Tezcan Receives NEH Fellowship for Book on Reformation

Baki Tezcan, associate professor of history at UC Davis, has been awarded a National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship in support of his ongoing book project, ‘The Other Reformation’.

Tezcan’s project historicizes Islam as a socio-political experience in the Ottoman Empire between 1300 and 1924, offering a genealogy of the secular in that experience. In it, he shows how the prevalent ways in which Islam was experienced in the public space changed over this long period and argues that these changes were products of major political transformations brought about by social dynamics. Such dynamics were, at times, of a global nature—urbanization, for example, and the increasing monetarization of the economy.

The work emphasizes the parallels between the historical experiences of Europe and the Middle East in medieval and early modern periods. It also invites scholars to consider certain historical parallels between Christianity and Islam.

Tezcan developed the project during leaves that were provided by a Faculty Development Award from UC Davis Academic Affairs (Winter 2016) and a UC Davis Humanities Institute Faculty Fellowship (Spring 2016). He continued working on the project in 2016-17, thanks, in part, to a partial transfer of his teaching obligations to 2017-18 that had been approved by the chair of the History Department in the spring of 2016. He would like to thank David Biale, former director of DHI; Kathy Olmsted, former chair of History; and Maureen Stanton, former vice provost for academic affairs, for their support.

The title of Tezcan's project, The Other Reformation: The Transformation of Islam in the Ottoman Empire, was inspired by his History colleague Andrés Reséndez’s award-winning book, The Other Slavery (2016). 

Tezcan hopes to complete his book project in 2018-19.

Learn more about Baki Tezcan.