Penn State Penn State: College of the Liberal Arts
Faisal Husain

Faisal Husain

Assistant Professor of History

413 Weaver

University Park, PA 16802

Phone: (814) 863-7318


PhD, Georgetown University, 2018
MA, Yale University, 2012
BS, Pennsylvania State University, 2010


I am an environmental historian of the Ottoman Empire, with a geographical focus on its eastern provinces in Anatolia and Iraq. My first book, Rivers of the Sultan, examined the role of the Tigris and Euphrates in the establishment of Ottoman state institutions in the eastern frontier between the sixteenth and eighteenth centuries. The book won the Ottoman and Turkish Studies Association’s Book Prize and was a finalist for the American Society for Environmental History’s George Perkins Marsh Prize. My second book project is an environmental history of Ottoman frontier expansion east of the Euphrates during the sixteenth century. I teach courses on global environmental history, the Ottoman Empire, the Silk Road, and early modern Muslim empires. I serve on the editorial board of Marmara Türkiyat Araştırmaları Dergisi, a Turcology journal based in Turkey, and Global Environment, an environmental history journal based in Italy.


“Water for the Saints of Baghdad: The Hydrology of a Sacred Ottoman Geography,” Journal of Early Modern History 25, no. 4 (2021): 319-344.

“Sediment of the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers: An Early Modern Perspective,” Water History 13, no. 1 (2021): 13-32.

Rivers of the Sultan: The Tigris and Euphrates in the Ottoman Empire (New York: Oxford University Press, 2021).

“Changes in the Euphrates River: Ecology and Politics in a Rural Ottoman Periphery, 1687-1702,” Journal of Interdisciplinary History 47, no. 1 (Summer 2016): 1-25.

“In the Bellies of the Marshes: Water and Power in the Countryside of Ottoman Baghdad,” Environmental History 19, no. 4 (2014): 638-664.

Awards and Services:

Landhaus Fellow, Rachel Carson Center for Environment and Society, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München, 2022

Kluge Fellow, The John W. Kluge Center at the Library of Congress, 2021

Residential Fellow, The Notre Dame Institute for Advanced Study, 2019-2020

Mellon/ACLS Dissertation Completion Fellowship, 2017-2018

Ömer Lütfi Barkan Prize for Best Article in Turkish and Ottoman Studies, 2017

Fulbright-Hays Doctoral Dissertation Research Abroad Fellowship, U.S. Department of Education, 2016-2017

Dissertation Writing Grant, The Institute of Turkish Studies, 2016-2017

Leopold-Hidy Prize for Best Article in Environmental History, 2014


Areas of Specialization: