General Information

Institutional Information: Graduate School Of Social Sciences
Research Areas: History, Modern History, History of Turkish Republic, General Turkish History, History of The Ottoman Instutionsand Civilization, Comparative History, History of Art, Turkish-Islamic Art, Museology, Art, Painting, Performing and Visual Arts, Fine Arts, Plastic Arts

Names in Publications: Tongo Gizem, Gizem Tongo




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I am an art and cultural historian specialising in the history of the late Ottoman Empire. I hold a doctorate in Oriental Studies from University of Oxford, St John’s College, where I was a Lord Dulverton Scholar. Upon graduation, I held two postdoctoral positions, first at the University of Oxford (between 2017 and 2018), and later at the British Institute at Ankara (between 2018 and 2020). Before my doctorate, I had completed two MA Degrees, one in History at Boğaziçi University and another in Post-1900 Literatures, Theories and Cultures at the University of Manchester.

My field of expertise is the cultural and art history of the late Ottoman Empire, particularly the First World War (1914-1918) and the Armistice Period (1918-1923). My additional areas of research interest include the themes of Orientalism, Turquerie, modernization, museology, gender, anti-militarism, pacifism, and the collective memory of war. I am particularly interested in the relationship between war and culture during conflict and its aftermath. I received awards and grants from, among others, University of Oxford, the British Society for Middle Eastern Studies (UK), the Orient-Institut Istanbul (Turkey), Hrant Dink Foundation (Turkey), and the International Research Centre of the Historial de la Grande Guerre de Péronne (France). I have also been involved in curating and writing material for exhibitions, including co-curating an exhibition on a woman artist in 2019 at Salt Galata Istanbul: "Mihri: A Migrant Painter of Modern Times" ("Mihri: Modern Zamanların Göçebe Ressamı") and a recent one at the Istanbul Research Institute titled "Occupied City: Politics and Daily Life in Istanbul, 1918-23" ("Meşgul Şehir: İşgal İstanbul'unda Siyaset ve Gündelik Hayat, 1918-1923"). Currently, I am writing a monograph provisionally titled War, Art, and the End of the Ottoman Empire

During my graduate studies, I gave lectures on Ottoman art and architecture during the early modern period (1400-1700) as part of the ‘Introduction to Islamic Art & Archaeology’ course, offered at the graduate and undergraduate level in the Department of Oriental Studies at Oxford. In 2018, as a Barakat Postdoctoral scholar, I also taught an undergraduate cultural history course in the same department, entitled ‘The Ottoman Empire and the Republic of Turkey, 1807-1980: Cultural Transformations’. Before Oxford and during my MA studies, I also gained considerable experience working as a teaching assistant, first at Istanbul Bilgi University for a second-year course on Turkish art and museums (‘Art Scene and Cultural Analysis’), and later at Boğaziçi University for a two-semester thematic course on the history of the world from ancient to modern times (‘The Making of the Modern World’). Also, since 2018, I have been giving lectures on Ottoman art and architecture to a general public at the lecture series organized by the Victoria and Albert Museum. Here, in METU, I offer a one-semester graduate course on Ottoman cultural history in the early modern and modern periods (AH 527: Cultural Production in the Ottoman Empire').