Anatolian Borderlands

Dr. Petrovich works on post-Mongol political cultures of the Islamic world between the 1258 conquest of Baghdad by Hülegü, the grandson of Chinggis Khan, and the 1514 battle of Çaldıran, when the nomadic ethos purportedly yielded to the sedentary one. She seeks to examine and integrate a wide range of written sources, including those produced by Muslim courtly elites and religious scholars (in Arabic, Persian, and varieties of Anatolian and central Asian Turkic), local Christian communities (in Byzantine Greek, Armenian, Georgian and Syriac), and European travelers (mostly in Latin, Italian, French and Spanish, and occasionally southern and eastern Slavic).

The focus of her projected monograph will be the period between the 14th and the 16th centuries, elucidating the pastoralist background of state formation and ethnogenesis in the uplands of eastern Anatolia and northern Iraq, and the layered systems of power which emerged within that setting, emanating as far as the Indian Ocean. A re-evaluation of those borderlands, previously marginalised by most nationalist historians, should result in a global vision, encompassing the paradoxical nature of apparent binaries such as universalism versus particularism, religious fervor versus confessional tolerance, and coercion versus cooptation.