Professor Marc David Baer

Professor Marc David Baer

Professor

Department of International History

Telephone
+44 (0)20 7849 4975
Room No
SAR.3.17
Office Hours
Wednesday, 12.15pm to 2.15pm
Languages
English, German, Turkish
Key Expertise
Early Modern and Modern Europe and Middle East

About me

Marc David Baer (PhD, History, University of Chicago) is Professor of International History at the London School of Economics and Political Science. He is the author of five books: Honored by the Glory of Islam: Conversion and Conquest in Ottoman Europe (New York: Oxford University Press, 2008), winner, Albert Hourani Prize, Middle East Studies Association of North America, Best Book in Middle East Studies, translated into Turkish as IV. Mehmet Döneminde Osmanlı Avrupa'sında İhtida ve Fetih(Istanbul: Hil, 2010); The Dönme: Jewish Converts, Muslim Revolutionaries, and Secular Turks (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2010), translated into Turkish as Selânikli Dönmeler: Musevilikten Dönenler, Müslüman Devrimciler, ve Laik Türkler (Istanbul: Doğan, 2011), to be published in Greek translation in 2018; At Meydanı'nda Ölüm: 17. Yüzyıl İstanbul'unda Toplumsal Cinsiyet, Hoşgörü veİhtida (Death on the Hippodrome: Gender, Tolerance, and Conversion in 17th century Istanbul) (Istanbul: Koç Yayınları, 2016); and the forthcoming German, Jewish, Muslim, Gay: The Life and Times of Hugo Marcus and Sultanic Saviors and Tolerant Turks: Writing Ottoman Jewish History, Denying the Armenian Genocide.

In addition, he has published works on Turks in Germany including “Mistaken for Jews: Turkish PhD Students in Nazi Germany” (German Studies Review) and “Turk and Jew in Berlin: The First Turkish Migration to Berlin and the Shoah” (Comparative Studies in Society & History) as well as German-Jewish converts to Islam including “Protestant Islam in Weimar Germany: Hugo Marcus and ‘The Message of the Holy Prophet Muhammad to Europe.’” (New German Critique) and “Muslim Encounters with Nazism and the Holocaust: The Ahmadi of Berlin and German-Jewish Convert to Islam Hugo Marcus" (The American Historical Review).

Marc David Baer two forthcoming books will be released in 2020. The first is entitled German, Jewish, Muslim, Gay: The Life and Times of Hugo Marcus in the Religion, Culture, and Public Life series with Columbia University Press (March 2020). Hugo Marcus (1880-1966) was born a German-Jew, but converted to Islam, becoming one of the most prominent Muslims in Germany prior to the Second World War. He was also a gay man who never called himself so but fought for homosexual rights and wrote queer fiction under the pen name Hans Alienus during his decades of exile. Baer uses Marcus’s life and work to shed new light on a striking range of subjects, including German Jewish history and anti-Semitism, Islam in Europe, Muslim-Jewish relations, and the history of the gay rights struggle. He explores how Marcus created a unique synthesis of being German, gay and Muslim that positioned Goethe as an intellectual and spiritual model. Marcus’s life offers a new perspective on notions of sexuality and competing conceptions of gay identity in the multilayered world of interwar and postwar Europe.

The second book will be released in April 2020 with the Indiana Series in Sephardi and Mizrahi Studies, Indiana University Press. In Sultanic Saviors and Tolerant Turks: Writing Ottoman Jewish History, Denying the Armenian Genocide, Baer confronts long-standing convictions about harmonious Turkish-Jewish relations to reflect on what moral responsibility the descendants of the victims of one genocide have to the descendants and victims of another. He delves into the history of Muslim-Jewish relations in the Ottoman Empire and Turkey to tease out the origin of these many tangled truths. In this, he aims to bring about reconciliation between Jews, Muslims, and Christians, not only to face inconvenient historical facts, but to confront it and come to terms with it. By looking at the complexities of interreligious relations, Holocaust denial, democide and ethnic cleansing, and confronting some long-standing historical stereotypes, Baer sets out to tell a new history that goes against Turkish antisemitism and admits to the Armenian genocide.

Other titles: Coordinator of MSc Dissertations (HY498/HY499)

Expertise Details

Early Modern and Modern Europe and Middle East; Ottoman Empire; Turkey; Germany

Teaching & supervision

Professor Marc David Baer usually teaches the following courses in the Department:

At undergraduate level:

HY118: Faith, Power and Revolution: Europe and the Wider World, c.1500-c.1800 (taught jointly with other members of the Department)

HY247: The History of Modern Turkey, 1789 to the Present

At postgraduate level:

HY459: The Ottoman Empire and its Legacy, 1299-1950

HY498/HY499: Dissertation

Professor Baer is supervising the following PhD students:

 Research student  Provisional thesis title
Yener Bayar The Life and Work of Mustafa Reshid Pasha, Nineteenth Century Ottoman Reformer
Sinan Ekim Towards a “New” Turkishness: Islam, Education and the Making of the “Good Citizen” in the 1950s

Publications

Professor Marc David Baer’s research focuses on the connected histories of Christians, Jews, and Muslims in European and Middle Eastern history, from the early modern era to the modern.

His first book, Honored by the Glory of Islam: Conversion and Conquest in Ottoman Europe (Oxford, 2008, Turkish translation, IV. Mehmet Döneminde Osmanlı Avrupasında İhtida ve Fetih, Hil, 2010), analyzes how Muslim proselytizers conceived and practiced converting other Muslims, as well as Christians and Jews to their interpretation of Islam. Honored by the Glory of Islam was awarded the Albert Hourani Prize of the Middle East Studies Association of North America as the best book in Middle East Studies, 2008. The monograph was also short listed as the best first book in the History of Religions by the American Academy of Religion, 2009. He ends Honored by the Glory of Islam with the conversion to Islam of a group of messianic Jews in seventeenth-century Ottoman Salonika, which is the focus of his second monograph, The Dönme: Jewish Converts, Muslim Revolutionaries, and Secular Turks (Stanford, 2010, Turkish translation, Selânikli Dönmeler: Musevilikten Dönenler, Müslüman Devrimciler, ve Laik Türkler, Doğan, 2011). The Dönme is the first complete history of a secretive Ottoman community from its origins to its dissolution in twentieth-century Istanbul. The Dönme was named finalist, Sephardic Culture category at the National Jewish Book Awards, 2010.

Dr Baer's latest book is called At Meydanı’nda Ölüm: 17. Yüzyıl İstanbul'unda Toplumsal Cinsiyet, Hoşgörü ve İhtida (Death on theHippodrome: Gender, Tolerance, and Conversion in 17th century Istanbul). It was published in Turkish in Istanbul by Koç Yayınları in 2016.

His forthcoming books, both set to be released in 2020, are called German, Jewish, Muslim, Gay: The Life and Times of Hugo Marcus (Columbia University Press) and Sultanic Saviors and Tolerant Turks: Writing Ottoman Jewish History, Denying the Armenian Genocide (Indiana University Press).

In addition to these monographs, he has written a number of academic articles, including:

Books

 BaerGermanJewishMuslimGay German, Jewish, Muslim, Gay: The Life and Times of Hugo Marcus (forthcoming, 2020)
 BaerSultanicSaviorsTolerantTurks Sultanic Saviours and Tolerant Turks: Writing Ottoman Jewish History, Denying the Armenian Genocide (forthcoming, 2020)
 BaerAtmeydaninda At Meydanı’nda Ölüm: 17. Yüzyıl İstanbul'unda Toplumsal Cinsiyet, Hoşgörü ve İhtida [Death on theHippodrome: Gender, Tolerance, and Conversion in 17th century Istanbul] (2016)
 BaerTheDonme  The Dönme: Jewish Converts, Muslim Revolutionaries, and Secular Turks (2010)
 BaerHonouredGlory  Honored by the Glory of Islam: Conversion and Conquest in Ottoman Europe (2008)

News & media

2018


Leverhulme Trust Research Fellowship awarded

Professor Baer was awarded a Leverhulme Trust Research Fellowship for 2018-19. This award will allow Professor Baer, a scholar of the connected histories of Christians, Jews, and Muslims in Europe and Middle East, from the early modern era to the modern, to complete his work on the project “Guided by Goethe: German-Jewish Gay Muslim Writer Hugo Marcus, 1880-1966”. German Jew Hugo Marcus (1880-1966) is the only man to have played an important role in the world’s first gay rights movement and in establishing Islam in Europe. His life and work shed new light on the history of Islam in Europe, Muslim-Jewish relations, and the gay rights struggle. Despite his significance, Marcus is relatively unknown. What is published about him does not incorporate his being German, Jewish, Muslim, and gay. Professor Baer plans to utilise his twelve-month Leverhulme Research Fellowship to write the first biography of Marcus, based on his German-language publications, speeches, private correspondence, and personal documents.


2017


Taz editorial

On 10 June, Professor Baer contributed an editorial article to the Berlin portal Taz on the Turkish President Recep Erdogan's antisemitic patterns of thought. Read it in the publication's website [in german].


2016


New book

Professor Marc David Baer's new book was released in May 2016. The book, published in Turkish, is a collection of his articles and it’s called At Meydanı’nda Ölüm: 17. Yüzyıl İstanbul'unda Toplumsal Cinsiyet, Hoşgörü ve İhtida (Death on theHippodrome: Gender, Tolerance, and Conversion in 17th century Istanbul). Read more about it.


2015


Professor Marc David Baer at CRASSH

Professor Marc Baer gave a presentation on "Conspiracy Theories about Jews in the Ottoman Empire and Turkey" on 24 November 2015 at the Centre for Research in the Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities, University of Cambridge. The event was part of a series of public talks from the Leverhulme-funded project Conspiracy and Democracy. Read more about the event.

linedivider

Professor Marc David Baer's event in Oxford

Professor Marc David Baer gave a lecture at the Oxford Centre for Hebrew and Jewish Studies on 26 October 2015. The event was part of the David Patterson Lectures. Professor Baer talked about "Jewish accounts of the Ottomans: From Sultanic Saviours to Turkish Rescuers". Read more about the lecture series.