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Queen Mary Academic Receives Prestigious Philip Leverhulme Prize

In a momentous announcement, Dr Nil Palabiyik, a distinguished Lecturer in Medieval and Early Modern Studies at the School of English and Drama, has emerged as one of the esteemed laureates of the 2023 Philip Leverhulme Prize.

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Selected from an extensive pool of over 400 nominations, Dr Palabiyik is among a select group of 30 recipients of the 2023 Philip Leverhulme Prize, recognised for her groundbreaking work in the field of oriental studies in early modern Europe.

Her research transcends conventional boundaries, converging religious history with the intricate world of manuscript and print culture, with a specific focus on the interactions between the Ottoman Empire and Europe during the early modern era.

Commenting on the award Dr Palabiyik said: "As an academic, my journey into the fascinating world of oriental studies in early modern Europe has been incredibly rewarding. I am deeply honoured to be a recipient of the 2023 Philip Leverhulme Prize, and I am excited to embark on this research journey that promises to illuminate the connections between the Ottoman Empire and Europe, shedding light on their profound impact on Western thought and scholarship."

Dr Palabiyik's scholarly contributions have induced a paradigm shift in two vital aspects of the interaction between East and West: Greek printing and inter-confessional rivalries within the Ottoman Empire, and the rise of oriental learning in Europe during the early seventeenth century.

With the generous funding from the Leverhulme Trust, Dr Palabiyik is poised to delve deeper into the development of oriental studies in the British Isles and Ireland. Her research will encompass a diverse array of materials, including Turkish Bible translations, grammars, dictionaries, and Sufi literature. The primary objective of this project is to trace the profound influence of Ottoman literature – ranging from popular legends to philosophical treatises – on Western intellectual thought and university education during the early modern period.

In today's complex political landscape, characterised by escalating tensions between the West and the Middle East, historical investigations that reveal the lesser-known cultural and intellectual connections between Europe and the Islamic world hold unprecedented relevance.

Dr Palabiyik's publications offer a compelling narrative, shedding light not only on conflicts and rivalries but also on the profound curiosity and collaboration that existed among scholars and theologians across the globe.

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