Kafadar, Cemal (b. August 15 1954, Istanbul), historian. He has been the Vehbi Koç Chair of Turkish Studies at Harvard University since the position was established in 1997.
After completing his secondary education at Istanbul High School for Boys (1965-69) and Robert College (1969-73), he studied at Hamilton College in the USA, graduating in 1977. He received an MA in Ottoman History at the Islamic Research Institute at McGill University in Canada (1977-81), staying on to study for a doctorate (1981-1986). Professor Kafadar was a member of the academic staff at Princeton University Department of Near Eastern Studies (1985-89), transferring to Harvard University Department of History in 1990. In 1997, he was made Vehbi Koç Chair of Turkish Studies. He served as director of the Harvard University Center for Middle Eastern Studies (1999-2004 and 2009-10) and still lectures in the university’s Department of History, teaching archival research, popular culture and Ottoman historiography. Professor Kadafar was a guest lecturer at EHESS (École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales) in Paris from 1997 to 1998 and at Boğaziçi University in 2005 and 2009. His areas of interest are the social and cultural history of the Middle East and Southeast Europe at the beginning of the modern era.
Professor Kafadar has published numerous books, including Suleiman the Second and His Time (with Halil İnalcık, 1993), Between Two Worlds: The Construction of the Ottoman State (1995), Kim Var İmiş Biz Burada Yoğ İken – Dört Osmanlı: Yeniçeri, Tüccar, Derviş ve Hatun (Who Was Here While We Were Not – Four Ottomans: a Janissary, a Merchant, a Dervish and a Lady; 2009) and Kendine Ait Bir Roma: Diyar-ı Rum’da Kültürel Coğrafya ve Kimlik (A Rome of One's Own: Reflections on Cultural Geography and Identity in the Lands of Rum; 2017). He received the Presidential Office Grand Culture and Arts Prize in 2010.