I am a specialist in the history of the early modern Ottoman empire, although I also have interests in the history of geography and cartography, global exploration, and comparative empires. My first book, "The Ottoman Age of Exploration" (Oxford, 2010) was about the history of Ottoman expansion in the Indian Ocean during the fifteenth and sixteenth century. Based on extensive research in the archives of both Turkey and Portugal, it explored the ways in which the growth of the Ottoman Empire was part of the same historical process that witnessed the expansion of numerous other imperial powers, ranging from the overseas empires of Spain and Portugal to rival Islamic states like Mughal India and Safavid Iran.
Currently, I am completing work on my second monograph, tentatively titled "Muslim Rome: Horizons of the Renaissance in the Ottoman Mediterranean." The entry point for this study is the simple but surprising fact that the elites of the early modern Ottoman empire referred to themselves not as "Ottomans" or "Turks," but rather "Romans." My book asks to what extent this self-conception as "Roman" intersected with contemporary ideas in Renaissance Italy about the heritage of classical Greco-Roman antiquity.
In addition to my work on this book, I am also involved in several smaller projects, including a study of ethnographic modes of writing in Ottoman Turkish, the development of Ottoman naval technology, and a geo-historical study of the earthquake of Dubrovnik in 1667. Since 2011, I have also served as the co-executive editor (with Nabil Matar) of the Journal of Early Modern History