Joshua M. White

Joshua M. White

Associate Professor

Field & Specialties

Early Modern Ottoman Empire and Mediterranean
social, legal, and diplomatic history


Ph.D. University of Michigan, 2012
M.A. University of Michigan, 2007
B.A. Washington University in St. Louis, 2004



Piracy and Law in the Ottoman Mediterranean. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2017.

Articles and Book Chapters

“Slavery, Freedom Suits, and Legal Praxis in the Ottoman Empire, c. 1590-1710.” Comparative Studies in Society and History 65, no. 3 (2023): 526-556.

“Holy Warriors, Rebels, and Thieves: Defining and Regulating Maritime Violence in the Ottoman Mediterranean.” In Piracy in World History, edited by Stefan Eklöf Amirell, Bruce Buchan, and Hans Hägerdal, 149-71. Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press, 2021.

“Piratería, corso y la creación del Mediterráneo otomano” (translated by Vera Moya Sordo). Revista Universitaria de Historia Militar 10, no. 20 (2021): 95-124.

“Slavery, Manumission, and Freedom Suits in the Early Modern Ottoman Empire.” In Slaves and Slave Agency in the Ottoman Empire, edited by Stephan Conermann and Gül Şen, 283-318. Göttingen: V&R Unipress for Bonn University Press, 2020.

“Piracy of the Ottoman Mediterranean: Slave Laundering and Subjecthood.” In The Making of the Modern Mediterranean: Views from the South, edited by Judith Tucker, 95-122. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2019.

“Slave Manumission Documents.” In Christian-Muslim Relations: A Bibliographical History 1500-1900. Vol. 11: Ottoman and Safavid Empires, 1700-1800, edited by David Thomas and John Chesworth, 227-33. Leiden: Brill, 2018.

"Litigating Disputes over Ships and Cargo in Early Modern Ottoman Courts." Quaderni Storici 51, no. 3 (2016): 701-25.

“‘It is Not Halal to Raid Them’: Piracy and Law in the Seventeenth-Century Ottoman Mediterranean.” In Corsairs and Pirates in the Eastern Mediterranean, 15th-19th c., edited by David Starkey and Gelina Harlaftis, 77-94. Athens: Sylvia Ioannou Foundation, 2016.

“Fetva Diplomacy: The Ottoman Şeyhülislam as Trans-Imperial Intermediary.” Journal of Early Modern History 19, no. 2-3 (2015): 199-221.

“Shifting Winds: Piracy, Diplomacy, and Trade in the Ottoman Mediterranean, 1624-1626.” In Well-Connected Domains: Towards an Entangled Ottoman History, edited by Pascal Firges, Tobias Graf, Christian Roth, and Gülay Tulasoğlu, 37-53. The Ottoman Empire and Its Heritage 57. Leiden: Brill, 2014.

Awards & Honors

National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) Fellowship, 2024-2025.
UVA Institute for the Humanities and Global Cultures Mellon Fellowship, 2020-2021.
Mediterranean Seminar Triennial Best Book Prize, Honorable Mention, 2017-2020.
UVA College Fellow, 2018-2020.
ACLS Fellowship, 2015-2016.
NEH - American Research Institute in Turkey (ARIT) Fellowship, 2013.
2012 Arthur Fondiler Award for Best Dissertation in History, University of Michigan.
Mellon/ACLS Dissertation Completion Fellowship, 2011-2012.
CAORC Multi-Country Research Fellowship, 2011.
Fulbright-Hays Doctoral Dissertation Research Fellowship, 2008-2009.
ARIT Department of State Fellowship, 2008.
Title VI FLAS Fellowships (Turkish, Persian), 2006-2008.
CASA Full-Year Fellowship in advanced Arabic at American University in Cairo, 2004-2005.

Courses Taught

I am on research leave for academic year 2024-25. I will return as Director of the Distinguished Majors Program in History in Fall 2025. As Director of the DMP, I convene the third-year special DMP colloquium HIST 4890 in the fall and the fourth-year DMP seminar sequence HIST 4990 and HIST 4991 in the fall and spring, respectively.

I teach undergraduate and graduate courses on the history of the premodern Middle East, Ottoman Empire, and Mediterranean world. Courses I have offered in the past include:

  • EGMT 1540: The Ethics of Piracy, from the High Seas to Torrents (Ethical Engagement Course)
  • HIME 1501: Pirates of the Mediterranean (First-year Seminar)
  • HIME 2001: History of the Middle East and North Africa, c. 500-1500 (Lecture)
  • HIME 3192: From Nomads to Sultans: The Ottoman Empire, c. 1300-1730 (Lecture)
  • HIST 3501: Microhistory (Major Workshop)
  • HIME 4511: Tourist, Pilgrim, Soldier, Spy: Travel and Travel-Writing in the Middle East & Mediterranean (Major Seminar)
  • HIME 5053: Slavery in the Middle East and the Ottoman Empire (Under/grad Seminar)