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Durham University

Institute of Medieval and Early Modern Studies (IMEMS)


The list below shows Durham University research staff who are members of IMEMS. Click the member's name to see a more detailed biography and department.

We also welcome anyone from outside the University with an interest in our work to join. Membership is free of charge. You will receive invitations to our programme of events, with a weekly emails digest about what is happening in the Insitute and further afield. To join IMEMS contact:

Dr Christine Woodhead

Telephone: +44 (0) 191 33 41074

Contact Dr Christine Woodhead (email at

Christine Woodhead specialises in Ottoman Turkish cultural and literary history during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. Her articles include studies of the central chancery personnel, the court of Murad III (1574-95) and the historiography of his reign. She is currently preparing a study of the letters of the early seventeenth-century Ottoman judge and scholar Azmizade and is working towards an English translation of the history by the late 16th-century Ottoman historian Selaniki.

Teaching Groups

  • Early Modern

Teaching Areas

  • 16th-century Mediterranean world
  • Ottoman empire 1400-1700


Chapter in book

  • Christine Woodhead (2014). Poet, patron and padisah: the Ottoman sultan Murad III (1574-95). In Ambition and anxiety: courts and courtly discourse, c. 700-1600. Giles E.M. Gasper, & John McKinnell Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies, Toronto. 229-49.
  • Christine Woodhead (2014). The gift of letters: correspondence between Nergisi and Veysi. In Kitaplara vakfedilen bir ömre tuhfe İsmail E. Erünsal’a armağan. Aynur, Hatice, Aydın, Bilgin & Ülker, Mustafa Birol Istanbul: Ülke Yayınları. 2: 971-988.
  • Christine Woodhead (2013). Writing to a Grand Vezir: Azmizade Efendi’s letters to Nasuh Paşa, 1611-1614. In Osmanlı’nın izinde: Prof. Dr. Mehmed İpşirli armağanı. İpşirli, Mehmed, Emecen, Feridun M., Keskin, İshak & Ahmetbeyoğlu, Ali Istanbul: Timaş. 485-492.
  • . (2006). Estetik nesir [Literary prose]. In Türk edebiyati tarihi. T.S. Halman Istanbul: T.C. Kültür ve Turizm Bakanlığı Yayınları. 2: 317-25.
  • Woodhead, C (2006). Scribal chaos? Observations on the post of re'isülküttab in the late sixteenth century. In The Ottoman Empire: Myths, Realities and 'Black Holes'. Oktay Özel & Evgenia Kermeli Istanbul, Isis Press. 12.
  • Woodhead, C (2005). Murad III and the historians: representations of Ottoman imperial authority in late 16th century historiography. In Authority and Legitimacy in the Ottoman Empire. Hakan Karateke & Maurus Reinkowski Leiden, Brill. 85-98.
  • Woodhead, C (2000). Puff and patronage: Ottoman takriz-writing and literacy recommendation in the 17th century. In The Balance of Truth. Essays in Honour of Professor Geoffrey Lewis. Ciğdem Balim-Harding & Colin Imber Istanbul, Isis Press. 395-406.
  • Woodhead, C (1999). The Ottoman gazaname: stylistic influences on the writing of campaign narratives. In Great Ottoman Turkish Civilisation, III. Kemal Çiç&ek Ankara, Yeni Türkiye. 55-60.
  • Woodhead, C (1995). Perspectives on Süleyman. In Süleyman the Magnificent and his Age. Metin Kunt & Christine Woodhead Longman. 164-90.
  • Woodhead, C (1994). Ottoman historiography on the Hungarian campaigns: 1596 the Eger fethnamesi. In Proceedings of the VIIIth Conference of the Comité des Études Ottomanes et Pré-Ottomances (CIÉPO), at Pécs, Hungary, 1986. VII CIÉPO Sempozyumu Ankara, Türk Tarih Kurumu. 469-77.
  • Woodhead, C (1992). Research on the Ottoman scribal service, c.1574-1630. In Festgabe an Josef Matuz: Osmanistik - Turkologie - Diplomatik. Christa Fragner & Klaus Schwarz Berlin, Klaus Schwarz Verlag. 311-28.
  • Woodhead, C (1988). The Ottoman art of letter-writing: influences upon the career of the nişanci and prose-stylist Okçuzade (d.1630). In Osmanli araştirmalari, VII-VIII. I. Erunsal, C. Ferrard & C. Woodhead 143-59.

Edited book

  • Woodhead, Christine (2011). The Ottoman world. Routledge Worlds. Abingdon, Oxon: Routledge.
  • Woodhead, C & Metin Kunt (1995). Süleyman the Magnificent and his Age: The Ottoman Empire in the Early Modern World. Longman (Turkish and Polish translations 1998).
  • Woodhead, C & Ismail Erünsal and Christopher Farrard (1988). Osmanli araştirmalari (Journal of Ottoman Studies). VII-VIII, Istanbul, Enderun Kitabevi.

Edited Sources, Research Data Sets, and Databases

  • Woodhead, C (1983). Ta'liki-zade's Şehname-i hümayun: a history of the Ottoman campaign into Hungary 1593-94. Berlin, Klaus Schwarz Verlag.

Journal Article

  • (2008). Consolidating the empire: new views on Ottoman history 1453-1869. English Historical Review 123: 973-87.
  • (2008). Environment, communications and economy in the Ottoman Balkans and eastern Mediterranean. International Journal of Turkish Studies 14: 117-22.
  • After Celalzade: the Ottoman nişancı c.1560-1700 (2007). Journal of Semitic Studies supplement 23: 295-311.
  • Woodhead, Christine (2007). Circles of correspondence: Ottoman letter-writing in the early seventeenth century. Journal of Turkish literature 4: 53-68.
  • Woodhead, Christine (2007). Reading Ottoman sehnames: official historiography in the late sixteenth century. Studia Islamica 104-105: 67-80.
  • Woodhead, C (2002). The history of an Historie: Richard Knolles' Generall Historie of the Turkes 1603-1700. Journal of Turkish Studies 26: 349-57.
  • (1993). Kuru kadı hikayesi: Peçevi, Ömer Seyfettin and the headless corpse. Türkiyat Araştırmaları Dergisi [Konya] 7: 579-89.
  • Woodhead, C (1987). 'The present terrour of the world'? Contemporary views of the Ottoman empire, c.1600. History 72: 20-37.
  • Woodhead, C (1983). An experiment in official historiography: the post of şehnameci in the Ottoman empire, c.1555-1605. Wiener Zeitschrift für die Kunde des Morgenlandes 75: 157-82.
  • Woodhead, C (1982). From scribe to littérateur: the career of a 16th-century Ottoman katib. Bulletin of the British Society for Middle Eastern Studies 9/1: 55-74.