Findley, Carter Vaughn 1941-
Findley, Carter Vaughn 1941-
Born May 12, 1941, in Atlanta, GA; son of John C. (a merchant) and Elizabeth (a merchant) Findley; married Lucia LaVerne Blackwelder (a researcher), August 31, 1968; children: Madeleine Vaughn, Benjamin Carter. Education: Yale University, B.A., 1963; Harvard University, Ph.D., 1969.
Home—Columbus, OH. Office—Department of History, Ohio State University, 230 West 17th Ave., Columbus, Ohio 43210. E-mail—[email protected]
Ohio State University, Columbus, assistant professor, 1972-79, associate professor of history, 1979—, Humanities Distinguished Professor; Consultant to National Endowment for the Humanities, 1977-78. Military service: U.S. Army, 1969-71; became captain; received Bronze Star.
Fellowships from National Endowment for the Humanities 1971-72, Social Science Research Council, 1976-77, American Research Institute in Turkey, Institute of Turkish Studies, U.S. Information Agency, U.S. Department of Education, National Endowment for the Humanities, 2003-04, and Guggenheim Foundation, 2004-05; Ohio Academy of History Book Award, and M. Fuat Köprülü Book Prize, both 1989, for Ottoman Civil Officialdom: A Social History; Distinguished Scholar Award, Ohio State University, 2000; British-Kuwait Friendships Society Prize for Middle East Studies: The Al Mubarak Book Prize, 2005, for The Turks in World History.
(With John Alexander Murray Rothney) Twentieth-Century World, Houghton Mifflin (Boston, MA), 1986, 6th edition, 2006.
Contributor to Middle East and Far East studies journals.
Carter Vaughn Findley, Humanities Distinguished Professor at Ohio State University, is a respected authority on the history of the Turks. His two books on administrative reform in the late Ottoman Empire, Bureaucratic Reform in the Ottoman Empire: The Sublime Porte, 1789-1922 and Ottoman Civil Officialdom: A Social History, were well-received. The latter title won both the Ohio Academy of History Book Award and the M. Fuat Köprülü Book Prize.
The Turks in World History, a wide-ranging and thorough overview and analysis, received highly positive reviews. Findley rejects the common view that the Turks were caught up in a clash of civilizations, arguing instead that they were successful in moving among civilizations while maintaining their identity. G. Carole Woodall, writing in History: Review of New Books, called the book "a timely, rich, and accessible work that examines the spatial and temporal shifts in Turkic peoples' identity formation and the trajectory from steppe, to empire, to nation-state." Though Middle East Journal contributor Mark L. Stein found some "considerable weaknesses" in the book, such as Findley's omission of "the Kipchak Turk Mamluks in Egypt and Syria" and, more important, his "failure to establish a direct definition of ‘Turk,’" the critic admired much in the book. "By placing his study of the Turks within the larger framework of world history," wrote Stein, "Find- ley admirably shows the significant role they played all across Eurasia." The Turks in World History was awarded the British-Kuwait Friendships Society Prize for Middle East Studies: The Al Mubarak Book Prize.
Findley told CA: "A career of teaching and research about the Islamic world, embarked on with some hesitation in the early sixties, has proven enormously exciting and increasingly worthwhile. I was attracted to this subject by a combination of feelings and needs: the lure of the exotic, a desire for a career in an underworked field, the hope of doing something of practical, contemporary utility, and curiosity to see if I could learn languages more difficult than French and German. Opportunities to study Arabic, to immerse myself deeply in Ottoman and modern Turkish, to do extensive reading and teaching in Islamic history and civilization, to travel widely, and to study in some of the richest manuscript repositories of the Middle East have done a lot to satisfy my original motivations. These experiences have also added to my initial sense of the exotic new ones of familiarity and affection; and it is these feelings, almost as much as substantive knowledge, that I try to convey to my readers and students. To study another civilization, one must empathize with its people; to write effectively about another civilization, one must convey understanding of it with the clarity and immediacy needed to elicit this empathy in one's readers. My major professional goal is to stimulate this kind of awareness in both scholarly and popular audiences."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
American Historical Review, Robert Olson, review of Ottoman Civil Officialdom: A Social History, p. 272.
Canadian Journal of History, December, 1989, J.R. Blackburn, review of Ottoman Civil Officialdom, p. 414.
English Historical Review, April, 2007, Colin Heywood, review of The Turks in World History, p. 516.
History: Review of New Books, March 22, 2005, G. Carole Woodall, review of The Turks in World History, p. 117.
International History Review, December, 2006, Colin Heywood, review of The Turks in World History, p. 813.
International Journal of Middle East Studies, May, 1994, Kemal H. Karpat, review of Ottoman Civil Officialdom, p. 301.
Middle East Journal, June 22, 2005, Mark L. Stein, review of The Turks in World History, p. 505.
Times Literary Supplement, August 11, 1989, J.M. Rogers, review of Ottoman Civil Officialdom, p. 868.
Mershon Center for International Security Studies, Ohio State University Web site,http://mershoncenter.osu.edu/ (May 1, 2008), Carter Findley profile.
Ohio State University Web site,http://people.cohums.ohio-state.edu/ (May 1, 2008), Carter Findley faculty profile.