IHR Mellon Fellowships in the Humanities
The Institute of Historical Research of the University of London has awarded Zozan Pehlivan a dissertation fellowship for 2011-2012.
Her research concerns Tribes, Cities and Trade in western Kurdistan during the "long eighteenth century," (1700-1850). That is, rather than studying about manufacturing or consumption within cities or export from the larger ports to the West, her study will help explain how tribal systems provided the infrastructure necessary to maintain this pre-industrial commercial market in the Middle East.
Although there are many documents in the Turkish archives, the topic that she is researching remains sensitive. Many other aspects of the question of city-tribe relations in Ottoman Middle East can only be addressed through late eighteenth and early nineteenth century British documentation. IHR Mellon Dissertation Fellowship will enable her to consult the British consular reports for the region which are located at the National Archives at Kew Garden, and also collections at the University of London, and Oxford which include travel accounts, economic analysis, and geographical studies (for the purpose of finding new transportation routes or for the development of steam-ship travel on the Tigris and the Euphrates.)
Perhaps the most important source found in Britain which is totally unavailable in the Turkish archives are geographical references. The Foreign Office contains series with maps, plans and atlases on the region that are often appended to despatches and reports collected by diplomats in the course of their work. These maps are not only bearing on the political outlines of the region, but also contain valuable ethnographic and sociological information on tribes (Kurdish, Arab, and Turkic) and non-Muslim ethnic groups such as the Nestorians and Armenians and their position in rural and urban areas.