E. Natalie Rothman

Associate Professor & Chair (UTSC)
Humanities Wing, 1265 Military Trail, Room 518 (UTSC)


Fields of Study

Areas of Interest

  • Historical Anthropology
  • Early Modern Mediterranean
  • Postcolonial Theory
  • Semiotics
  • Translation Studies
  • History of Archives
  • Digital Scholarship


E. Natalie Rothman is an Associate Professor of History and Chair of the Department of Historical and Cultural Studies at UTSC. She is interested in the history of Venetian-Ottoman cultural mediation in the early modern period, diplomatic translation and translators, the genealogies of Orientalism, the history of archives, and digital scholarship. She is a member of the inaugural cohort of the College of New Scholars, Artists, and Scientists of the Royal Society of Canada (2014-2021).

Rothman was trained as an historical anthropologist, first at Tel Aviv University (MA in Culture Research, summa cum laude, 1999) and then at the University of Michigan (PhD in Anthropology and History, 2006). Her first book, Brokering Empire: Trans-Imperial Subjects between Venice and Istanbul (Cornell University Press, 2011), explores how diplomatic interpreters, converts, and commercial brokers mediated and helped define political, linguistic, and religious boundaries between the Venetian and Ottoman empires in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. The book received the 2012 Herbert Baxter Adams prize for best first book in European History and the Howard R. Marraro prize for best book in Italian history, both from the American Historical Association, as well as the 2013 Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation Prize for best book in Renaissance Venetian Studies from the Renaissance Society of America. Its Turkish edition was recently published under the title İmparatorluk simsarlari: Venedik ile İstanbul Arasında Mekik Dokuyanlar (Istanbul: Koç University Press, 2016). Rothman’s articles have appeared in Mediterranean Historical Review, Comparative Studies in Society and History, the Journal of Medieval and Early Modern Studies, Quaderni Storici, the Journal of Early Modern History, and elsewhere.

The history of cultural mediation, the genealogies of Orientalism, and the relationship between translation and empire are also the focus of Rothman’s second book and digital project, The Dragoman Renaissance: Diplomatic Interpreters and the Routes of Orientalism (Cornell University Press, 2021). This project has been generously funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, a Mellon Postdoctoral Research Fellowship at the Newberry Library, a Jackman Humanities Fellowship at the University of Toronto, and an Early Researcher Award from the Ontario Government. Rothman’s current collaborative research centres on the question of trans-imperial archives, exploring the entangled history of Venetian and Ottoman chancery practices and archival formations in the early modern period.


PhD, University of Michigan
MA, Tel Aviv University