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Duygu Yıldırım

Assistant Professor


On leave (AY 23-24)

Duygu Yıldırım is a historian of science and medicine specialized in the early modern Mediterranean and in the Ottoman Empire. Broadly, her work focuses on cross-cultural interactions, translation, scientific practice, critical historiography, and the relationship between knowledge-making and faith.

She is currently working on her book project, Uncertain Knowledge: The Making of Slow Science between the Ottoman Empire and Early Modern Europe, which explores the relationship between translation and uncertainty of natural and medicinal knowledge in scientific practice. She is also the co-editor of Natural Things in Early Modern Worlds (Routledge, 2023), which shows how natural things obtained new meanings and became alienated from their origins during the rise of modern life sciences.

Yıldırım received her PhD in History from Stanford University in 2021 with a dissertation entitled “The Age of the Perplexed: Translating Nature and Bodies between the Ottoman Empire and Europe, 1650-1730,” and it is internationally recognized for multiple awards. Her research and writing have been funded by the American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS), Dan David Prize Scholarship, Social Science Research Council, Renaissance Society of America, Stanford’s Center for Spatial and Textual Analysis (CESTA), and Stanford Humanities Center, among many others. Prior to joining the UTK, she was a Max Weber Postdoctoral Fellow at the European University Institute in Florence, Italy.


Selected Publications


Mackenzie Cooley, Anna Toledano, and Duygu Yıldırım, eds. Natural Things in Early Modern Worlds (London & New York, NY: Routledge, 2023).


Peer-reviewed articles 

“Ottoman Plants, Nature Studies, and the Attentiveness of Translational Labor,” accepted for publication at History of Science (forthcoming)

“Comparing Faiths: The Making of Religious Dialogue between the Ottoman Empire and Early Modern Europe,” accepted for publication at History of Religions (forthcoming)

“(Un)Making Labor Invisible: A Syllabus,” with Patrick Anthony, Juliana Broad, Xan Chacko, Zachary Dorner, and Judith Kaplan, accepted for publication at History of Science (forthcoming)

Bevanda asiatica: Scholarly Exchange between the Ottomans and Europeans on Coffee,” Journal of Ottoman Studies 56 (2020): 25-48.

  • Honorable Mention, FEEGI (The Forum on Early-Modern Empires and Global Interactions) Article Prize, 2021.

Courses Taught

HIME 384: Food, Health, and Society

HIST 262 World Civilization 1500-Present

Contact Information