Deans’ Lecture Presents ‘Fleeing the Inquisition: European Refugees in 18th Century Istanbul’

Dr. B. Harun KϋҫükApril 4, 2016, Blue Bell/Pottstown, Pa.—Montgomery County Community College invites the community to its 10th Annual Deans’ Lecture on Tuesday, April 12, at 12:30 p.m. featuring guest speaker, Dr. B. Harun Kϋҫük, an assistant professor and fellow at the Middle Eastern Center at the University of Pennsylvania. He will present his research on Christian refugees who fled persecution in 18th century Europe and found new homes in the welcoming environment of the Muslim Ottoman Empire.

The lecture will be held in Science Center 214, Central Campus, 340 DeKalb Pike, Blue Bell, and be simulcast to North Hall 218, West Campus, 16 High St., Pottstown. The Deans’ Lecture is free and open to the public, but tickets are required: mc3.edu/DeansLecture.

Dr. B. Harun Kϋҫük will examine how scholars, craftsmen and prisoners of war integrated themselves into urban life in the largest city to the west of Beijing. Ottoman Istanbul was one of the few urban destinations where religious refugees from Europe could get a fresh start. From the ex-Huguenot Louis David who started the Ottoman fire brigade to the pietist Johann Friedrich Bachstrom, 18th century Istanbul was full of refugees who made important contributions to science and technology in the Islamic world.

After receiving his bachelor’s degree in Liberal Arts from St. John’s College, Dr. Kϋҫük earned his master’s degree in History at Sabancı University in Istanbul, Turkey. He completed his doctoral work on History and Science Studies at University of California, San Diego. Prior to joining Penn's Department of History and Sociology of Science, he was a lecturer at Sabancı, Şehir and Boğaziçi Universities in Istanbul and held pre- and post-doctoral fellowships at the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science in Berlin.

His first book, Enlightenment and Imperial Decline: Cultures of Naturalism in the Ottoman Empire, 1650-1750, is a history of vernacular science in the Ottoman Empire. The book investigates the cosmopolitanism, the republicanism and the intellectual self-reliance of Ottoman naturalists within the broader context of commerce, warfare, religious conversion and political upheaval in early modern Istanbul.

Dr. Küçük's research interests include science and religion, the Enlightenment and the movement of knowledge in the early modern period.

- Diane VanDyke

Dr. B. Harun Kϋҫük

Montgomery County Community College invites the community to its 10th Annual Deans’ Lecture on Tuesday, April 12, at 12:30 p.m. featuring guest speaker, Dr. B. Harun Kϋҫük, an Assistant Professor and Fellow at the Middle Eastern Center at the University of Pennsylvania. Photo courtesy of Dr. B. Harun Kϋҫük.

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