central European University, Budapest, Hungary - "Reading Ottoman Sunnism through Islamic history: Approaches towards Yazid b. Muawiyah in the Ottoman historical writing before 1650" August, 2017

Erginbas, V. 14th International Conference on Ottoman Social and Economic History (ICOSEH). Sofia University St. Kliment Ohridski, Sofia, Bulgaria - "From Sirat to Ghaza: Recontextualizing Mustafa Darir’s Siretü’n Nebi in the Sixteenth Century Religious Milieu” " July, 2017

Erginbas, V. Middle East Studies Association Annual Meeting. MESA, Boston - "Reappraising religiosity in the reign of Murad III: Mustafa Darir’s Siretü’n Nebi and its unspoken content" November, 2016

Erginbas, V. Middle East Studies Association Annual Meeting. MESA, Denver, CO - "Paper: Many Faces of Ottoman Sunnism: Apporoaches toward Yazid b. Muawiyah in Ottoman Literary and Historial Writing" November, 2015

Erginbas, V. Middle East Studies Association (MESA) Annual Meeting, . , Wasghington, DC - " “Ottoman Sunnism Contested: Ahl al-baytism in Ottoman historical writing to 1650,” " November, 2014

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