A. Tunç Şen

A. Tunç Şen

Research Interest


Ph.D. – University of Chicago, 2016
M.A. – University of Chicago, 2010
M.A. – Sabancı University, 2008
B.A. – Sabancı University, 2006

Interests and Research

A. Tunç Şen is a historian of the early modern Ottoman Empire, with a particular interest in the cultural and political history of science and divination, inter-cultural exchanges of knowledge in early modern Islamicate world, the history of book and readers in Islamic manuscript culture, and the social history of scholarly world. He is currently working on two book projects. The first, based on his dissertation entitled “Astrology in the Service of the Empire: Knowledge, Prognostication, and Politics at the Ottoman Court, 1450s-1550s”, examines the role of astrology and cognate sciences in the early modern Ottoman/Islamicate intellectual and imperial domain. The second book project, a micro historical study of a mid-sixteenth-century Ottoman scholar, aims to unearth the social and emotional world of learned individuals in the face of changing bureaucratic realities. For more frequent updates, see here

Prior to joining Columbia University, he taught courses on Ottoman history and paleography at Leiden University during the academic year 2016-2017.


  • Contemporary Civilization I
  • Contemporary Civilization II
  • Topics in Ottoman History 1300-1700


  • Mellon Post-Doctoral Fellowship in Humanities, McGill University (2016-2018) (Declined).
  • Provost’s Dissertation Completion Fellowship, University of Chicago (2015-2016).
  • Stuart Tave Teaching Fellowship, University of Chicago (2015-2016).
  • SSRC International Dissertation Research Fellowship (2014-2015).
  • American Research Institute in Turkey (ARIT) Dissertation Fellowship (2013-2014).
  • Newberry Library Dissertation Seminar for Historians Fellowship (2012-2013).
  • University of Chicago Graduate Studies Fellowship (2008-2013).
  • The Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey Fellowship (2006-2008).


“Reading the Stars at the Ottoman Court: Bāyezīd II (r. 886/1481-918/1512) and his Celestial Interests,” Arabica 64/3-4 (2017): 557-608 [special issue New Perspectives on Islamicate Occultism (13th-17th Centuries), eds. Matthew Melvin-Koushki & Noah Gardiner].

“Practicing Astral Magic in Sixteenth-Century Ottoman Istanbul: A Treatise on Talismans attributed to Ibn Kemāl (d. 1534),” Journal of Magic, Ritual, and Witchcraft12 (2017): 66- 88.

“Rasattan Takvime: 15. ve 16. Yüzyıllarda Osmanlı Dünyasında Astrolojinin Yeri Üzerine Bazı Gözlemler,” [From Astronomical Observations to Almanac Prognostications: Revisiting the Role of Astrology in the fifteenth-and sixteenth-century Ottoman World] in Osmanlı’da İlim ve Fikir Dünyası, ed. Ömer Mahir Alper et al. (Istanbul: Klasik, 2016), 227-250.

“A Mirror for Princes, A Fiction for Readers: Habname of Veysi and Dream Narratives in Ottoman-Turkish Literature,” Journal of Turkish Literature 8 (2011): 41-64.