In this talk, Heather J. Sharkey, Associate Professor in the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations at the University of Pennsylvania and author of A History of Muslim, Christians, and Jews in the Middle East, will examine the history of relations among Muslims, Christians, and Jews in the pre-World War I, Ottoman Middle East. She will assess the role that religion played – and did not play – in shaping individual and group identities, and in propelling events. At the same time, reflecting on issues of method – namely, on how we tell a history like this one and for whom we try to tell it – she will discuss the use of material and sensory culture to study how people mingled in everyday life.
Sharkey received her Ph.D. in History from Princeton University after conducting research abroad on a Fulbright-Hays fellowship. As the recipient of a Marshall Scholarship from the British government, she earned an M.Phil. degree in Modern Middle Eastern Studies from the University of Durham in England. Sharkey also earned a B.A. in Anthropology, summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa, from Yale University. Before joining the Penn faculty in 2002, she taught at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), and Trinity College in Connecticut.
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