My research deals with fiscal administration in the Ottoman Empire and its connections with political legitimation, and I set my work on the Ottomans within the wider context of the early modern period in Europe and, to a lesser extent, states farther east. My current project examines Ottoman elite conflict and elite turnover in the seventeenth century through the dual lenses of advice literature and fiscal documents. I also have projects in the works on the rise of the empire and on elite-peasant relations.
I have taught Middle Eastern history at the University of Arizona since 1989. Besides the Ottoman Empire, areas of focus include women's history in the Islamic world, the comparative history of the early modern Mediterranean, world history, and historiography. In my classes, I ask my students to question received wisdom and stereotypes about the Muslim world and to create their own narratives and develop their own positions independent of the textbook, which, of course, demands a great deal of careful reading and writing.