Amy Singer appointed Hassenfeld Chair in Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies

February 9, 2018

Leading scholar of Ottoman history, Amy Singer, will fill the Sylvia K. Hassenfeld Chair position in Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies at Brandeis University in the summer of 2019, according to a BrandeisNOW article.

Previously serving as a professor at Tel Aviv University, Singer received her Ph.D. from Princeton in 1989. Singer obtained her bachelor’s degree from Princeton in Near Eastern studies in 1985, and her bachelors of the arts in history at Swarthmore College in 1982, according to Singer’s CV.

Singer is researching Edirne, the second capital of the Ottoman Empire, according to BrandeisNOW. Singer is also the president of the Ottoman and Turkish Studies Association and has been the recipient of many fellowships and grants and the author of dozens of articles.

Singer often travels to Turkey for her research, and has also taught in various locations including Turkey, Paris, Bologna and Crete, according to Singer’s personal page on the Tel Aviv University website.

Singer has published three books including, “Palestinian Peasants and Ottoman Officials: Rural Administration around Sixteenth-century Jerusalem” and “Constructing Ottoman Beneficence: An Imperial Soup Kitchen in Jerusalem.” In her most recent book, “Charity in Islamic Societies,” Singer explored Muslim charity.

“Amy Singer is a superb scholar, has deep roots within the Israeli academic community, and has earned a strong reputation for mentorship,” said President Ron Liebowitz to BrandeisNOW. “These qualities make her a perfect match for Brandeis. Students and faculty in many areas of study will be enriched by her presence.” In 2017, Professor Paul Jankowski (HIST) led the search to fill the chair which eventually selected Singer. Jankowski was excited about the experience she will bring to Brandeis.

President Sylvia K. Hassenfeld and Vice President Alan G. Hassenfeld of the Hassenfeld Foundation gave a donation that allowed the creation of the Sylvia K. Hassenfeld Chair in Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies in 2002. Kanan Makiya (NEJS) held the Chair until 2016.

Also from Tel Aviv University, Singer’s husband, David S. Katz, is an early modern European history professor and Lessing Institute for European History and Civilization director. He will come to Brandeis as a visiting history professor, alongside Singer.

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