Sara Nur Yildiz

Research Scholar (Mar 2018-Apr 2020)


I have worked on different aspects of the cultural, intellectual, religious, and political history of the medieval and early modern Islamic and Ottoman worlds, with a particular interest in scholarly networks and the circulation and patronage of the production of knowledge, manuscripts and texts. My current research deals with Islamic and Ottoman medicine, with a focus on circulation of medical manuscripts and texts, materia medica and pharmacology. In addition to examining the intellectual intersections of theology, cosmology, and natural philosophy, I am interested in how the natural sciences were conceived and managed by various actors in the Ottoman world and its materialist consequences. In addition to my research on Islamic and Ottoman medicine, I am working on the annotated image database project,“Visualization of the Heavens and Material Cultures in Eurasia and North Africa (4,000 BCE-1700 CE),” with a particular interest in the manuscript corpus of illustrated Islamic star catalogues.


I received my PhD at the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations at the University of Chicago (2006). In addition to having taught at the History Department of Istanbul Bilgi University, I have held the posts of Research Associate at the Orient-Institut Istanbul; Research Fellow on the ERC Project “The Islamisation of Anatolia, c. 1100–1500,” University of St Andrews (2012-2016); and Senior Fellow/Visiting Professor at Koç University Research Center for Anatolian Studies (ANAMED) (2016–2017).


Visualization and Material Cultures of the Heavens: Image Database Eurasia and North Africa (4000 BCE–1700 CE)


Visualizations of the Heavens and Their Material Cultures in Eurasia and North Africa (4,000 BCE–1700 CE)


Empire, Nature, and Pharmacology in the Ottoman World, 1400–1800



The Book of Felicity: Time and Fortune at the Ottoman Court