Re-examining the place of textuality in Islamic Studies

Plague in the Global Context

Nukhet Varlik


Sara Ameri

July 18, 2021


Dr. Nukhet Varlik discusses the history of the plague and epidemic diseases in general. She elaborates on how some of the terminology used in plague studies still carries a colonial legacy and how the discovery of the pathogen responsible for the bubonic plague has helped counter some of these biased and disconnected accounts of the disease. She also stresses the importance of interdisciplinarity not only in interpreting sources but also in the future direction of the field.

Host: Sara Ameri
Recorded: Jun 24, 2021

Nukhet Varlik

Nükhet Varlık is Associate Professor of History at Rutgers University–Newark and the University of South Carolina. She is a historian of the Ottoman Empire interested in disease, medicine, and public health. She is the author of award-winning Plague and Empire in the Early Modern Mediterranean World: The Ottoman Experience, 1347–1600 and editor of Plague and Contagion in the Islamic Mediterranean. She is also the Editor of the Journal of the Ottoman and Turkish Studies Association (JOTSA). Additionally, she is involved in developing the Black Death Digital Archive and contributing to multidisciplinary research projects that incorporate perspectives from palaeogenetics, bioarchaeology, disease ecology, and climate science into historical inquiry.

Sara Ameri

Sara Ameri is a PhD Candidate at the University of Toronto, Department of English. Her research focuses on the medieval plague and its function and representation in late medieval devotional writings. She is also a research assistant in the Old Books New Science and Reading Muslims projects at the University of Toronto, with interest in the global Middle Ages and critical theory.

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