I am a historian of the late Ottoman Empire and Republic of Turkey, and am currently serving as the Associate Director of the Hagop Kevorkian Center for Near Eastern Studies at NYU. My research interests encompass the intellectual, cultural, and political history of Turkey from the late Ottoman period through the early Cold War. My dissertation, which I am now revising into a book manuscript, focused on the function of dissent in Turkey’s single party era from 1919-1950. I am particularly interested in political contestation and democratization, especially as it pertains to gender, ethnic, and racial politics.


A.M., Ph.D. History, University of Pennsylvania

A.B., Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations, University of Chicago

Other Publications

2021 “Politics and ideology: party and opposition in the late Ottoman and early republican period” invited contribution to the Routledge Handbook on Contemporary Turkey, Joost Jongerden, ed.

2020    “‘A Turk Named O’Brien’: Bedtime Stories of the Early Turkish Republic from the Memoirs of Sevim Sertel O’Brien” The Journal of the Ottoman and Turkish Studies Association Vol. 7 No. 2, 237-257 https://doi.org/10.2979/jottturstuass.7.2.14

2016    “‘Unveiling the Tramway’: The Intimate Public Sphere in Late Ottoman and Early Republican Turkey” Journal of Urban History, First published online April 11, 2016, in print: Vol. 44, No. 5 811-834 https://doi.org/10.1177/0096144216641070

2015    “Technology, Modernity and the State: Approaches to the History of Transit in Istanbul” Mobility in History Vol. 6


Book Manuscript in progress, “The Other Republic: The Culture of Dissent under Turkey’s One-Party State, 1919-1950”

James Ryan

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