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Dr. H. (Houssine (Hoessein)) Alloul

Faculty of Humanities
Capaciteitsgroep Geschiedenis
Photographer: Jelle Sluyts

Visiting address
  • Kloveniersburgwal 48
  • Room number: E 1.15
Postal address
  • Postbus 1610
    1000 BP Amsterdam
Contact details
  • Profile

    Houssine Alloul is an Assistant Professor of Modern Global History at the University of Amsterdam. He specializes in international history with a focus on Modern Europe and the Late Ottoman Empire.

    He is currently working on a monograph, tentatively entitled The Business of Diplomacy: Ottomans and Belgians in the Age of Capital. The book retraces the extensive but forgotten histories of intense interaction between the Kingdom of Belgium and the Ottoman Empire, from the 1800s up to 1923. It looks in particular at how small power diplomacy, the global circulation of capital, and transnational sociabilities interlaced.

    He is also preparing, together with Jan Vandersmissen (Ghent University) and Michael Auwers (CegeSoma), an annotated English translation and critical edition of the future king Leopold II’s 1864-65 diaries of his voyage through British-occupied India, Penang, Singapore and Hong Kong. He is also working on an article-length study of Leopold’s lifetime ‘fixation’ (speculative/Orientalist/imperialist) with the Ottoman lands. His latest research project is a comparative cultural and social history of Ottoman diplomats in Europe in the period 1834-1914 and seeks to question standard historical narratives of the development of ‘European’ diplomacy (as practice, culture, and institution) at a time of Western colonial expansion and increasing military and technological dominance.

    Prior to coming to UvA, he was an FWO visiting fellow at Boğaziçi University, a Fulbright visiting scholar at Columbia University, and a junior research fellow at the Leibniz Institute of European History in Mainz. He obtained his PhD, MA and BA degrees in History from the University of Antwerp and did undergraduate work at the Università Ca’ Foscari in Venice.

    Key publications

    • (with Darina Martykánová) “Introduction: Charting New Ground in the Study of Ottoman Foreign Relations”, The International History Review 43 (5) 2021, 1018–1040.
    • “‘Me Among the Turks?’ Western Commanders in the Late Ottoman Army and Their Self-Narratives”, European Review of History: Revue européenne d'histoire 27 (1-2) 2020, 88-110.
    • (with Henk de Smaele) "L’Arménie dans la politique et l’imagination belge de l’avant-guerre", Revue Belge de Philologie et d’Histoire 97 2019, 809-840.
    • (with Michael Auwers) “What is (New in) New Diplomatic History?”, Journal of Belgian History 48 (4) 2018, 112-122.
    • (with Henk de Smaele and Edhem Eldem, eds.) To Kill A Sultan: A Transnational History of the Attempt on Abdülhamid II (1905), London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2018, 281p – Read the introduction here.
    • (with Roel Markey) “‘Please Deny these Manifestly False Reports’: Ottoman Diplomats and the Press in Belgium (1850-1914)”, International Journal of Middle East Studies 48 (2) 2016, 267-292.

    His publications can be accessed through

    Other interests

    New History of Capitalism, consular history, (post-)Ottoman diasporas in Western Europe, Netherlandish travel literature on the Islamicate Mediterranean, vulgar Orientalism(s), the Congo Free State, modern-day legacies of European colonialism, and European and Ottoman encounters with the Maghreb (after 1700).


    • Founding member of the Turkey Studies Network in the Low Countries (TSN) - Follow us on Facebook @TurkeyStudies.LowCountries
    • Member of the Network for New Diplomatic History (NDH)
    • Member of Power in History: Centre for Political History (PoHis), UAntwerp
    • Research member of the Spanish Ministry of Science funded TRANSCAP project: "The Transnational Construction of Capitalism During the Long 19th Century: An Approach from Two Peripheral Regions – The Iberian World and The Mediterranean". PI: Juan Pan-Montojo & Darina Martykánová (Universidad Autónoma de Madrid)


    London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2018
  • Teaching

    Courses 2022:


    • Geschiedenislab II
      • Seminar: Naar de Oriënt! Het Osmaanse Rijk in Noord- en Zuid-Nederlandse reisverslagen, 1750-1922
    • De Wereld op Straat
    • Moderne Geschiedenis
    • Onderzoeksseminar: Europa en het Osmaanse Rijk
    • Bachelorscriptie
      • Seminar: New Diplomatic History


    Een Mondiaal Midden-Oosten, 1798-1939

  • Publications




    • Alloul, H. (2017). Belgium and the Hamidian Regime; Or, the Antinomies of Small-State Diplomacy. In H. Alloul, E. Eldem, & H. de Smaele (Eds.), To Kill A Sultan: A Transnational History of the Attempt on Abdülhamid II (1905) (pp. 129-62). Palgrave Macmillan.
    • Alloul, H. (Ed.), Eldem, E. (Ed.), & de Smaele, H. (2017). To kill a sultan: a transnational history of the attempt on Abdülhamid II (1905). Palgrave Macmillan.
    • Alloul, H., Eldem, E., & de Smaele, H. (2017). Introduction: anatomy of the Yıldız bombing: tracing the global in the particular. In To kill a sultan: a transnational history of the attempt on Abdülhamid II (1905) / Alloul, H. [edit.]; et al. (pp. 1-33). Palgrave Macmillan.


    • Alloul, H., & Markey, R. (2016). "Please deny these manifestly false reports" : Ottoman diplomats and the press in Belgium (1850-1914). International Journal of Middle East Studies, 48(2), 267-292.




    • Alloul, H. (2021). (Dwang)arbeid in de extractiekolonie: Over Congo ‘Vrijstaat’, kapitaal en de imperatieven van de dekoloniale kritiek. Hermes, 25(3), 18-21.
    • Alloul, H. (2021). [Review of: R. Holland (2018) The Warm South: How the Mediterranean Shaped the British Imagination]. Diplomatica, 3(1), 211-214. [details]




    • Alloul, H. (2015). The Diary of Émile de Borchgrave: Recollections of a Belgian Diplomat in the Ottoman Empire (1885-1892). The Isis Press.
    • Alloul, H., Beyen, M., & Lauwers, K. (2015). Osmaanse diplomaten in België (1849-1914): een online digitaliseringsproject. Mededelingenblad / Belgische Vereniging voor Nieuwste Geschiedenis., 37(1), 37-39.



    • Alloul, H. (2010). Diplomatie als cultural encounter : de Belgisch-Osmaanse relaties vanuit cultuurhistorisch perspectief. Mededelingenblad / Belgische Vereniging voor Nieuwste Geschiedenis., 32(4), 21-25.


    • Alloul, H. (2017). Belgium and the Ottoman Empire: Diplomacy, Capital, and Transnational Loyalties, 1865–1914.
    This list of publications is extracted from the UvA-Current Research Information System. Questions? Ask the library or the Pure staff of your faculty / institute. Log in to Pure to edit your publications. Log in to Personal Page Publication Selection tool to manage the visibility of your publications on this list.
  • Ancillary activities
    No ancillary activities