• de
  • en

Dr. Denise Klein

Member of the academic staff


Personal Details:

Denise Klein is a historian of the Ottoman Empire and the Middle East, with a PhD in history from the University of Konstanz (2014) and an M.A. in Middle Eastern Studies from the University of Munich (2005). She has been a Research Associate at the Leibniz Institute of European History since 2014. She has been granted several scholarships — including by the Gerda Henkel Foundation (2005–2007), the Research Center for Anatolian Civilizations of Koç University (2012–2013), and the German Research Foundation (2019–now) — and has lived in Istanbul, New York, and Athens. Her research focuses on the social, cultural, and urban history of the Ottoman world before 1800. Currently, she is revising her book manuscript Narrating the Past: Historiography and Historical Culture of the Crimean Khanate. Simultaneously, she is working on her new book project which investigates the experiences of migrants in Istanbul between 1453 and 1800.

Research Interests:

Islamic and Turkish studies
Early modern Ottoman history
Social and cultural history
Urban history
Islamic Historiography

Selected Publications:

Die osmanischen Ulema des 17. Jahrhunderts. Eine geschlossene Gesellschaft? (Berlin: Klaus Schwarz, 2007).
(ed.) The Crimean Khanate between East and West (15th–18th Century) (Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz, 2012).
(ed. with Cornelia Aust and Thomas Weller) Dress and Cultural Difference in Early Modern Europe: European History Yearbook 20 (2019).
(ed. with Anna Vlachopoulou) Transottoman Biographies, 16th–20th c. (Göttingen: V&R unipress, 2023)
Poetry of Exile: An Eighteenth-Century Tatar Prince in the Ottoman Balkans, in Denise Klein and Anna Vlachopoulou (eds.), Transottoman Biographies, 16th–20th Century (Göttingen V&R unipress, 2023).
Eine Stadt mit vielen Gesichtern: Migration und Differenz in Istanbul, 1453–1800, in Sarah Panter, Johannes Paulmann, Thomas Weller (eds.), Mobilität und Differenzierung: Zur Konstruktion von Unterschieden und Zugehörigkeiten in der europäischen Neuzeit (Göttingen: V&R unipress, 2023).

Research projects:

After the Conquest: The Ottoman and Spanish Empires in History and Memory

This project compares the Ottoman and Spanish histories of expansion during the early modern period as well as their enduring memories to the present. It brings together scholars of the Eastern Mediterranean, Latin America, and Western Europe to explore the similarities, differences, and connec­tions between these two expanding empires in three workshops focusing on narratives of conquest and loss, post-conquest materiality, and contemporary memory cultures. This project forms part of the Leibniz Research Alliance "Value of the Past", Lab 2.1. "Dynamic Spaces" (2021–2025).

Istanbul: A City of Migrants, 1453–1800

Migration made Istanbul an imperial capital and one of the most diverse cities in the early modern world. After the Ottoman conquest in 1453, the sultans repopulated the city by bringing in people from the provinces, prisoners of war from the Balkans to Iran, and slaves from Eastern Europe. Istanbul then became a safe haven for Spanish Jews and Moriscos. From the late sixteenth century, it took in a large number of refugees from Anatolia. As the capital of a world empire, the city also drew in students, career-seekers, merchants, and a growing number of labor workers from the Balkans, Anatolia, and other distant places. The migrants not only formed a significant part of the population but also held key positions in the city’s imperial institutions and dominated important sectors of urban life.

Leibniz Research Alliance "Value of the Past"

The Leibniz Research Alliance "The Value of the Past" investigates the significance of the past for societies in the past and present. The first phase runs from 1 September 2021 until 31 August 2025.