Current Visiting Scholars

Isil Acehan

Isil Acehan received her Ph.D. in History from Bilkent University in Ankara, Turkey. Dr. Acehan's research interests focus on Ottoman and early Muslim immigration to the U.S., immigration policies in the U.S., history of Islam in America, and American board missionaries and schools in the Ottoman Empire. She was a Post-Doctoral Fellow at the John XXXIII Foundation for Religious Studies in Bologna Italy. Prior to this, she served as Assistant Professor at Ipek University in the department of History in Ankara, Turkey. During her residency with the Center, she will be conducting research on Ottoman Muslim (ethnic Turks, Kurds, and Arabs) immigration to the United States in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.  

Sumeyye Saritas

Sumeyye Saritas is a Ph.D. student at Istanbul University in Istanbul, Turkey concentrating on Ottoman Law in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. She is currently working on her dissertation which examines the attempts at codification of Ottoman family law from the Tanzimat period (1839-1876) up until the modern Republic of Turkey (1923). Ms. Saritas has taught courses in classical Arabic and Islamic law at various institutions in Istanbul, Turkey. 

Murat Saritas

Murat Saritas is a Ph.D student at Istanbul University in Istanbul, Turkey concentrating on Ottoman Law. He is currently working on his dissertation which analyzes the check and balance mechanisms in Ottoman procedural law in the second half of the sixteenth century. Mr. Saritas has worked as a Research Assistant in the Faculty of Theology, Department of Islamic Law at Istanbul University, and as a Researcher at the Turkish Religious Foundation in Istanbul. 

Christopher Anzalone

Christopher Anzalone received his Ph.D. in Islamic Studies with a focus on Africa and the Middle East from McGill University and he also earned an M.A. in Near Eastern Languages and Cultures from Indiana University, Bloomington, and a B.A. in History and Religious Studies from George Mason University.  His research focuses on Islamic political thought, Shi'ite Islam, religion and violence, and the intersection of social movement dynamics with ideology and symbolic power. He previously was a predoctoral and a postdoctoral research fellow with the International Security Program at Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government. While in residence at the Ali Vural Ak Center for Global Islamic Studies he will be working on his book, Islamizing Rebel Governance: Jihadi Insurgencies and Symbolic Power, an interdisciplinary project examining the strategies and experiences of Islamist insurgent organizations pursuing proto-state governing regimes by setting up civil governance systems through which to interact with local civilian populations. It situates the study of Islamist rebel groups with demonstrated governance and religion and violence.   

Christopher B. Taylor

Christopher Taylor received his PhD from Boston University in Anthropology with a focus in economic anthropology, Islamic studies, and political anthropology. He was previously a U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) Research Innovation Fellow, a graduate fellow of the National Science Foundation (NSF), and a fellow at the Center for Religion, Peace, and World Affairs at Georgetown University.  He has published on India, the ethics of economic practice, socioeconomic mobility, and Islamic law.