Lale Can

Associate Professor

Main Affiliation


Additional Departments/Affiliated Programs

Graduate Center


North Academic Center





Lale Can

Lale Can


Lale Can is a historian of the Ottoman Empire, with a focus on migration and imperial belonging and identity. She received her Ph.D. from New York University and is the author of Spiritual Subjects: Central Asian Pilgrims and the Ottoman Hajj at the End of Empire (Stanford University Press, 2020) and co-editor, with M. Christopher Low, Kent Schull, and Robert Zens, of The Subjects of Ottoman International Law (Indiana University Press, forthcoming, 2020). She is currently working on a new book project, “Empire of Exile: Treason and Banishment in Ottoman History,” and will be a senior fellow at the Koç Center for Anatolian Civilizations in Istanbul, Turkey in Spring 2021. Dr. Can has received numerous grants to pursue research and writing, including fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities, Social Science Research Council, the NYU Remarque Institute, and Fulbright-Hays.


B.A., New York University
Ph.D., New York University

Courses Taught

  • The Ottoman Empire 
  • Pilgrimage and the Making of the Islamic World
  • Social and Political History of the Middle East 
  • The Middle East in the World, Seminar on Migration (MA)
  • History Research Colloquium (MA)

Research Interests

Ottoman History, Middle East History, transregional Islamic history, migration, international law


Spiritual Subjects: Central Asian Pilgrims and the Ottoman Hajj at the End of Empire, Stanford University Press, March 2020.
The Subjects of Ottoman International Law, Edited with Michael Christopher Low, Kent Schull, and Robert Zens, forthcoming, Indiana University Press, 2020.
“The Protection Question: Central Asians and Extraterritoriality in the Late Ottoman Empire,” International Journal of Middle East Studies, 48 (2016): 679–699.
“The ‘Subjects’ of Ottoman International Law,” Introductory essay for special issue (co-authored with Michael Christopher Low), Journal of the Ottoman and Turkish Studies Association, Vol. 3, No. 2 (November 2016): 223–234.
“Connecting People: The Sultantepe Özbekler Tekke and Nineteenth-Century Ottoman-Central Asian Interactions.” Modern Asian Studies Vol. 45, No. 2 (March 2012): 373–40.