Crucible of Empire: Danubian Borderlands and the Making of Ottoman Administrative Mentalities


Mellon/ACLS Dissertation Innovation Fellowships




At the end of the long eighteenth century, the Ottoman Empire overcame the turmoil caused by Russian and Austrian expansions in its borderlands while its neighbors, the Safavid Empire, the Crimean Khanate, the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, and the Holy Roman Empire were partitioned, annexed or annulled. This dissertation centers the intellectual realm of Ottoman scribal bureaucrats and their networks in the western borderlands in this period of crisis. “Crucible of Empire” emphasizes the transformations in information systems, communication practices, and production of imperial knowledge to understand the resilience of the Ottoman state. Balancing traditional historical methods with computational text analysis allows for the study of larger corpora of sources alongside close interpretation. This research advances humanities research through the use of natural language processing applications and contributes to developing resources for underrepresented languages in the field of artificial intelligence.