Born in Germany to Swiss parents and raised in the American Midwest, Helen Pfeifer is a historian of the early modern Middle East. She received her doctorate from Princeton University, where she specialized in Ottoman and Mediterranean history. Her dissertation “To Gather Together: Cultural Encounters in Sixteenth-Century Ottoman Literary Salons” examines the social and intellectual consequences of the Ottoman incorporation of Arab lands in 1516-7. However, Pfeifer’s interest in cultural exchange extends beyond the Ottoman Empire; she has written about the seventeenth- and eighteenth-century European engagement with Ottoman goods and practices as well. Her teaching at Cambridge reflects these broad commitments, encompassing early modern Ottoman, European and world history.