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Baki Tezcan


  • Ph.D., Near Eastern Studies, Princeton University, 2001
  • M.A., Near Eastern Studies, Princeton University, 1996
  • B.S., International Relations, Bilkent University in Ankara, Turkey, 1994


Baki Tezcan joined the UC Davis History Department in 2002 (for the first 13 years of his career at UC Davis, he was a faculty member in Religious Studies as well). He was one of the founders of the Middle East/South Asia Studies Program (ME/SA), which he directed from 2012 to 2015. In addition to History and Religious Studies, he also taught for ME/SA and Medieval and Early Modern Studies programs, and led the "Last Empire of Islam" Summer Abroad Program in Istanbul in 2007, 2009, and 2011 (for photographs from these summers, see the Facebook group "Baki's Bottle," named after the water bottle Tezcan held up while leading his students in tourist crowds).

Research Focus

Mainly pre-modern Middle Eastern history, focusing on topics such as Ottoman political history in the 16th–18th centuries; pre-modern ethnic and racial identities in the Islamic world; Ottoman perceptions of others; Ottoman and modern Turkish historiography; fiscal and monetary history; Islamic law, and the intellectual tradition of Islam with a special emphasis on the relationship between politics, on the one hand, and philosophy and science, on the other.

Selected Publications

For a complete list of recent publications (last five years), see Tezcan's ME/SA page; for older publications, see his Academia page.


Introduction to the Middle East; US in the Middle East; World History, c. 1350-1850; Middle Eastern History III: The Ottomans, 1401-1730; undergraduate proseminars on topics such as Holy War in Comparative Perspective and modern Turkey; honors thesis advising on such topics as the Armenian Genocide and British Imperialism in Arabia; graduate seminars on historiography, race in pre-modern Islamic world, and early modern Ottoman history; graduate reading courses on late medieval and early modern Middle Eastern history; undergraduate courses on Islam, the Qur’an, Islamic law, politics and religion, and pilgrimage (in Religious Studies Program) on Middle East and South Asia (in the Middle East/South Asia Studies Program), and on late medieval and early modern history of Europe (in the Medieval and Early Modern Studies Program).


  • Sabbatical grant from the Institute of Turkish Studies, TÜBİTAK fellow at Istanbul Şehir University, 2011-12
  • UC Davis Outstanding Faculty Advisor Award, 2005
  • Society for the Humanities fellow at Cornell University in 2005–06
  • American Research Institute in Turkey (ARIT) postdoctoral fellowship, funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities, 2001-02