Philip Bockholt was a doctoral candidate at the Berlin Graduate School Muslim Cultures and Societies at Freie Universitaet Berlin, where he completed his PhD in 2018. He studied History and Islamic Studies in Bochum, Münster, Jerusalem, Cairo, Istanbul and Tehran, and received his M.A. degree in Islamic Studies from Freie Universitaet Berlin in 2013. His main academic interests are in history and historiography of the Islamic world in premodern times. The subject of his dissertation is the “Habib al-siyar”, a history book written in Persian at the beginning of the 16th century, and its manuscript tradition.
In his research project, Philip Bockholt will shed light on cultural brokers from the Middle Eastern who lived in various European cities and worked as language teachers, translators, and intellectuals in the early modern age, and have stood in the shadow of history until recently. He will particularly pay attention to the Syrian Christian scholar, translator, and language teacher Salomon Negri (Sulaymān al-Aswad, lived ca. 1665-1729). He aims to reconstruct Negri’s vita and transnational networks, in order to highlight him as a link between Europe and the Ottoman Empire. As such, his project is a contribution to the thriving field of knowledge transfer – in this case, knowledge about the other – across the Ottoman Empire and various European countries.