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Elif Sezer-Aydınlı

Elif Sezer-Aydınlı
Independent Researcher
Popular Reading Culture in Nineteenth Century Ottoman Istanbul and Anatolia

Dr. Sezer-Aydınlı is a cultural historian specializing in the Ottoman history of books and reading culture. Her studies focus on the reading, writing, and listening practices of Ottoman individuals based on their first-hand notes on manuscripts of popular heroic stories. She received her PhD degree from Freie Universitat Berlin in 2022 with the dissertation “Manuscript Community in Ottoman Istanbul (18th-19th Centuries): Heroic Stories, Social Profiles and Reading Space.”’

Her dissertation project was generously supported by the American Institute in Turkey (ARIT) during the 2019–2020 academic year as a visiting scholar at Boston College in the US. Her publications include a book entitled The Oral and The Written in Ottoman Literature: The Reader Notes on the Story of Firuzşah (2015) and the peer-reviewed article “’Unusual Readers in Early Modern Istanbul: Manuscript Notes of Janssaries and Other Riff-Raff on Popular Heroic Narratives” (Journal of Islamic Manuscripts, 2018), and she co-authored “’Books Transformed into Sound in Ottoman Istanbul” (Zemin, 2023).

She has given public lectures and conference presentations at many venues, including Boğaziçi University, Harvard University, Yale University, Oxford University, and Princeton University. As an ANAMED post-doctoral fellow, she is currently working on her project “Popular Reading Culture in Ninettenth Century Ottoman Istanbul and Anatolia” and her second monograph.