Demirtiken, Elif

University of Edinburgh

Research Topic: Monastic Communities and Institutions in early Palaiologan Constantinople: A Social Historical Perspective

Ms. Demirtiken is a PhD candidate in the Classics Department at the University of Edinburgh, where she focuses on social history of Byzantium with Profs. Niels Gaul and Jim Crow. She holds two Master’s degrees—one in Archaeology and History of Art from Koç University in Istanbul and a second one in Comparative History from Central European University in Budapest. Her doctoral thesis, “Monastic Communities and Monasteries of Constantinople, 1261–1350,” aims to provide a social history of Constantinopolitan monks and nuns and monasteries’ wider role in the city’s society. Drawing on a rich body of sources—histories, letters, vitae, miracula, monastic discourses, patriarchal acts, architecture, and artistic programs—she seeks to understand how monastics lived in late Byzantine Constantinople, and how early Palaiologan monasticism in the city related to the macro-and meso-level social structures. While in residence at ANAMED, Elif conducts her thesis research on the material evidence and consults the reports of rescue excavations in the archives of the Istanbul Archaeology Museums, which present the only remaining evidence of numerous now-lost Byzantine structures. Elif also participates in ‘Crossing Frontiers: Christians and Muslims and their Art in Eastern Anatolia and the Caucasus,’ a travelling research seminar program organized by Prof. Anthony Eastmond, Courtauld Institute of Art and supported by the Getty Foundation.