Nov 25, 2013

The Frontiers of the First World War: Historiographical Developments and Trajectories


Part One: While World War I was once studied mainly as a military conflict between European powers, the historiography of the war has since expanded to explore its truly global context that extended beyond the battlefield. Partly drawing on the proceedings of “The World During the First World War” symposium (sponsored by Volkswagen Foundation) held in Hanover, Germany Fall 2013 and interviews with some of the participants, this podcast seeks to identify new trends in the study of the World War I period at large and define potential trajectories for researchers focusing on the Ottoman experience. 



Featuring Interviews with:

Stig Förster

Ravi Ahuja
Stefan Rinke
Stefan Reichmuth
Toyin Falola 
Xu Guoqi
Michael Provence
Nazan Maksudyan
Yiğit Akın
Santanu Das
Jennifer Jenkins
Ellinor Morack
Franciszka Roy 

Part two of our podcast explores further areas of potential scholarship on the First World War. Graham Cornwell offers an overview major aspects of the war as experienced in North Africa, and Graham Pitts highlights the value of environmental history approaches through a discussion of Ottoman Lebanon.


Chris Gratien is a doctoral candidate at Georgetown University researching the social environmental history of the Ottoman Empire and the modern Middle East (academia.edu)
Kate Dannies is a doctoral student at Georgetown University researching the history of the modern Middle East
Graham Cornwell is a doctoral student at Georgetown University researching the social and cultural history of the North Africa
Graham Pitts is a doctoral candidate at Georgetown University researching the environmental history of Lebanon (see academia.edu)

SELECT BIBLIOGRAPHY

Program for "The World During the First World War" Symposium

North Africa during WWI

Driss Maghraoui. "'Nos Goumiers Berbères': the ambiguities of colonial representations in French military novels." JNAS 7.3 (2002): 79-100.

----------. "The 'grand guerre sainte': Moroccan colonial troops and workers in the First World War." JNAS 9.1 (2004): 1-21.

Moshe Gershovich. French Military Rule in Morocco: Colonialism and Its Consequences. New York: Routledge, 1999.

Richard Fogarty. Race and War in France: Colonial Subjects in the French Army, 1914-1918. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2008.

Environment in Lebanon

Ajay, Nicholas. “Mount Lebanon and the Wilyah of Beirut, 1914-1918: The War Years” (Ph.D. diss, Georgetown University, 1973).

Offer, Avner. The First World War: an agrarian interpretation (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1989).

Schilcher, Linda. "Famine in Syria, 1915-1918" in Problems of the Middle East in Historical Perspective: Essays in Honour of Albert Hourani, eds. John P. Spagnolo and Albert Hourani (Reading: Ithaca Press, 1996).

Tanielian, Melanie. “A War for Famine: Everyday Life in Wartime Beirut and Mount Lebanon:1914-1918" (Ph.D. diss, Berkeley, 2012).

These "French soldiers" on the Western front are in fact Tirailleurs, troops from France's colonies in Africa, specifically Senegal and the Maghreb. (Source: Bain News Service, 1914)
Giving wine to Algerian troops (Source: Library of Congress)

Nov 17, 2013

Mulberry Fields Forever

with Zoe Griffith

hosted by Chris Gratien and Kalliopi Amygdalou

Inheritance and the transfer of property across generations connects the history of families to a broader analysis of political economy, particularly in societies where wealth and capital are deeply rooted in the earth. In this episode, Zoe Griffith provides a framework for the study of family history through the lens of the mulberry tree and its produce in a study of Ottoman court records from Tripoli (modern-day Lebanon).

Stream via Soundcloud (preferred / US)


Zoe Griffith is a doctoral candidate at Brown University studying the early modern Mediterranean (see academia.edu)
Chris Gratien is a doctoral candidate at Georgetown University researching the social and environmental history of the Ottoman Empire and the modern Middle East. (see academia.edu)
Kalliopi Amygdalou is a doctoral candidate in the Bartlett School of Architecture at University College in London working on the relationship between national historiographies and the built environment in Greece and Turkey (see academia.edu)


Episode No. 130
Release date: 18 November 2013
Location: Kurtuluş, Istanbul
Editing and Production by Chris Gratien
Bibliography courtesy of Zoe Griffith

Citation: "Mulberry Fields Forever: Family, Property, and Inheritance in Ottoman Lebanon," Zoe Griffith, Chris Gratien, and Kalliopi Amygdalou, Ottoman History Podcast, No. 130 (November 18, 2013) http://www.ottomanhistorypodcast.com/2011/11/ottoman-lebanon-property.html.

BIBLIOGRAPHY


Abu Husayn, Abdul Rahim. Provincial Leaderships in Syria, 1575-1650. Beirut: American University in Beirut, 1985.

Cuno, Kenneth. The Pasha’s Peasants: land, society and economy in Lower Egypt, 1740-1858. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1992.

Doumani, Beshara. “Introduction.” In Beshara Doumani, ed. Family History in the Middle East: Household, Property, and Gender. Albany: State University of New York Press, 2003: 1-19.

--- “Adjudicating Family: The Islamic Court and Disputes between Kin in Greater Syria, 1700-1860.” In Beshara Doumani, Family History in the Middle East: Household, Property, and Gender. Albany: State University of New York Press, 2003: 173-200.

Ergene, Boğaç. Local Court, Provincial Society, and Justice in the Ottoman Empire: legal practice and dispute resolution in Çankırı and Kastamonu (1652-1744). Leiden: Brill, 2003.

Fay, Mary Ann. “Women and Waqf: toward a reconsideration of women’s place in the Mamluk household.” International Journal of Middle East Studies 29 (1997): 33-51.

Ferguson, Heather. “Property, Language, and Law: Conventions of Social Discourse in Seventeenth-Century Tarablus al-Sham.” In Beshara Doumani, ed. Family History in the Middle East: Household, Property, and Gender. Albany: State University of New York Press, 2003: 229-244.

‘Imad, ‘Abd al-Ghani. Mujtama’ Trablus fi zaman al-tahawwulat al-‘uthmaniya. Tripoli, Lebanon: Dar al-Insha’ lil’Sihafah wa’l-Tiba’ah wa’l-Nashr, 2002.

Imber, Colin. “The Status of Orchards and Fruit Trees in Ottoman Law.” Tarih Enstitüsü Dergisi, 12 (1981-82): 763-774.

Mundy, Martha and Richard Saumarez-Smith. Governing Property, Making the Modern State: law, administration, and production in Ottoman Syria. London: I.B. Taurus, 2007.

Tezcan, Baki. The Second Ottoman Empire: political and social transformations in the early modern world. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2010.

Music: Wadi al-Safi - Ya al-Tut al-Shami

Nov 9, 2013

Osmanlı'da Mahremiyetin Sınırları

Fikret Yılmaz 

Emrah Safa Gürkan'ın sunuculuğuyla

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Osmanlı'da kamusal alan ile özel yaşam arasındaki sınır nasıl çizilmiştir? Herkesin birbirinin muhbiri olduğu bir toplumda iktidar, toplum ve birey arasındaki ilişki nasıl düzenlenmiştir? Bu sorulara yanıt aradığımız bu podcastımızda Fikret Yılmaz ile erken modern Osmanlı toplumunda mahremiyetin sınırları üzerine konuştuk. Ayrıca, Osmanlı toplum tarihçiliğinin sıkıntılarına dikkat çekerek, kavramsal çalışmaların gerekliliğine dikkat çektik.

Where did the boundary between the public and private spheres lie in the Ottoman Empire? How was the relationship between government, society and individual configured in a society where everyone spied on their neighbors? In search of answers to these questions, this episode of Ottoman History Podcast explores the boundaries of privacy in early modern Ottoman society with Dr. Fikret Yılmaz, drawing attention to the lacuna in historiography on Ottoman society and the need for conceptual studies. (podcast is in Turkish)

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Stream via Hipcast (Turkey / Türkiye)

 
Erken modern Osmanlı toplum tarihi üzerine uzmanlaşan Dr. Fikret Yılmaz Bahçeşehir Üniversitesi'nde öğretim üyeliği yapmaktadır. (see academia.edu)
Yeniçağ Akdeniz ve Osmanlı İmparatorluğu üzerine uzmanlaşan Dr. Emrah Safa Gürkan İstanbul 29 Mayıs Üniversitesi'nde öğretim üyeliği yapmaktadır. (see academia.edu)

Episode No. 129
Release date: 9 November 2013
Location: Kuzguncuk, Üsküdar
Editing and production by Chris Gratien
Bibliography courtesy of Fikret Yılmaz

Citation: "Osmanlı'da Mahremiyetin Sınırları," Fikret Yılmaz, Emrah Safa Gürkan, and Chris Gratien, Ottoman History Podcast, No. 129 (November 9, 2013) http://www.ottomanhistorypodcast.com/2013/11/private-public-sphere-ottoman-empire.html.

SEÇME KAYNAKÇA

Fikret Yılmaz, "Zina ve Fuhuş Arasında Kalanlar: Fahişe Subaşıya Karşı,” Toplumsal Tarih 220 (April 2012): 22-31.

Fikret Yılmaz, “Boş Vaktiniz Var Mı? veya 16. yüzyılda Anadolu’da şarap, eğlence ve suç,” Tarih ve Toplum: Yeni Yaklaşımlar 1 (Bahar 2005): 11-49.

Fikret Yılmaz, “16. yüzyılda tarımsal yapılarda değişim, Akdeniz mutfağı ve yağ kullanımı,” Tarih ve Toplum: Yeni Yaklaşımlar 10 (Bahar 2010): 23-42.

Fikret Yılmaz, “XVI. Yüzyıl Osmanlı toplumunda mahremiyetin sınırlarına dair,” Toplum ve Bilim 83 (Kış 1999-2000): 92-110.

Emmanuel Le Roy Ladurie, Montaillou: Village occitain de 1294 à 1324 (Paris: Gallimard, 1975).

Nov 3, 2013

Hayretle Seyret: Osmanlı'da sinema ve şehir

Nezih Erdoğan 

Sinemanın ilk yıllarını, kinetoscope, vitascope ya da cinématographe gibi hareketli görüntü teknolojilerinin tarihi olarak okumak yeterli olabilir mi? Bu podcastta Prof. Nezih Erdoğan ve Serkan Şavk, Osmanlı’daki sinema deneyimini seyir ve hayret gibi kavramlar üzerinden tartışıyorlar.

Stream via Soundcloud (preferred / US)
Stream via Hipcast (Turkey / Türkiye)

Türkiye’de sinemanın ilk yılları ve Yeşilçam sineması üzerine uzmanlaşan Prof. Dr. Nezih Erdoğan, İzmir Ekonomi Üniversitesi Sinema ve Dijital Medya Bölümü kurucu başkanıdır (Daha fazla bilgi için bkz. kişisel sayfa ve academia.edu)

Erken modern Osmanlı toplumunda mekân-birey-iletişim ilişkisi üzerine çalışan Serkan Şavk, Hacettepe Üniversitesi Tarih Bölümü’nde doktora adayı ve İzmir Ekonomi Üniversitesi Sinema ve Dijital Medya Bölümü’nde öğretim görevlisidir. (Daha fazla bilgi için bkz. academia.edu)

Episode No. 128
Release Date: 3 November 2013 (Türkçe)
Location: Izmir, Turkey
Editing and Production: Chris Gratien and Serkan Şavk
Bibliography courtesy of Nezih Erdoğan

Citation: "Hayretle Seyret: Osmanlı'da sinema ve şehir," Nezih Erdoğan, Serkan Şavk, and Chris Gratien, Ottoman History Podcast, No. 128 (November 3, 2013) http://www.ottomanhistorypodcast.com/2013/11/cinema-ottoman-empire-istanbul.html.

SEÇME KAYNAKÇA

Sinema - Seyir Belge Arşivi, Istanbul Bilgi Üniversitesi


-       Savaş Arslan, Cinema in Turkey: A New Critical History (Oxford University Press, 2010).
-        Edhem Eldem, “Batılılașma, Modernleșme ve Kozmopolitizm: 19. Yüzyıl Sonu ve 20. Yüzyıl Bașında İstanbul”, Osman Hamdi Bey ve Dönemi (İstanbul: Tarih Vakfı Yurt Yayınları, 1993), 12–26.
-        Nezih Erdoğan, “The Spectator in the Making: Modernity and Cinema in Istanbul: 1896-1928”, Orienting Istanbul: Cultural Capital of Europe?, der. Deniz Göktürk, Levent Soysal ve İpek Türeli (Routledge: 2010), 129-143. (Türkçesi: İstanbul Nereye? Küresel Kent, Kültür, Avrupa, İstanbul: Metis Yayınları, 2011.)
-        Burçak Evren, İlk Türk Filmleri (İstanbul: Es Yayınları, 2006).
-        Cemal Kafadar, Agâh Özgüç, Giovanni Scognamillo ve
Deniz Bayrakdar, “Sinema ve Tarih” (Panel tartışması),
Türk Film Araștırmalarında Yeni Yönelimler 5, der. Deniz Bayrakdar (İstanbul: Bağlam Yayınları, 2006).
-        Kemal H. Karpat, Ottoman Population, 1830-1914: Demographic and Social Characteristics (University of Wisconsin Press: 1985).
-        Dilek Kaya Mutlu, “The Russian Monument at Ayastefanos (San Stefano): Between Defeat and Revenge, Remembering and Forgetting”, Middle Eastern Studies 43 (sayı 1), 2007: 75-86.
-        Dilek Kaya Mutlu, “Ayastefanos’taki Rus Abidesi: Kim Yıktı? Kim Çekti? Kim ‘Yazdı’?”, Türk Film Araştırmalarında Yeni Yönelimler 6, der. Deniz Bayrakdar (İstanbul: Bağlam Yayınları, 2007), 17-29.
-        "Kamera Öncesi Bir Kamera Gezisi: Cemal Kafadar", Altyazı (sayı 109), 2011: 48-55.     

Nov 2, 2013

Many a Petition Deferred


Following the First World War, the League of Nations emerged as the dominant force in the growing sphere of international organizations. Ostensibly founded on “Wilsonian” principles like self-determination and sovereignty, the League was inundated with thousands of petitions from people everywhere under colonial or mandate rule. The global Syrian-Lebanese community was no exception. In fact, telegrams and letters concerning Syria and Palestine made up nearly 80 percent of all registered petitions to the League’s Permanent Mandates Commission (PMC) between 1928 and 1940.[1]
           
The majority of these petitions tell a tale of marginalized voices demanding independence and sovereignty in the face of French misrule.  Alongside these political claims, one can also glimpse a myriad of more personal and individual narratives that remain otherwise hidden amidst the numerous documents at the League of Nations archives. One such story is that of “Monsieur” Louis Yusuf Ghaleb of Bikfaya, Lebanon. Ghaleb’s petitions to the PMC and the French mandatory power spanned a period of a nearly a decade between the years 1920-1929. In the aftermath of the Ottoman Empire’s dissolution, a time when questions of citizenship and collective rights remained in flux, Ghaleb’s endeavors testify to the ways in which everyday subalterns viewed the League as a new space for asserting individual agency. While narratives of “imagined nationalisms” abound, Ghaleb’s attempt to gain compensation for war losses as a person of Lebanese origin in Serbia demonstrates the practical ways everyday people approached the question of their citizenship and nationality.
           
We first come across our protagonist writing to the League of Nations from Leskovac, Serbia in late 1925. According to Ghaleb, he was in living in Serbia during the First World War when he had incurred significant losses and damage brought about by the Bulgarians. Thereafter, Ghaleb read in the newspapers that foreigners in Serbia affected by the war should address their claims to the League of Nations. With the Treaty of Neuilly in 1919, Bulgaria was obligated to pay sizable reparations to Yugoslavia and Romania. Ghaleb, a Lebanese Christian, most likely felt entitled to a portion of these funds under the presumption that the French guaranteed him “protected” status. He asserted that he had incurred stolen and damaged property worth 327,000 francs. According to Ghaleb, this sum only reflected damages which took place in Serbia, and neither included restitution for the trees on his property in Lebanon taken down by the Turks, nor the money which was lost by the Turkish post that he attempted to send to his wife and children, eventually causing them to parish.

Ghaleb hoped to send his material directly to the PMC. According to the official “Rules of Procedure,” petitions coming from inside mandated territories would have to be forwarded to the League of Nations through the mandatory government. A loophole existed, however, for petitions concerning the nature of the mandate but which came from outside the mandatory territory. Such petitions could be addressed directly to the League.
           
But because the PMC regarded Ghaleb’s petition as not concerning the nature of the mandate itself, it would still have to pass through French hands. In response, Ghaleb informed the League that he had already made his claim known to the French government through 15 petitions between the years 1920-1925, which addressed the president of the French republic, the minister of foreign affairs, the government of Greater Lebanon, and the French High Commissioner in Beirut. 
           
Yet, Ghaleb’s bid for his share in war claims seemed to go unheard. He blamed the French government for not doing what it should to “safeguard the rights of the Lebanese people,” “for leaving some to die while allowing others to live.” Not only was Ghaleb’s petition ignored, but the French were now in possession of his official documents. As a result, when Ghaleb decided to apply for Serbian citizenship – perhaps in the hopes of securing compensation – he even traveled to Paris to "fetch" his documents. Speaking to a wider post-Ottoman context of fluid and mutable identities, Ghaleb’s approach to citizenship was malleable and personal. He would pursue his material well-being regardless of his self-perceived national identity.  Yet he failed to retrieve his official papers, and consequently missed the window of opportunity (1919-1924) to apply for Serbian citizenship.    
       
For these reasons, Ghaleb would continue to send his petitions directly to the League’s Secretariat, who he hoped would take all the necessary measures to ensure “justice” and due diligence. As the League never received word of this petition from the French government, the Chairman of the PMC brought Ghaleb’s case to the attention of the French representative, Robert de Caix, at the general meeting in July of 1927.
           
After this prompting, de Caix agreed to consider Ghaleb’s case. Several months later, after the French had translated and studied Ghaleb’s petitions, they sent the papers back to the Secretariat with the observation that “in its opinion, M. Ghaleb, who is now living in Serbia, should apply directly to the League of Nations.”

So, to recapitulate the bureaucratic cartwheels Ghaleb was subjected to: the PMCtold Ghaleb he had to send his claim to the French, and the French told Ghaleb to send his claim to the PMC.  
           
But before yet another transfer of responsibility, the French did give an opinion on the case, based on part on the Treaty of Lausanne, famous for establishing Turkey's modern borders in 1923. It also significantly enabled Europeans to seize former Ottoman assets in continental banking institutions and use them to pay indemnities to European citizens. Unfortunately for Ghaleb, no such agreement provided compensation to former Ottoman citizens. Moreover, no agreement existed between France and Serbia providing compensation to citizens of French mandates, like Ghaleb. 

So the French concluded that Ghaleb’s specific case could really only be addressed by Lebanese law. But this didn’t help Ghaleb either. As Lebanon emerged from the devastation of war and famine, there was hardly enough in the budget to cover the reconstruction of geographic Lebanon itself, let alone compensating someone like Ghaleb, hundreds of miles away. In this case, being Lebanese meant being left out.
           
Ghaleb’s translated petitions were finally forwarded to the PMC for official consideration in 1928. But the man who addressed letters to the president of France from Serbia was nothing if not persistent. Before the PMC's final ruling, Ghaleb wrote from Bikfaya, Lebanon where he returned to take care of his home and attend to his business interests, including a silk and cotton factory. Yet even after Ghaleb returned to his putative home, authorities questioned him on a matter that had been taken for granted up to that point: his Lebanese identity.  “With regard to my war claims and all the correspondence that has passed between us, it is now stated that the question of my Syrian or Lebanese nationality comes decisively into question,” Ghaleb wrote, according to an English translation by the PMC.  “But this point was not disputed by the authorities when my petition came to the Lebanese Government,” he complained. He concluded in a tone that tapped into the discourse of the post-war order to hold France and the League accountable, writing, “I address myself to you again with all respect, since I am confident your desire is to uphold all that is good and salutary for mankind and not what is evil and treacherous.”

This may have been an overly hopeful estimation. In the thirteenth session of the PMC in 1928, the Dutch claims investigator and vice-chairman of the PMC, M. Van Rees concluded that Ghaleb could not prove that he attempted to apply for Lebanese nationality under article 34 of the Treaty of Lausanne. In any case, whether or not he was Lebanese mattered not because the incidents to which Ghaleb referred took place before the mandates system was even in place. According to Van Rees, the Commission was not qualified to hear Ghaleb’s petition, thus concluding a long tale of passing the buck.  
               
Despite the hapless nature of Ghaleb’s efforts, his story illustrates the creative ways people of the post-Ottoman period negotiated new international structures of power. The League failed as a supranational peacekeeping body. Premised on imperialism as it was, the League’s PMC, acting as an international space for petitions, almost always ruled in favor of the mandatory power when considering petitions. Ghaleb, like many others, didn’t get the result he wanted. But this doesn’t mean his claims weren’t productive in any way. Ghaleb’s participation in the petitioning process profoundly shaped his fate. It took him from Serbia to France to Serbia and back to Lebanon. It prompted him to consider taking Serbian citizenship and forced him to prove his Lebanese nationality. And through all of these events, he utilized a language that invoked concepts like justice, rights, citizenship, and international law. It is no exaggeration to say, then, that Ghaleb, and the many petitioners like him, played a formative role in the proliferation of the norms associated with the new international order of the post-war period.
















Source: League of Nations Archive, Carton R 61, 1/63601/22099.



[1] See Susan Pedersen, "Samoa on the World Stage: Petitions and Peoples before the Mandates Commission of the League of Nations." The Journal of Imperial and Commonwealth History 40.2 (2012): 237.
Also see Susan Pedersen,"Back to the League of Nations." 
The American Historical Review 112.4 (2007): 1091-1117.