Elyse Semerdjian is a social historian of the Ottoman Empire whose research focuses on the experiences of women and the empire's Armenian subjects. She has authored “Off the Straight Path”: Illicit Sex, Law, and Community in Ottoman Aleppo (Syracuse University Press, 2008) and Remnants: Embodied Archives of the Armenian Genocide (Stanford University Press, 2023) as well as several articles on gender, Ottoman Armenians, urban history, and law in the Ottoman Empire.
Semerdjian received her M.A. in Middle Eastern Studies from the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor and her Ph.D. in History from Georgetown University. She served as Dumanian Visiting Professor in Armenian Studies in The Department of Near Eastern Cultures and Languages at the University of Chicago and was awarded a Cornell University Society for the Humanities Fellowship on the subject of “Skin” in 2016. In 2022, she received a German Research Grant with the “Religion and Urbanity” Research Group at the University of Erfurt, Germany, to support new research projects on Aleppo. She will begin writing a history of the city's Armenian community from Ottoman rule to the present disappearance of Armenians from the post-war landscape.
- Ph.D. in History, Georgetown University, 2003
- M.A. in Middle Eastern and North African Studies, University of Michigan, 1994
- B.A. in Political Science and Philosophy, Albion College, 1992