Dr Hatice Yıldız

Junior Research Fellow in History

My research lies at the intersection of gender, economic and social histories of South Asia and the Middle East. I am concerned with the spatial and temporal aspects of women's and men's work, concepts and categories of skill, technology and specialist knowledge in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. My PhD thesis explored these themes in silk factories of Ottoman Bursa and cotton mills of Bombay between 1850 and 1910. Examining two regions with seemingly disparate histories within the same analytical framework, it highlighted parallels in labour and gender politics in the heyday of industrial capitalism.

During the past five years I have conducted research in archives spanning three countries and seven cities: Istanbul, Bursa, Cambridge, London, Mumbai, Delhi and Kolkata. I have presented elements of my work at workshops and conferences in Cambridge, Oxford, Hull, and Paris. I have also provided supervisions and taught classes in global and world history, on various topics from the Indian Rebellion to the Middle East economy in the nineteenth century.

My fellowship project at Merton explores gendered means of participation in upper-middle class professions including medicine and law. I am specifically interested in the notions of skill, time, and collective identity as crafted by Indian and Ottoman female physicians in the early twentieth century. I am also working on a monograph project which is an extended version of my doctoral thesis.


'Parallels and Contrasts in Gendered Histories of Industrial Labour in Bursa and Bombay 1850 – 1910', The Historical Journal, v. 60, no. 2 (June 2017).

'The Politics of Time in Colonial Bombay: Labor Patterns and Protest in Cotton Mills', Journal of Social History 54, no.1 (Fall 2020). DOI: 10.1093/jsh/shz016

'"We Are Quite Separate from the Machinery in Motion": Gender, Skill, and Segregation in Ottoman and Indian Textile Mills', February 2019, Women’s History Seminar, The Institute of Historical Research, University of London.

'Women’s Time and Men’s Time in the Age of Mass Production: A Study on Labour Patterns in the Indian Cotton Industry', October 2018, The Social Life of Work Conference, Centre for Research in the Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities (CRASSH), University of Cambridge.

'Time and Factory Work in Bombay, 1875 – 1900', November 2017, Factory History Workshop at the Second European Labour History Network Conference (ELHN), Université Paris Nanterre.

'Borders on the Shop Floor: Gender, Skill and Legislation in Bombay Cotton Factories', November 2016, Borderlands Biennial Gender Research Conference, University of Hull.

'Spinning Places: Women’s Work and Men’s Work in Cotton and Silk Industries of Bursa and Bombay 1850 – 1910', April 2016, Economic History Society Annual Conference, Robinson College, Cambridge.