MESA Book Awards
Rutgers University - Newark
2016 Albert Hourani Book Award Winner
Plague and Empire in the Early Modern Mediterranean World: The Ottoman Experience, 1347-1600
Cambridge University Press
Nükhet Varlık’s dazzlingly multi-dimensional analysis extends and reframes our understanding of one of the most important phenomena in Middle Eastern and global history: the plague. Drawing on both humanistic and scientific research, she adds empirically to our knowledge of the plague by tracing its mobile trajectory both temporally and geographically. While plague scholarship has focused most centrally on the initial outbreak of the Second Pandemic in the mid-fourteenth century, she focuses on the far less studied centuries of cyclical outbreaks that ensued. Placing the plague within the context of Ottoman history, she analyzes how empire worked with and through the disease and its movements, and how communities experienced it. Drawing on the newest research about epidemiology, environmental factors, and imperial interactions, based on a wealth of Ottoman archival and manuscript materials, this book will be influential in Middle East Studies and beyond.