Amy Singer

Professor Amy Singer (Ph.D, Princeton University, 1989) teaches Ottoman and Turkish History at Tel Aviv University. My research began with an in-depth study of the relations between officials and peasants around Ottoman Jerusalem (Palestinian peasants and Ottoman officials, 1994).

From the documentary materials of this study there emerged another story, that of the imperial endowment (waqf) for a public kitchen (imaret) established in Jerusalem in the mid-sixteenth century (Constructing Ottoman Beneficence, 2002). The study of one endowment prompted a more general interrogation of waqf and charitable-philanthropic practices in the Ottoman empire and in Islamic societies in the broadest sense (Charity in Islamic Societies, 2008). This study also engaged with contemporary issues and with Islamic communities around the world, as well as with broader questions about charitable giving and philanthropic endeavors. At present, my research focuses on Ottoman public kitchens and on the city of Edirne (Adrianople), the lesser studied capital of the Ottoman Empire.

My research often takes me to Turkey, where I have lived for extended periods of time. I have also taught in Istanbul, as well as in Paris, Bologna and Crete.