Ellen Nye is a PhD Candidate in history researching early modern trade between England and the Ottoman Empire to offer a new interpretation of the inter-imperial origins of global finance. Nye’s dissertation, Empires of Obligation: Law, Money, and Debt between England and the Ottoman Empire, 1670-1720, locates financial innovation in the space between empires, provoked by the challenges of long-distance trade. Through its attention to inter-imperial actors, Empires of Obligation integrates the Ottoman Empire into the core of debates in global economic history and recasts familiar nationally-bounded narratives of the English Financial Revolution by exposing how key British financial infrastructure was shaped by interactions with the non-Western world and particularly within the often-overlooked Muslim Mediterranean.
Exposing the activities of merchants trading across the English and Ottoman Empires has taken Nye to fifteen archives in four countries where she worked with sources in Ottoman Turkish and several European languages through the generous support of the Fulbright Commission, the Council of American Overseas Research Centers, the American Research Institute in Turkey, the P.E.O. Scholarship, Koç University’s Research Center for Anatolian Civilizations, and the Yale Fox Fellowship, among others.