Malcolm H. Kerr Dissertation Awards

Yahya Nurgat

University of Cambridge, Faculty of History

2023 Honorable Mention (Humanities)

Yahya Nurgat

Yahya Nurgat

"Space, Ritual, and Religious Experience and the Ottoman hajj, c. 994/1586–1194/1780"

Yahya Nurgat’s dissertation advances and nuances current scholarship on confessionalization in the Early Modern Ottoman Empire through a sophisticated investigation of one of Islam’s most important and rituals, the annual pilgrimage to Mecca. Through pilgrims’ accounts, Hajj guides and material culture, Nurgat explores the physical and affective aspects of the experience beyond the political and social status attained by those undertaking it. By pursuing the question of how to perform the pilgrimage properly, the dissertation shed light on scholarly anxieties regarding guiding an insufficiently knowledgeable public on the one hand, and on that public’s experience of the pilgrimage on the other.  Nurgat’s original insights and use of art history and material culture studies go beyond previous scholarly approaches and are new and productive contributions that will be influential beyond the dissertation subfield. 

The dissertation was completed at University of Cambridge, Clare College in the Faculty of History of under the supervision of Helen Pfeifer.

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