Özden Mercan

Heinz Heinen Kolleg Fellow (Postdoctoral)

Bonn Center for Dependency and Slavery Studies


© Mercan

Academic Profile

My research project focuses on premodern Mediterranean forms of unfree labor and its spatial dimensions. Tuscan free port of Livorno makes a perfect case study to examine the voluntary and forced migration of people from various places, particularly from the Levant in the early modern Mediterranean. Housing a significant number of slaves (schiavi) and forced laborers (forzati), Livorno’s bagno was the first such construction in Europe. During my stay at the BCDSS, I will conduct research on my project and finish an article focusing on Muslim slaves in Livorno and the spatial dimensions of their labor.

Assistant Professor at the Department of History at Hacettepe University in Ankara

Postdoctoral Fellow at I Tatti The Harvard University Center For Italian Renaissance Studies in Florence

Postdoctoral Fellow at the Italian Academy for Advanced Studies at Columbia University

Postdoctoral Fellow at the European University Institute

Instructor in History at Bilkent University

PhD from the European University Insititute

  • “A diplomacy woven with textiles: Medici-Ottoman Relations during the late Renaissance,” Mediterranean Historical Review 35:2 (2020):169-188. DOI: 10.1080/09518967.2020.1820696
  • “A Struggle for Survival: Genoese Diplomacy with the Sublime Porte in the Face of Spanish and French Opposition,” Journal of Early Modern History vol. 23, issue 6 (2019): 542-565. DOI: 10.1163/15700658-12342649“
  • Constructing a Self-Image in the Image of the Other: Pope Pius II’s Letter to Sultan Mehmed II” in Practices of Coexistence. Constructions of the Other in Early Modern Perceptions, eds. Marianna D. Birnbaum and Marcell Sebók, (Budapest–New York: CEU Press, 2017) pp. 71-102.
  • “Medici-Ottoman Diplomatic Relations (1574-1578): What Went Wrong?” in The Grand Ducal Medici and the Levant: Material Cultural, Diplomacy, and Imagery in the Early Modern Mediterranean, eds. Marta Caroscio ve Maurizio Arfaioli, (Turnhout: Brepols / Harvey Miller Publishing, 2016) pp. 19-31.
  • “The Genoese of Pera in the Fifteenth Century: Draperio and Spinola Families” in Living in the Ottoman Realm: Empire and Identity, 13th to 20th Centuries, eds. Christine Isom-Verhaaren and Kent F. Schull, (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2016) pp. 42-54.
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