Oct 30, 2015

Men of Capital in Mandate Palestine

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In this episode, Sherene Seikaly discusses the intersection of politics and economics under the British Mandate in Palestine through the lens of Palestinian capitalists, who are the subject of her new book entitled Men of Capital: Scarcity and Economy in Mandate Palestine (Stanford University Press).

Oct 26, 2015

Women and Suicide in Early Republican Turkey

with Nazan Maksudyan

hosted by Susanna Ferguson

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In the 1920s and 1930s, politicians, intellectuals, and members of the public joined a lively debate about the issue of female suicide in Turkey. While we cannot know whether the rates of female suicide were actually skyrocketing during this period, the fact that so many public figures began to treat this issue as a central concern tells us a lot about the relationship between the modernizing state of Early Republican Turkey and the women whom it governed. In this episode, Nazan Maksudyan explores what might have provoked this debate, what it might say about the state and its relationship to women, gender, and the female body, and how women themselves might have used suicide as a means of asserting their agency.

Oct 22, 2015

Reconstructing Ottoman Armenian Life

with Vahé Tachjian

hosted by Chris Gratien and Nir Shafir

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In the decades following the Armenian genocide, communities of the diaspora began to document the life of Ottoman Armenians in the towns and villages of Anatolia and publish their material in memory books aimed at preserving and transmitting Armenian histories for posterity. Largely composed in Armenian and languages of the diaspora, these books have circulated in small circles for decades as tiny fragments of a treasured but fading past. In recent years, digital outlets have created a new venue for piecing back together these fragments and sharing the history of Ottoman Armenians in a public forum. In this episode, we speak to historian Vahé Tachjian about the houshamadyan project, which since 2011 has served as a virtual space for the reconstruction and exploration of Ottoman Armenian life.

Oct 14, 2015

Palestinian Village Histories

with Rochelle Davis

hosted by Chris Gratien and Alissa Walter

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The history of the modern world is one of overlapping displacements that have severed ties not only between people and their ancestral homes but also their histories. The writing of village history among displaced communities such as Ashkenazi Jews and Ottoman Armenians has emerged as a means of preserving that history for future generations in the diaspora. In this episode, Rochelle Davis discusses her work on the village history genre among Palestinians, its place within Palestinian historical memory, and the ways in which these sources can enrich our understanding of the past.

Oct 8, 2015

Naked Anxieties in the Baths of Ottoman Aleppo

with Elyse Semerdjian

hosted by Chris Gratien

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Bath houses or hamams were mainstays of the Ottoman city. But as semi-public spaces where people could mix and implicitly transgressed certain boundaries regarding nudity, they were also spaces that produced anxiety and calls for regulation. In this episode, Elyse Semerdjian discusses how in a certain time and place of eighteenth century Aleppo, the issue of Muslim and Christian women bathing together aroused the concern of Ottoman state and society.