Department of Humanities {College of Liberal & Creative Arts}

Image: Photos of building facades, patterns, people

Carel Bertram


B.A. and M.A. Advisor and Undergraduate Coordinator

Office: HUM 325
Office Hours Spring 2015: Monday and Wednesday 5:00 - 7:00
Phone: 338-3125

Carel Bertram was trained in Near Eastern Studies at UC Berkeley (M.A.) and in Art and Architectural History at UCLA (Ph.D.) Her field is urban history and historical consciousness in the Islamic world. Dr. Bertram's book, Imagining the Turkish House: Collective Visions of Home, was published by the University of Texas Press in 2008. You can find the table of contents and a lengthy excerpt at:

Dr. Bertram is particularly interested in the richness and diversity of Islamic culture, and therefore includes in her teaching and research the many non Muslim groups who made up (and still make up) its mosaic. She has worked extensively on Muslims, Jews and Christians in Bosnia, and is currently studying Diaspora Armenians from Anatolia, investigating their histories and historic consciousness as they make pilgrimages to the lost homes of their families.

In her teaching and research, Dr. Bertram asks, “how do we find out how individuals and groups understood their world?” She answers this through the lens of the Humanities with historically contextualized studies of cultural production and representation. What did historical actors produce (art, architecture, literature, poetry, and, especially places); what did these mean to their makers and, more importantly, how were these experienced over time? Thus, Dr. Bertram studies art, such as codex and manuscript illumination and illustration (and what the reader might have known and felt) and architecture (how are buildings are used and even romanticized so that they become iconic), and particularly the complex place of the city as it is built, walked, filmed and remembered. She teaches classes on Istanbul and Jerusalem as well as on San Francisco. Other cities of interest: Sarajevo (Bosnia), Damascus (Syria), Amasya and Safranbolu(Turkey) and Vienna (Austria). Dr. Bertram is currently working on a study-abroad project to give SFSU students an opportunity to study Turkish history through field work in an in-tact Ottoman town in Anatolia.

Undergraduate Courses:

Graduate Courses:


Conference Presentations and Invited Talks

Professional/Academic Associations

Middle East Studies Association (MESA)
Turkish Studies Association (TSA)
Society for Armenian Studies (SAS)
American Association of University Women (AAUS)

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