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Faculty and Staff Profiles

Lale Can

Assistant Professor


Division of Humanities and the Arts




NAC 5/133

p: (212) 650-7459


  • Profile

    Professor Can specializes in the social and political history of the late Ottoman Empire, particularly the role of hajj pilgrimage networks and imperial philanthropy in fostering connections between Ottoman state and society and Central Asians at the turn of the twentieth century. Her teaching and research interests focus on new approaches to identity politics, trans-imperial histories of the Islamic world, and Sufism in Eurasian history.

    She recently completed her dissertation at New York University and is working on a book manuscript that examines the politics of pilgrimage, pan-Islam, and philanthropy in the Ottoman Empire. Before coming to City College, Professor Can was a visiting post-doctoral fellow at the Zentrum Moderner Orient in Berlin, Germany. She has conducted research in Istanbul, Tashkent, and London and was the recipient of numerous grants, including dissertation research and writing grants from the Social Science Research Council, Fulbright-Hays, the Remarque Institute, the American Research Institute in Turkey, the Institute of Turkish Studies, and IREX.

  • Education

    B.A., New York University

    Ph.D., New York University

  • Courses Taught

    The Ottoman Empire

    Pilgrimage and the Making of the Islamic World

    Crossroads of Empire: A Survey of Central Asian History

  • Research Interests

    Late Ottoman history; Central Asia under Russian rule; comparative empires; Islamic philanthropy and legitimacy; the social history of Sufism and pilgrimage.

  • Publications

    "Connecting People: A Central Asian Sufi network in turn-of-the-century Istanbul," Modern Asian Studies, Volume 46, Part 2, March 2012.

    Review of Michael A. Reynolds, Shattering Empires: The Clash and Collapse of the Ottoman and Russian Empires, 1908-1918, forthcoming in Journal of the Economic and Social History of the Orient.

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