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Kent F. Schull

Associate Professor
Ph.D., UCLA, 2007
Ottoman History, Modern Middle East History, Crime & Punishment, Islamic Criminal Law, Muslims in North America & Europe.
Office: LT 715
Phone: (607) 777-6202

My general research and teaching endeavors focus on the history of the Ottoman Empire and the Middle East during the 19th & 20th centuries. Research specializations include state formation, criminal justice, incarceration, identity, and Islamic criminal law in the Ottoman Empire. I also conduct research on Muslim and Middle East diaspora populations in North America and Europe. My first book, Prisons in the Late Ottoman Empire (Edinburgh University Press, 2014), explores the transformation of the Ottoman Criminal Justice System (particularly prisons) during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries and argues that Ottoman prisons function as microcosms of imperial transformation. Many of the pressing questions of Ottoman modernity are found within these prisons. They include such issues as national identity, administrative rationalization and centralization, the transformation of Islamic criminal law, gender and childhood conceptualizations, the rehabilitation of prisoners, the government's expanding role in the lives of the population, the professionalization of the bureaucracy, and industrialization and economic development. In other words, prisons act as windows into broader imperial and social transformation throughout the late Ottoman Empire and are comparable to other contemporary states in Europe, the Americas, Africa, and Asia.

My second book project is a co-edited volume with Dr. Christine Isom-Verhaaren on Ottoman Identity that investigates the transformation of what it meant to be Ottoman during the empire's long existence from a pastoral-nomadic polity, to a conquest state, world empire, and finally to a nation-state . The twenty four contributors to this volume demonstrate how the central state, subjects, groups, allies, enemies, and the indifferent projected, adopted, contested, and negotiated their identities in relation to the Ottoman state.

Undergraduate Courses:

• 20th Century Middle East
• Revolutions in the modern Middle East
• History of the Ottoman Empire, 13th-20th Century
• Palestine, Zionism, and the Palestinian-Israeli Conflict
• Modern Iran
• Islamic Civilizations
• Istanbul: Imperial City
• Muslims in America
• History of Religion

Graduate Courses:

• Major Topics in Ottoman History
• Major Topics in Modern Middle East History
• Egypt since the Arab Conquest
• The United States and the Middle East

Select Publications:

  • "Prisons in the Late Ottoman Empire": Microcosms of Modernity (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, April 2014).
  • "Amalgamated Observations: American Impressions of Nineteenth Century Constantinople and its Peoples" in Richard Wittmann and Christoph Herzog (eds.), "Istanbul" – "Kushta" – "Constantinople": Diversity of Identities and Personal Narratives in the Ottoman Capital (1830-1900), (London: RoutledgeCurzon, forthcoming 2013).
  • "Conceptualizing Difference during the Second Constitutional Period: New Sources, Old Challenges" in Jorgen Nielson (ed.), Religion, Ethnicity and Contested Nationhood in the Former Ottoman Space, (Leiden: E.J. Brill, 2012), pp. 63-87.
  • "An Analysis of the Secondary Education Curriculum Development Project for Muslims in America: From Understanding to Action" co-authored with Jeffrey Byford in Educational Practice & Theory 31:2 (2009), pp. 17-29.
  • "Identity in the Ottoman Prison Surveys of 1912 and 1914" in IJMES 41:3 (2009), pp. 365-67.
  • "Integration through Education: Muslims of Memphis and America" co-authored with Jeffrey Byford; Jane Fernandez (ed.) in Diasporas: Critical and Interdisciplinary Perspectives (Oxford, UK: Interdisciplinary Press, 2009), pp. 267-77. ISBN: 978-1-904710-68-4
  • "Tutuklu Sayımı: Jön Türklerin Sistematik Bir Şekilde Hapishane İstatistikleri Toplama Çalışmaları ve Bunların 1911-1918 Hapishane Reformu Üzerine Etkileri" [Counting the Incarcerated: Young Turk Attempts to Systematically Collect Prison Statistics and their Effects on Prison Reform, 1911-1918] in Noémi Lévy and Alexandre Toumarkine (eds.), Osmanlı'da Asayis, Suç ve Ceza: 18.-20. Yüzyıllar [Crime, Punishment and Social Control in the Ottoman Empire: 18th-20th Centuries] (Istanbul: Tarih Vakfi, Yurt Yayinlari, 2007), pp. 212-238. ISBN: 978-975-333-215-6
  • "Hapishaneler ve Cezalandırmaya İlişkin Yaklaşımlara Eleştirel Bir Bakış" [A Critical Look at Approaches to Prisons and Punishment] in Noémi Lévy and Alexandre Toumarkine (eds.), Osmanlı'da Asayis, Suç ve Ceza: 18.-20. Yüzyıllar [Crime, Punishment and Social Control in the Ottoman Empire: 18th-20th Centuries] (Istanbul: Tarih Vakfi, Yurt Yayinlari, 2007), pp. 46-54. ISBN: 978-975-333-215-6


  • Excellence in Teaching Award, Helen Hardin Honors Program, University of Memphis (2010-11)
  • Faculty Research Grant (FRG), University of Memphis College of Arts and Sciences (2010-11)
  • College of Arts and Sciences, University of Memphis Travel Enrichment Grant (Fall 2009)
  • Tennessee Board of Regents (TBR) Diversity Research Grant (2008-09)
  • University of Memphis, International Studies Exploratory Grant for Turkey (May 2008)
  • David M. Kennedy Center for International Studies, BYU, Research Grant (Spring 2007)
  • Institute of Turkish Studies (ITS) Summer Research Grant (2005)
  • UCLA Medical Humanities Research Grant (2005)
  • Fulbright-Hays Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship for Turkey (2004-05)
  • Fulbright Institute of International Education (IIE) Fellowship for Turkey (2003-04)
  • Title VI (FLAS) Academic Year Fellowship for Dissertation Research (2003-04)
  • Title VI (FLAS) Academic Year Fellowship for Ottoman Turkish (2002-03)
  • Title VI (FLAS) Summer Fellowship for Turkish and Ottoman Turkish (2002)
  • Institute of Turkish Studies, Sabbatical Grant, AY 2013-14.

Last Updated: 12/13/17