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Doug HowardDoug Howard with really good coffee

Professor, History

Office: Hiemenga Hall 476

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Educational background

B.A., History, Western Michigan University
M.A., History, Indiana University
Ph.D., Uralic and Altaic Studies, Indiana University

Research and professional interests

My research field is the history of the Ottoman Empire. I have published a few articles on how the Ottoman feudal cavalry worked, and on Ottoman scribes and the literary genre called “Advice for Kings.” I have also have a book on the history of Turkey from antiquity to modern times. At Calvin I teach courses on early world history, Middle Eastern societies, India, and U.S.-Middle East relations.

Every other year I organize and teach a wonderful off-campus interim course in Turkey. Look for it in interim 2017.

Recent activities

I am in the final stages of a years-long book project, tentatively titled Amid the Ruins: A History of the Ottoman Empire, 1300-1924. In the book I write about how humans cope with calamity, suffering, and the passage of time, using the main theme of the Ottoman worldview.

Doug Howard sitting on a canonDuring the next few months, while the book goes to press, I am also trying to finish two other tasks. One is a second edition of my book on Turkey, with a new chapter on the Erdoğan years since 2002. The other is a critical edition and English translation of a seventeenth-century Ottoman “Advice for Kings” treatise. I and a Hungarian colleague, Géza Dávid, who spent last summer at Calvin on a Fulbright fellowship, are collaborating on this project.


Life outside of Calvin College

When I am not working, or even when I am, I like to listen to music, especially Paul Simon and world music of all kinds. I also like to play the piano and write music, watch Detroit Tigers baseball, and sip strong coffee. My wife Sandy and I have four terrific adult children, and we have just become grandparents.

Doug Howard with Turkish girls

Other information

See a partial list of Doug Howard's publications.

Read Doug Howard's posts on Historical Horizons, the history department blog.