Charles Theodore Kellogg and Bertie K. Hawver Kellogg Chair of Sociology and Religion
Academic Program Affiliation(s): Interdisciplinary Study of Religions, Sociology
Biography:Karen Barkey’s research has been engaged in the comparative and historical study of the state, with special focus on its transformation over time. Her work has explored state society relations, peasant movements, banditry, and opposition and dissent organized around the state. Her main empirical site has been the Ottoman Empire, in comparison with France and the Habsburg and Russian Empires. She also pays attention to the Roman and Byzantine worlds as important predecessors of the Ottomans. Her book Empire of Difference (Cambridge University Press, 2008) explores issues such as diversity, the role of religion in politics, Islam and the state as well as the manner in which the Sunni-Shi’a divide operated during the tenure of the Ottoman Empire—topics that remain relevant today. Barkey, who was born in Istanbul, is also coauthor of Choreography of Sacred Spaces: State, Religion and Conflict Resolution (Columbia University Press, 2014), which explores the history of shared religious spaces in the Balkans, Anatolia, and Palestine/Israel, regions once under Ottoman rule. Recent publications include Negotiating Democracy and Religious Pluralism: India, Pakistan and Turkey (Oxford University Press, 2021) and Shared Sacred Sites: A Contemporary Pilgrimage (City University of New York Publications, 2018). Barkey was awarded the Germaine Tillion Chair of Mediterranean Studies, IMéRA, Marseille for 2021–2022, and has served as professor of sociology at the University of California, Berkeley; Haas Distinguished Chair of Religious Diversity at the Othering and Belonging Institute; director of the Center for the Study of Democracy, Toleration, and Religion; and codirector of the Berkeley Center for the Study of Religion. She also taught at Columbia University, where she was director of the Institute for Religion, Culture, and Public Life.
BA, Bryn Mawr College; MA, University of Washington; PhD, University of Chicago. At Bard since 2021.