Malcolm H. Kerr Dissertation Awards
Stanford University, Department of History
2019 Honorable Mention (Social Sciences)
Imperial Refuge: Resettlement of Muslims from Russia in the Ottoman Empire, 1860–1914
Dr. Troyansky’s thesis comparing the experiences of Muslim refugees who moved from Russia to different parts of the Ottoman Empire is a superb example of historical scholarship. The dissertation showcases Dr. Hamed-Tryoansky’s extraordinary strengths in archival research, comparative historical methods, his fluency in an impressive range of interdisciplinary and cross-regional theoretical literatures, and his command of a vast range of primary sources in multiple languages. Drawing on archival materials in Turkey, Russia, Georgia, Bulgaria, Jordan, and Great Britain, including documents in Ottoman Turkish, Arabic, Russian, and Bulgarian, Dr. Hamed-Troyansky delivers an account of migrant trajectories that is at once sweeping and fine-grained, theoretically informed and empirically grounded. In accounting for variation in the economic and social outcomes of migration, he examines the factors that determined the specific pathways that Muslim migrants followed from Tsarist Russia to the Ottoman Empire. He carefully traces how these initial choices shaped their subsequent experiences, producing patterns of inclusion and exclusion that influenced the life conditions of migrants for generations. Highlighting the agency of refugees in processes of migration, Dr. Hamed-Troyansky useful undermines simplistic understandings of religious dynamics in state-making, identity formation, and experiences of mobility. His dissertation adds significantly to our interdisciplinary knowledge about a crucial phenomenon in a strategic region, at a very dense moment of state-making and state competition. His findings are of relevance across disciplines in the social sciences and offer valuable insight into phenomena of urgent contemporary concern.
The dissertation was completed at Stanford University in the Department of History under the supervision of Professor Joel Beinin.
2019 Review Committee
Steven Heydemann (chair), Smith College
Elena Aoun, Catholic University of Louvain
Sean Foley, Middle Tennessee State University
Sima Shakhsari, University of Minnesota