Honors College Faculty
Cengiz Sisman, Ph.D., majored in psychology at Boğaziçi University in Istanbul and completed his master of arts in Islamic and Jewish studies at Temple University. He earned another master's degree in history and Middle Eastern studies at Harvard University, where he also received his doctorate in history.
During his graduate studies, Sisman spent a year at Hebrew University as a special student. After receiving his doctorate in 2005, he went to Turkey to teach at Boğaziçi, Koç and Bilkent Universities. He later returned to the United States, where he taught at Brandeis University and then at Furman University.
Since the fall of 2015, Sisman has been serving as a professor of history at University of Houston-Clear Lake. His book, "The Burden of Silence: Sabbatai Sevi and the Evolution of the Ottoman-Turkish Donmes," was published by Oxford University Press in September 2015. Since its publication, the book has received a great deal of attention and has been translated into Turkish. It has been positively reviewed more than 20 times in English, French, Hebrew and Turkish academic venues such as the Times Literary Supplement. His interview with Ottoman History Podcast on his book was heard more than 15,000 times and selected as the best podcast in 2017.
Currently, Sisman is working on a new book project, tentatively titled, "'No One Came Near Me': British and American Missionary Activities among the Ottoman/Oriental Jews." His work is connected by his deep interest in human situation, the history of religions, conversion, irreligion, messianism, mysticism, crypto identities, and religion and modernity. Currently, he teaches undergraduate and graduate courses on world history, Islamic empires, Jews and Christians of the Islamic Lands, and the modern Middle East at University of Houston-Clear Lake, as well as the Human Situation at the Honors College, University of Houston.