Dr Ilker Evrim Binbas

Research interests

My research interests broadly embrace the historiography, political thought, and intellectual networks of the fifteenth and sixteenth century Islamic world. I am particularly interested in Timurid and Ottoman historiography, the political use of mythical narratives, epistolography and other modalities of intellectual communication, and the informal intellectual networks which, unlike the emerging Sufi orders, did not enter the process of institutionalization in the early modern period. In the course of my studies, I also developed an interest in various “secret sciences,” such as alchemy, the science of letters, and logogriphic poetry in order to understand the rhetorical devices that early modern intellectuals deployed. In the meantime, I still maintain an early interest of mine in the history of music in the Middle East.

I am currently working on an intellectual biography of the Timurid historian Sharaf al-Din ‘Ali Yazdi, who is primarily known as the most influential biographer of Tamerlane. In my study, I locate Yazdi in a wider intellectual network, stretching from Timurid Central Asia to the Ottoman Balkans, and analyze the political significance of this network in Timurid and Ottoman politics.

Personal profile

I studied political science at the Middle East Technical University and received my MA degree in history from Hacettepe University in Ankara. I continued my postgraduate studies in the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations at the University of Chicago. I have taught at Royal Holloway since 2009.

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