Aleksandar Shopov

Postdoctoral Fellow (Sep 2019-Aug 2020)


Aleksandar Shopov is a historian with interests in economic and environmental histories of the Ottoman eastern Mediterranean. His research and activism have focused on the history of and present-day debates about urban agriculture, especially in Istanbul. He received his MA from Sabanci University in Istanbul in 2007 and his PhD from Harvard University in 2016. His dissertation explored connections between Early Modern farming manuscripts in Ottoman Turkish and Arabic, the rise of agrarian capitalism, and environmental change in the Ottoman eastern Mediterranean. He previously held fellowships at Dumbarton Oaks Library in Washington DC, the Research Center for Anatolian Civilization in Istanbul, the Center for Mamluk Studies in Bonn and the Rachel Carson Center for Environment and Society at the Ludwig Maximilian University in Munich. 


Selected Publications

“‘Books on Agriculture (al-filāha) Pertaining to Medical Science’ and Ottoman Agricultural Science and Practice around 1500.” In Treasures of Knowledge: An Inventory of the Ottoman Palace Library (1502/3-1503/4), Muqarnas Supplements 14Edited by Gülru Necipoğlu, Cemal Kafadar and Cornell Fleischer, 2019

“The Earliest Known Agricultural Treatise in Ottoman Turkish and its Implications for      Sixteenth-Century Ottoman Economy and Science .” In Living with Nature and Things: Contributions to a New Social History of the Middle Islamic Periods, ed. Bethany J. Walker and Abdelkader al-Ghouz (University of Bonn Press, 2019).

“Fezzan is the Siberia of Africa: Desert and Society in the Prison Memoir of Pavel Shatev (1882-1951), An Anarchist from Ottoman Macedonia.”GlobalEnvironment(special edition on Imperial Deserts) edited by Katherine Morrissey, Volume 12, Number 1, March            2019, 237–253 (17). 

“Osmanlı Istanbul’unda Kent Içi Tarımsal Toprak Kullanımı ve Dönüşumleri: Yedikule Bostanları/The Yedikule Market Gardens and New Istanbul Topographies: The Expansion of Agricultural Land in Seventeenth-Century Ottoman Istanbul,” Toplumsal Tarih, 236 (2013): 34–38. Co-authored with Ayhan Han. 


From Hispaniola to Istanbul: Plants, Trade, and Knowledge Between the Americas and the Early Modern Ottoman World


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