Gizem Pilavci (Turkey)

Life after Ertegun House

After finishing my MSt in Syriac Studies, I stayed on in Oxford for the DPhil in Oriental Studies, supported by the award of a Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation Armenian Studies Scholarship. My research focuses on Ottoman imperial identity construction across the 19th century. I am using the story of the Ottoman-Armenian Manas family to build an understanding of the relationship between the different groups and social structures comprising the Ottoman state, and how these were disrupted and reshaped in the 19th century. The Manases pursued dual careers in portrait painting and foreign service, and so they can serve as a useful window unto these issues.

Outside of my studies I enjoy calligraphy and gilding, as well as fencing (épée) and I have more recently taken up learning to play the harp.