Sex, Love, and Worship in Classical Ottoman Texts

with Selim Kuru 

hosted by Chris Gratien and Oscar Aguirre-Mandujano 

This episode is part of a series on Women, Gender, and Sex in Ottoman history

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Historians have used classical Ottoman texts to explore social issues such as sexuality, with compiled manuscripts from various literary genres often forming a data-mine for historical information. However, this type of selective reading has often distorted or obscured the original meaning and context of literary works. Sometimes, texts that appear erotic or sexual in nature such as gazel could have been intended for an entirely different purpose. In this episode, Dr. Selim Kuru examines the concepts of mahbub peresti (worship of the beloved) and gulâm pâregi (pederasty) and various motifs concerning male beauty in the shehrengiz (Gibb's "city-thrillers") genre in search of a more contextualized approach these would-be erotic texts.

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Selim Kuru is a Professor of Ottoman and Turkish studies at University of Washington in Seattle (see
Chris Gratien is a PhD candidate studying the history of the modern Middle East at Georgetown University (see
Oscar Aguirre-Mandujano is a PhD student at University of Washington in Seattle studying Ottoman history and literature

Episode No. 62
Release date: 1 August 2012
Location: Ottoman Summer School, Cunda, Turkey
Editing and Production by Chris Gratien

Citation: "Sex, Love, and Worship in Classical Ottoman Texts." Selim Kuru, Oscar Aguirre-Mandujano, and Chris Gratien. Ottoman History Podcast, No. 62 (August 1, 2012)

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Music: Ali Avaz - Şeker Oğlan