The Sociopolitical World of Ottoman Hamams

with Nina Ergin

hosted by Chris Gratien

Bathhouses or hamams are a well-known feature of the Ottoman city typically associated with leisure. However, as our guest Nina Ergin explains, the history of hamams also provides a window onto many socioeconomic and political issues in the Ottoman Empire. In this episode, we discuss her research regarding the hamams of Istanbul during the mid-eighteenth century, what they tell us about the political economy and demographic makeup of the Ottoman capital, and how mapping hamams onto the landscape of Ottoman Istanbul can raise new questions about the social history of the city.





Nina Ergin is Associate Professor in the Department of Archaeology and History of Art at Koç University, specializing in the history of Ottoman architecture. Her work particularly revolves around monuments that have a strong social dimension, such as hamams, soup kitchens and hospitals, as well as around the sensory dimensions of the Ottoman built environment. (see academia.edu)
Chris Gratien is a doctoral candidate at Georgetown University studying the social and environmental history of the Ottoman Empire and the modern Middle East. His doctoral research examines the ecological transformation of the Adana region of Southern Turkey from the mid-19th century onward. (see academia.edu)

Episode No. 192
Release date: 5 July 2015
Location: Feriköy, Istanbul
Editing and Production by Chris Gratien
Musical excerpt from Debo Band - Ambassel at freemusicarchive.org
This episode is part of our series on Urban Space in the Ottoman World

SELECT PUBLICATIONS

Nina Ergin with contributions by Yasemin Özarslan, “Mapping Istanbul’s Hamams of 1752 and Their Employees,” Bread from the Lion’s Mouth: Artisans Struggling for a Livelihood in Ottoman Cities, ed. Suraiya Faroqhi (New York, Oxford: Berghahn, 2015), 108-135.

Nina Ergin, “The Albanian Tellâk Connection: Labor Migration to the Hamams of Eighteenth-Century Istanbul, Based on the 1752 İstanbul Hamâmları Defteri,” Turcica 43 (2011 [2012]): 229-254.
Nina Ergin, “Bathing Business in Istanbul: A Case Study of the Çemberlitaş Hamamı in the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries,” Bathing Culture of Anatolian Civilizations: Architecture, History and Imagination (Louvain: Peeters, 2011), 142-167.

Nina Ergin, “Continuity and Change in Turkish Bathing Culture in Istanbul: The Life Story of the Çemberlitaş Hamam,” Turkish Studies 6 (2005): 93-112.

IMAGES

Thomas Allom, the Bath. Bains turcs (Wellcome Images / wikipedia)

Distribution of hamams in Ottoman Istanbul, c1752. For more maps like this, see Nina Ergin's article in Source: Nina Ergin with contributions by Yasemin Özarslan, “Mapping Istanbul’s Hamams of 1752 and Their Employees,” Bread from the Lion’s Mouth: Artisans Struggling for a Livelihood in Ottoman Cities, ed. Suraiya Faroqhi (New York, Oxford: Berghahn, 2015).


Workers at Istanbul hamams hailing from Üsküdar, c1752. Listen to the episode to find out more about what this map tells us (Source: Nina Ergin with contributions by Yasemin Özarslan, “Mapping Istanbul’s Hamams of 1752 and Their Employees,” Bread from the Lion’s Mouth: Artisans Struggling for a Livelihood in Ottoman Cities, ed. Suraiya Faroqhi (New York, Oxford: Berghahn, 2015)

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