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Zeynep Ecem Pulas




Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg
Historisches Seminar
Lehrstuhl für Neuere und Neueste Geschichte Westeuropas
79085 Freiburg im Breisgau

E-Mail: ecempulas@gmail.com

Academic Career
Grants and Awards
Ph.D. Project
Conferences, Workshops and Presentations
Professional Experience
Research Languages



Academic Career

Berlin, Germany
Expected September 2021
Free University Berlin/ Humboldt University Berlin
Master of Arts, Global History
Thesis: “New Patterns of Time, Work and Resistance in the Silk Reeling Factories of Bursa 1850-1915”
Istanbul, Turkey
May 2016
Istanbul Bilgi University, Faculty of Arts and Science
Bachelor of Arts with Honors, History; IR Double Major
Cum Laude
Edinburgh, Scotland
University of Edinburgh, Faculty of Philosophy
Erasmus Exchange
Istanbul, Turkey
June 2010
Üsküdar Anadolu Highschool
Cum Laude



Grants and Awards

2019 “Imperial History in a Global Age”, HSE Summer School Grant
(Free University Berlin)
2010-16 Full Tuition Fee Waiver Scholarship for Undergraduate
(Istanbul Bilgi University)
2011 Summer Language School Bursary for University of Liverpool
(Istanbul Bilgi University)
2010-14 Undergraduate Bursary for Students with High Academic Performance
(The Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey)



Ph.D. Project

Synchronizing the Empire: Technological Infrastructures and Imperial Imaginaries in the Late Ottoman Empire, 1855-1914

This research explores how the Ottomans’ use of modern technology, namely, telegraph and railway, paved the way to new forms of collective thinking about the past and imagining the future of the Empire. Whereas railways created physical unification of the Empire, the telegraph created temporal unification. Beyond its practical use, however, technology had also an imaginative use. These technologies became vehicles through which social actors articulated their expectations, grievances as well as hopes for the future. These imaginations were reflective of the Empire's anxieties in keeping pace with Europe and the shifting global economic and political order. By situating railway and telegraph networks within the wider scope of turn of the century imperialism and capitalism, as well as within the discourse of “civilization” and “progress” I hope to find answers of the following questions:

How did Ottomans understand and utilize modern technologies — namely telegraph and railway, and to what extent their understandings were subjected to class hierarchies? How did these technologies become part of new ways of thinking—about past, present and future and the Ottoman society at large? How do the Ottoman transport and communication networks relate to the global technological change in the nineteenth-century?

This project contributes to the burgeoning field of the social history of telegraph and railway in the Ottoman Empire. It foregrounds the Ottoman agency and decision making in technology in use. Moreover, by operationalizing the term socitechnological imaginary which is “collectively held, institutionally stabilized, and publicly performed visions of desirable futures...attainable through technology.” this project unravels the ways in which Ottoman actors used these technologies to envision a future for the Empire, for society and attain their collective social goals. By doing so, it treats modern technology as an integral part of the history of late Ottoman modernization, rather than as an independent force that affects the society.




  New Patterns of Time, Work and Resistance in the Silk Reeling Factories of Bursa 1850-1915 (Forthcoming MA Thesis)
Free University/Humboldt University, Berlin, Germany
2021 Factories Against the Clock: Time-discipline and Resistance in the Silk Reeling Factories of Bursa 1850-1915
Published by Global Histories Graduate Journal.
2015-16 “Beşir Fuad: The World of an Ottoman Materialist” (BA Honors Thesis)
Istanbul Bilgi University



Conferences, Workshops and Presentations

2021 Middle East Studies Association Annual Meeting
Accepted Paper: “Time-discipline and Resistance in Kavala Tobacco and Bursa Silk Factories (1850-1910)”
2019 Law and Sexuality Graduate Conference, Free University Berlin
Project: Ottoman Women’s Movement and Islamic Morality
2016 Undergraduate Research Conference
Istanbul Bilgi University
Project: “Beşir Fuad: The World of an Ottoman Materialist” (Honors Thesis)



Professional Experience

August 2020 - Now Student Assistant
DFG-Projekt „Hannah Arendt. Kritische Gesamtausgabe“ Free University Berlin
February 2018 - Now Student Assistant
re:work (IGK Work and Human Life Cycle in Global History Research Center) Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Berlin
September 2011 - March 2014 Student Assistant
Prof. Dr. Suraiya Faroqhi at Department of History at Istanbul Bilgi University, Turkey



Research Languages

  • Turkish (native)
  • English (Proficient)
  • German (Advanced)
  • French (Intermediate)
  • Ottoman Turkish (Upper intermediate)
Benutzerspezifische Werkzeuge