University of Minnesota
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Giancarlo Casale

History 1237 HellerH 271 19th Ave S

Department Affiliations


I am a specialist in the history of the early modern Ottoman empire, although I also have interests in the history of geography and cartography, global exploration, and comparative empires. My first book, "The Ottoman Age of Exploration," was about the history of Ottoman expansion in the Indian Ocean during the sixteenth century. Based on extensive research in the archives of both Turkey and Portugal, it explored the ways in which the growth of the Ottoman Empire was part of the same historical process that witnessed the expansion of numerous other imperial powers, ranging from the overseas empires of Spain and Portugal to rival Islamic states like Mughal India and Safavid Iran. My next major project, tentatively titled "Curiosity and Intolerance: The Paradox of Early Modernity," is a comparative study of the development of ethnographic modes of writing in early modern Europe and the Ottoman Empire. At the same time I am also engaged in several smaller research projects on topics including corsairs and the development of Ottoman naval technology, a geo-historical study of the earthquake of Dubrovnik in 1667, and "Ottoman Humanism." Since 2011, I have also served as the co-executive editor (with Nabil Matar) of the Journal of Early Modern History


  • Ottoman Empire
  • Pre-modern and early modern world history

Educational Background

  • Ph.D.: Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts, 2004.


  • Casale, Giancarlo. “Seeing the Past: Maps and Ottoman Historical Consciousness,” in Erdem Çipa and Emine Fetvac?, Writing History at the Ottoman Court: Editing the Past, Fashioning the Future (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2013), 80-99.
  • Casale, Giancarlo. “From Hungary to Southeast Asia: The Ali Macar Reis Atlas in Global Perspective,” The Journal of Ottoman Studies 39/1 (2012): 55-62 Download
  • Casale, Giancarlo. “Imperial Smackdown: The Portuguese between Imamate and Caliphate in the Persian Gulf,” in Rudi Matthee and Jorge Flores, eds., Portugal, The Persian Gulf, and Safavid Persia (Leuven: Peeters, 2011), 177-90. Download
  • Casale, Giancarlo. “16 Yüyila ait Türkçe Dünya Haritasinda Avrupa Düsüncesi,” in Dejanirah Couto, ed., Harp ve Sulh: Avrupa ve Osmanlilar, trans. Sirin Tekeli (Istanbul: Kitap Yayinevi, 2010), 57-82. Download
  • Casale, Giancarlo, Carla Rahn Phillips, Lisa Norling. "Introduction to 'The Social History of the Sea' Special Issue." Journal of Early Modern History 14/1-2 (2010): 1-7.
  • Casale, Giancarlo. The Ottoman Age of Exploration. Oxford University Press, 2010.
  • Casale, Giancarlo. "Global Politics in the 1580s: One Canal, Twenty Thousand Cannibals, and an Ottoman Plot to Rule the World." Journal of World History 18 (2007): 267-296. Download
  • Casale, Giancarlo. "The Ethnic Composition of Ottoman Ship Crews and the 'Rumi Challenge' to Portuguese Identity." Medieval Encounters 13 (2007): 122-144. Download
  • Casale, Giancarlo. "The Ottoman 'Discovery' of the Indian Ocean in the 16th Century." Seascapes: Maritime Histories, Global Cultures, and Trans-Oceanic Exchanges (2007): 87-104.
  • Casale, Giancarlo. "The Ottoman Administration of the Spice Trade in the Sixteenth-Century Red Sea and Persian Gulf." Journal of the Economic and Social History of the Orient 49 49/2 (2006): 170-198. Download
  • Casale, Giancarlo. "His Majesty's Servant Lutfi: The career of a previously unknown sixteenth-century Ottoman envoy to Sumatra based on an account of his travels from...." Turcica 37 (2005): 43-81. Download
  • Casale, Giancarlo. "An Ottoman Intelligence Report from the Mid Sixteenth-Century Indian Ocean." Journal of Turkish Studies 31/1 (2007): 181-88. Download
  • Casale, Giancarlo. "Ottoman 'Guerre de Course' and the Intercontinental Spice Trade." Itinerario 32/1 (2008): 59-79. Download

Professional Activities

  • Executive Editor: Journal of Early Modern History
  • Editorial Board Member: IJMES


  • McKnight Land Grant Professorship, 2009 - 2011
  • Koc Senior Research Fellow in Anatolian Civilizations, Spring 2009
  • Institute for Advanced Studies Fellowship, University of Minnesota, Fall 2008
  • NEH/ARIT Post-Doctoral Fellow, 2004 - 2005
  • Fulbright-Hayes Research Fellow, 2002 - 2003
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Featured Faculty

  • Prof. Ruggles Chosen to Lead Population Association of America (PAA)

    Prof. Steve Ruggles has been chosen president-elect of the Population Association of America (PAA) He will be the first historian ever to lead that organization (more typically its presidents have been sociologists or economists). Steve will serve as PAA president-elect in 2014 and president in 2015.

    This honor is recognition of the great work that Steve has done both in his own research and in supporting the work of other scholars through his work with the Minnesota Population Center. Congratulations, Prof. Ruggles!

    Learn more about the Population Association of America (PAA)

    March 15th, 2014
  • Digital Research Projects by HIST 3959 Students

    In Fall 2013, HIST 3959 - How to Do History was taught by Prof. Donna Gabaccia with a focus on digital history research projects. One additional feature of HIST 3959 this fall was that six graduate students earned graduate credit by working with the undergraduate groups as "project managers."

    Here is a sample of innovative projects from class:

    The Pacific Railroad Surveyors
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    December 13th, 2013
  • Major Awards for History Profs. Kevin Murphy, Barbara Welke, Donna Gabaccia (2), Kay Reyerson, Elaine Tyler May

    It has been a season for great honors and accomplishments for our faculty. Congratulations to all!

    Donna Gabaccia is one of the recipients of the 2013 University Outstanding Community Service Award
    Donna Gabaccia has been awarded the Theodore Saloutos Memorial Book Award of the Immigration and Ethnic History Society for Foreign Relations: American Immigration in Global Perspective.
    Elaine Tyler May has been awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship for 2013 by The John Simon Guggenheim Foundation.
    Kevin Murphy is a 2013 recipient of the UofM's Award for Outstanding Contributions to Postbaccalaureate, Graduate, and Professional Education.
    Kay Reyerson has been awarded the Robert L. Kindrick-CARA Award for Outstanding Service to Medieval Studies by the Medieval Academy.
    Barbara Welke has been named one of the new Distinguished McKnight University Professors.

    April 3rd, 2013

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