Jan 30, 2016

Global Imagining in Early Modern Europe

with Ayesha Ramachandran

hosted by Chris Gratien

This episode is part of an ongoing series entitled History of Science, Ottoman or Otherwise.
 
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We often speak of physical and abstract worlds as if they were self-evident. But the concept of "the world" has been forged and continually remade through imagination and debate. In this podcast, Ayesha Ramachandran discusses the historical context of the world's ascendance as a meaningful concept and offers a preview of her new book entitled Worldmakers: Global Imagining in Early Modern Europe.

Jan 27, 2016

Picturing History at the Ottoman Court

with Emine Fetvacı

hosted by Emily Neumeier and Nir Shafir

Emine Fetvacı discusses her research for Picturing History at the Ottoman Court (Indiana University Press) with Emily Neumeier and Nir Shafir.
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In the second half of the sixteenth century, the Ottoman court became particularly invested in writing its own history. This initiative primarily took the form of official chronicles, and the court historian (şehnameci), a new position established in the 1550s, set to work producing manuscripts accompanied by lavish illustrations. However, the paintings in these texts should not be understood merely as passive descriptions of historical events. Rather, these images served as complex conveyors of meaning in their own right, designed by teams of artists to satisfy the aspirations of their patrons, which included not only the sultan but also other members of the court. In this episode, Emily Neumeier and Nir Shafir speak with Emine Fetvacı about these illustrated histories, the subject of her 2013 volume Picturing History at the Ottoman Court

Jan 24, 2016

Mapping the Ottomans

with Palmira Brummett

hosted by Chris Gratien

In a new episode, we speak to Palmira Brummett about her new book, which examines the mapping and representation of Ottoman space in early modern Europe.
This episode is part of an ongoing series entitled History of Science, Ottoman or Otherwise.
 
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Where did the Ottomans fit within the geographical understandings of Christian kingdoms in early modern Europe? How did Europeans reconcile the notion of "the Turk" as other with the reality of an Ottoman presence in the Balkans and Eastern Europe? What was the relationship between the maps and representations of Ottoman space in Europe and the self-mapping carried out by the Ottomans in maps and miniatures? These are some of the major questions addressed by our guest Palmira Brummett in her new book Mapping the Ottomans, which uses maps to study early modern space and time, travel, the flow of information, claims to sovereignty, and cross-cultural encounters between the Ottomans neighboring Christian polities.

Jan 13, 2016

Mapping the Medieval World in Islamic Cartography

with Karen Pinto

hosted by Nir Shafir

In the latest addition to our series on history of science, Nir Shafir talks to Karen Pinto about her research on Islamic cartography and mapping.
This episode is part of an ongoing series entitled History of Science, Ottoman or Otherwise.
 
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Hundreds of cartographic images of the world and its regions exist scattered throughout collections of medieval and early modern Arabic, Persian, and Turkish manuscripts. The sheer number of these extant maps tells us that from the thirteenth century onward, when these map-manuscripts began to proliferate, visually depicting the world became a major preoccupation of medieval Muslim scholars. However, these cartographers did not strive for mimesis, that is, representation or imitation of the real world. These schematic, geometric, and often symmetrical images of the world are iconographic representations—‘carto-ideographs’—of how medieval Muslim cartographic artists and their patrons perceived their world and chose to represent and disseminate this perception. In this podcast, we sit down with Karen Pinto to discuss the maps found in the cartographically illustrated Kitāb al-Masālik wa-al-Mamālik (Book of Routes and Realms) tradition, which is the first known geographic atlas of maps, its influence on Ottoman cartography, and how basic versions of these carto-ideographs were transported back to villages and far-flung areas of the Islamic empire.

Jan 8, 2016

Russian Hajj

with Eileen Kane

hosted by Chris Gratien

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Just as the Ottoman Empire is often known for the discourse of Pan-Islam during the 19th century, the Russian Empire is similarly known for its prominent role as the foremost Christian rival of the Ottomans. Yet the long and deep relationship between the Russian Empire and Islam has received comparatively little historical scrutiny. In this podcast, Eileen Kane discusses her recent book entitled Russian Hajj (Cornell University Press), which considers the role of the Russian administrators as rulers over Muslim subjects. We explore how the Russia's relationship with its millions of Muslim subjects transformed during the 19th century and how the Russian Empire became increasingly involved in Muslim matters such as the hajj pilgrimage as it sought to expand its imperial reach.