Dr. Sisman majored in Psychology at Bogazici University in Istanbul and earned his M.A. in Islamic and Jewish Studies at Temple University, Philadelphia. He earned another M.A. in History and Middle Eastern Studies at Harvard University, where he also completed his dissertation, entitled “A Jewish Messiah in the Ottoman Court: Sabbatai Sevi and the Emergence of a Judeo-Islamic Community (1666-1720).” During his doctoral research, Dr. Sisman spent a year at Hebrew University as a special student. After receiving his Ph.D, he returned to Turkey to teach at Bogazici, Koc, and Bilkent Universities. He later returned to the United States, where he taught at Brandeis University as a visiting Assistant Professor, and then at Furman University as Assistant Professor. Since the fall of 2015, Dr. Sisman has been serving as an Assistant Professor of History at University of Houston-Clear Lake. His book, The Burden of Silence: Sabbatai Sevi and the Evolution of the Ottoman-Turkish Donmes, was published by Oxford University Press in September 2015.
His work is connected by his deep interest in the history of religions, religious conversion, irreligion, messianism, mysticism, crypto-double identities, and religion and modernity. Currently he is teaching courses on world history, Islamic empires, and the Modern Middle East.