Time and Temporal Culture in the Ottoman Empire

with Avner Wishnitzer

hosted by Chris Gratien

In daily life, time appears as an unavoidable fact. It marches forward uniformly, and much like money, is a fungible commodity that can be spent, wasted, and saved. However, this view often obscures the fact that our engagement with time is mitigated through socially-constructed ways of understanding, measuring, and using time. In this episode, Chris Gratien talks to Anver Wishnizter about his research in this realm of social time--what he describes as "temporal culture"--and the changes in such a temporal culture during the late Ottoman period.

*Update* Dr. Wishnitzer's monograph entitled Reading Clocks, Alla Turca has since been published with Chicago University Press. Follow this link to access this new publication.

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Avner Wishnitzer is a Kreitman Post-Doctoral Fellow at Ben Gurion University of the Negev. (see faculty page)
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)

Episode No. 152
Release date: 8 May 2014
Location: Kurtuluş, Istanbul
Editing and Production by Chris Gratien
This episode is part of an ongoing series entitled History of Science, Ottoman or Otherwise.

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Avner Wishnitzer, "Our Time: On the Durability of the Alaturka Hour System in the Late Ottoman Empire,”  International Journal of Turkish Studies, 16/1 (2010): 47-69.

Avner Wishnitzer,  “Teaching Time: Schools, Schedules and the Ottoman Pursuit of Progress.” New Perspectives on Turkey, 43(2010): 5-32.

On Barak, On Time: Technology and Temporality in Modern Egypt  (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2013).

Vanessa Ogle, "Whose Time Is It? The Pluralization of Time and the Global Condition, 1870s-
1940s," American Historical Review, 118/5 (2013): 1376-1402.

Daniel A. Stolz, The Lighthouse and the Observatory: Islam, Authority and Cultures of Astronomy in Late Ottoman Egypt (PhD diss. Princeton University, 2013).