Selda Altan

Office: 20 Keene Flint Hall
Phone: (352) 273-3378
Fax: (352) 392-5378

Mailing address:
Department of History
University of Florida
P.O. Box 117320
Gainesville, FL 32611-7320

Selda Altan received her PhD from New York University in 2017. Before joining the faculty at the University of Florida, she taught at Bogazici University (Turkey), New York University, and Swarthmore College. Her research interests broadly include modern Chinese and East Asian history, labor history, global political economy, anti-colonial movements and empires in Asia, and ethno-religious tensions in China.

Dr. Altan is currently working on a book manuscript based on her PhD dissertation, “Labor and the Politics of Life Along the Yunnan-Indochina Railway, 1898–1911.” It examines the Yunnan-Indochina railway’s construction process as a case illustrating the centrality of the labor question to French colonial interventions in a multiethnic Chinese border province. Based on her earlier research, she published an article entitled “Sighting the Ottomans from the East: Perception of the Ottomans and Nationalism in China at the Turn of the Twentieth Century,” which focuses on the intellectual exchanges between the Ottoman and Qing empires.

Dr. Altan teaches courses on modern Chinese and Japanese history, Chinese gender and labor history, and history of colonialism in Asia. She blogs at, where she comments (in Turkish) on Asia-related affairs, books, and movies.