Mar 26, 2015

Illicit Sex in Ottoman and French Algeria

with Aurelie Perrier

hosted by Sam Dolbee

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

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The association of Algeria with sex figured prominently in the artwork and literature that was critiqued so famously by Edward Said in Orientalism. In this episode, Dr. Aurelie Perrier discusses the practical backdrop of this argument beyond the level of discourse by exploring illicit sex in 19th century Algeria under both Ottoman and French rule. Beginning with the fluid boundaries of Ottoman-administered sex work, she describes the transformations that accompanied French colonialism beginning in 1830. Contextualizing the sex trade in both eras with flows of labor migration, Perrier also illuminates the spatial dynamics of the French approach to prostitution, namely the birth of red-light districts and brothels. At once centralizing and segregating sex work, this new politics of space was intimately connected to the boundaries of race and class that were the premise of colonialism in the first place. Yet it appears in many cases these boundaries were transgressed, undermining the credibility of the colonial state. Moreover, even as the state claimed unprecedented control over the intimate lives of its citizens/subjects, people still managed to use the system for their own purposes, or evade it altogether. Still, the undeniable encroachment of the state left an indelible mark on Algeria's history with distinctly gendered implications.

Mar 19, 2015

Kurdish Alevi Music and Migration

with Ozan Aksoy

hosted by Chris Gratien and Ceren Erdem

The songs and melodies of the Turkey's Alevi communities derive from a long history of song-making in Anatolia that is embedded in local geographies and indelibly tied to notions of worship and belonging. So what happens when, through migration and media, that music enters entirely new contexts? In this episode, we sit down with ethnomusicologist and musician Ozan Aksoy to discuss his research on Kurdish Alevi music in diasporic contexts and hear him perform some of his favorite selections live in the OHP studio.

Mar 13, 2015

New Perspectives on Medieval Anatolia

with Sara Nur Yıldız

hosted by Chris Gratien

Students of Ottoman history might tend to think of the Medieval Period in Anatolia as a precursor to the Ottoman, in other words, reading the region's medieval past through the teleological lens of the Ottoman rise. However, recent scholarship on Medieval Anatolia, especially the Seljuk and Mongol periods, has moved towards a different approach that argues for the study of this complex geography and period in its own right. In this episode, Sara Nur Yıldız makes the argument for Medieval Anatolia and explores new developments in the political, social, and cultural history of the field.