Zozan Pehlivan

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1110 Heller Hall
Department of History
271 19th Ave S


Zozan Pehlivan is a historian of the modern Middle East, the Ottoman Empire, and Ottoman Kurdistan whose research and teaching focus on the history of environments, comparative empires, and pastoral nomads. She received her Ph.D. from Queen’s University in Kingston Ontario where her dissertation was awarded an "honorable mention" in 2015-16 dissertation prize competition for its original contribution to the fields of environmental and Middle Eastern historiography. Before joining the University of Minnesota, she held a two-year fellowship at the Indian Ocean World Centre (IOWC) of McGill University, Montréal, Quebec. Dr. Pehlivan is a "collaborator" on a 7-year, $2.5 million SSHRC (Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada) Partnership Grant for the project "Appraising risk, past and present: Interrogating historical data to enhance understanding of environmental crises in the Indian Ocean World." The project aims to investigate six periods of historical and contemporary environmental (e.g. climate change, volcanism, monsoons, cyclones, drought) and human (e.g. famine, disease, conflict, migration) crisis, in order to elucidate past-to-to-present patterns that will help inform current and future risk preparedness and socio-human responses to environmental crises and disasters in the Indian Ocean world.

Educational Background & Specialties

Educational Background

  • Ph.D: History, Queen’s University, Kingston, 2016.
  • M.A.: History, Sabancı University, Istanbul, 2008.
  • B.A.: History, Istanbul Bilgi University, Istanbul, 2006.


  • Environmental History
  • Pastoral Nomadism
  • Animals
  • Modern Middle East
  • Ottoman Empire
Courses Taught
  • History 1011W: Civilization and the Environment: World History to 1500
  • History 1916: Herders and History
  • HIST 1364: Introduction to Global Environmental History
  • HIST 3514: Environmental History of the Middle East and North Africa
  • Pehlivan, Zozan, in Yaşar Tolga Cora, Dzovinar Derderian, and Ali Sipahi (eds). "Abandoned Villages in Diyarbekir Province at the end of the ‘Little Ice Age." The Ottoman East: Trans-regionalism, Fluid Identities and Local Politics in the 19th and 20th Centuries (2016): 223-246. Link
  • Pehlivan, Zozan, Fikret Adanır and Oktay Özel (eds). "Bayezid 1877: Egemen Anlatıda Görünmeyen Katli̇am,” [Bayezid 1877: The Invisibility of a Massacre in the Dominant Narrative] ." 1915: Öncesi ve Sonras?yla Ermeni Siyaseti, Tehcir ve Soyk?r?m [1915: Armenian Politics, Deportations, and Genocide before, during, and after 1915] (2015): 84-91 . Link
  • Pehlivan, Zozan. "El Niño and the Nomads: Global Climate, Local Environment, and the Crisis of Pastoralism in Late Ottoman Kurdistan ." Journal of the Economic and Social History of the Orient 63/3 (in press):
  • Pehlivan, Zozan. ""Küresel Perspektifle Bölgesel Olana Bakmak: Osmanlı Kürdistanı’nın Çevre Tarihi" [Seeing Regional Events from A Global Perspective: Environmental History of Ottoman Kurdistan]." Toplumsal Tarih 312 (2019): 38-43. Link
  • Making Empire by Making Science: Pehlivan, Zozan, H-Environment Roundtable Reviews, 10, no. 1, 10-15, 2020. Link
  • Harry Frank Guggenheim Fellowship, 2020 - 2021
  • Andrew W. Mellon Fellowship in the Humanities, 2011 - 2012