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Personal profile


Elvan is a historian of the built environment, especially focusing on the histories of place in the Ottoman Empire and the modern Middle East. In her work, Elvan juxtaposes histories of space with histories of technology, archaeology, tourism, environment and the senses. She is currently working on a book manuscript where she investigates how spatial practices were altered with the advent of the railways in western Anatolia during the second half of the 19th century.

Elvan is an assistant editor of the International Journal of Islamic Architecture and serves as the journal's administrative coordinator.  She is also the assistant director of a field project in Armenia, Ararat Plain Southeast Archaeological Project. Building on over a dozen years of experience, her current field research engages with 19th and 20th century histories of place, utilizing oral histories as well as architectural surveys. 

Previously, Elvan was a junior research fellow at the Research Center for Anatolian Civilizations in Istanbul during the 2014-2015 academic year and was the recipient of a SALT Research Award in 2015.  She was a post-doctoral fellow at the Hong Kong Institute for the Humanities and Social Sciences at the University of Hong Kong in 2019.  During 2019-2020, she was a post-doctoral fellow in Levantine Studies at the Humanities Research Center of Rice University.

Research Interests

History of Architecture and Urbanism
History of the Modern Middle East and the Ottoman Empire
History of Infrastructure
History of Archaeology
History of Travel and Tourism

Chinese Name


Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 4 - Quality Education
  • SDG 9 - Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure
  • SDG 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities
  • SDG 15 - Life on Land
  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions


Dive into the research topics where Elvan COBB is active. Topic labels come from the works of this scholar.
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Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

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