Ali Yaycıoğlu is a historian of the Ottoman Empire and Modern Turkey. His research centers on economic, political and legal institutions and practices as well as social and cultural life in southeastern Europe and the Middle East during the Ottoman Empire. He also has a research agenda on how people imagined, represented and recorded property, territory, and nature in early periods. Furthermore, Dr. Yaycıoğlu explores how we can use digital tools to understand, visualize and conceptualize these imaginations, representations and recordings.
He teaches courses on the Ottoman Empire and Modern Turkey; empires, markets and networks in the early modern and modern world; and digital humanities. Professor Yaycıoğlu's first book, Partners of the Empire: Crisis of the Ottoman Order in the Age of Revolutions (Stanford University Press, 2016) offers a rethinking of the Ottoman Empire within the global context of the revolutionary age in the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. Currently Dr. Yaycıoğlu is working on a book project, entitled The Order of Debt: State, Wealth and Death in the Ottoman Empire analyzing transformations in property, finance and statehood in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. The book focuses on episodes of economic violence during the political and economic transformation from the Early Modern era to the Modern times through fiscal records, probate inventories, debt and credit registers, confiscation and auction documents.
Dr. Yaycıoğlu's other project, tentatively entitled Ottoman Topologies: Managing, Knowing and Recording Nature examines the symbiotic relationship between managerial, intellectual and scribal organization of the Ottoman Empire and various eco-orders, such as mountains, forests, valleys, steppes, river and lakesides, coastal areas, islands and deserts.
Ali Yaycıoğlu is the supervisor of a digital history project, Mapping Ottoman Epirus, housed in Stanford’s Center for Spatial and Textual Analysis (CESTA).
Born and raised in Ankara, Turkey, Ali Yaycıoğlu studied International Relations at the Middle East Technical University and Ottoman History under the supervision of Professor Halil Inalcik at Bilkent University. Then, he studied Arabic and Islamic legal history at McGill University in Montreal. Yaycıoğlu completed his Ph.D. under the supervision of Professor Cemal Kafadar in History and Middle Eastern Studies at Harvard in 2008. After his Ph.D., Yaycioglu carried out post-doctoral studies in the Agha Khan Program for Islamic Architecture at the same university and then in Hellenic Studies at Princeton. He joined the History Department at Stanford in 2011. Professor Yaycıoğlu is also director of Center for Medieval and Early Modern Studies and a board member of Center for Spatial and Textual Analysis (CESTA), cofounder of Ottoman and Turkey Encounters at Stanford (OTES) and an associate member of the Centre d'études turques, ottomanes, balkaniques et centrasiatiques at L'École des hautes études en sciences sociales in Paris.