Aug 29, 2016

Ottoman Encounters with Global Capital

with Coşkun Tuncer

hosted by Taylan Güngör and Michael Talbot

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The period from the 1870s to 1914 was the peak of the nineteenth-century globalisation characterised by increased movement of capital across the world. In this podcast, Coşkun Tuncer discusses his recent book on ‘Sovereign Debt and the International Financial Control: the Middle East and the Balkans, 1870-1914’, the role of banks as intermediaries between the Ottoman government and international financial markets, the Ottoman Public Debt Administration and the cases of sovereign debt in Egypt, Serbia and Greece.

Aug 26, 2016

Osmanlı İstanbul’unda Gece ve Sokaklar

Nurçin İleri

Ufuk Adak'ın sunuculuğuyla

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Ottoman History Podcast'in bu bölümünde, Nurçin İleri ile geç dönem Osmanlı İstanbul’unda gece, korku ve suç ilişkisi üzerine konuştuk. Farklı toplumsal tabakalardan insanların, demografik ve fiziksel anlamda hızla dönüşen kent mekanınını sokakların aydınlatılması çalışmaları, geceleri mobilite, kamusal eğlence ve aktivitelerin kontrolü ekseninde nasıl deneyimledikleri ve ne hissettiklerini tartıştık. Aynı zamanda geceleri kent mekanlarının iktidar ilişkilerini nasıl yeniden ürettiğini ve bunların temsiliyet biçimlerini ele aldık.


Aug 25, 2016

Festivals and the Waterfront in 18th Century Istanbul

with Gwendolyn Collaço

hosted by Chris Gratien, Nir Shafir, and Huma Gupta

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The illustrated account of the festivals surrounding the circumcision of Sultan Ahmed III's sons in 1720 is one of the most iconic and celebrated depictions of urban life in Ottoman Istanbul. With its detailed text written by Vehbi, accompanied by the vibrant miniature paintings of Levni, this work has been used as a source for understanding the cast of professions and personalities that occupied the public space of the Ottoman capital. In this episode, we focus not on the colorful characters of Levni's paintings but rather the backdrop for the celebrations: the Golden Horn and the waterfront of 18th-century Istanbul. As our guest Gwendolyn Collaço explains, the accounts of festivals in early modern Istanbul reflect the transformation of the city and an orientation towards the waterfront not only in the Ottoman Empire but also neighboring states of the Mediterranean. 

Aug 24, 2016

Translating the Ottoman Novel

with Melih Levi

hosted by Zoe Griffith

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Emerging as a literary genre towards the end of the nineteenth century, the Ottoman novel has been overshadowed by the transformation of the Turkish language and alphabet after 1928. In this episode, we speak with Melih Levi about his recent English translation with Monica Ringer of one the first examples of the Ottoman novel, Ahmed Midhat Efendi's Felatun Bey and Rakım Efendi (Syracuse University Press, 2016). Far from a derivative imitation of European literary themes and forms, Ahmed Midhat's novel revolves both seriously and playfully around the concepts of ala franga and ala turca, cajoling and instructing its readers on how live as authentically "modern" Ottomans in a rapidly modernizing empire. Published in 1875, the novel opens windows onto the Ottoman family, slavery, masculinity, and social orders, as well as literal and psychological relations with Europe in nineteenth-century Istanbul. 

Aug 22, 2016

German Expatriates in Late Ottoman Istanbul

with Philipp Wirtz

hosted by Taylan Güngör and Michael Talbot

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Ottoman-German relations have usually been studied in the context of great-power politics, imperialism both hard and soft, or the military and economic spheres. In this podcast Philipp Wirtz presents some initial findings of a larger research project focusing on personal networks and experiences of Germans residing in the late Ottoman Empire and early Turkish Republic and two German expatriates in particular: the journalist Friedrich Schrader and the academic Martin Hartmann. As theatre-goers, buyers of books and writers of literary reviews, both took an active part in the cultural life of the Ottoman capital in the years following the Young Turk Revolution.  Using their local knowledge and fluency in Ottoman Turkish, both were able to gain unique insights at odds with the popular portrayal of Ottoman affairs in the western media. On the other hand, neither of these authors was immune to the biases of their times, constantly questioning the extent to which Ottoman literary expression, and in particular the emerging “Turkish national literature” were “original” or “civilised.

Aug 18, 2016

Provincial Histories of the Ottoman Empire

with Marc Aymes

hosted by Susanna Ferguson

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In this episode, we talk with Marc Aymes about his approach to Ottoman provincial history through the history of 19th century Cyprus. What is the difference between an Ottoman "provincial history" and "a history of the Ottoman provinces?" Can a "provincial" approach to Ottoman history change the way we understand major questions in Ottoman historiography, including the impact of 19th century reforms (Tanzimat), the role of Europe and Europeans in Ottoman society, and the relationship between Istanbul and other parts of the Sultan's well-protected domains? How might research on Ottoman Cyprus enable us to rethink not only established hypotheses about Ottoman governance, social life, and political transformation in the 19th century, but also our very modes of doing and understanding history itself? 

Aug 16, 2016

The Ottoman Red Sea

with Alexis Wick

hosted by Susanna Ferguson

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The body of water now known as the Red Sea lay well within the bounds of the Ottoman Empire's well-protected domains for nearly four centuries. It wasn't until the 19th century, however, that this body of water began to be called or conceived of as "the Red Sea" by either Ottomans or Europeans. In this episode, Professor Alexis Wick argues that we have much to learn about how history (and Ottoman history in particular) "makes its object" by studying not only the emergence of the concept of the Red Sea, Ottoman or otherwise, but also the surprising absence of such a history in previous scholarship. His new book The Red Sea: In Search of Lost Space (University of California Press, 2016) is both a conceptual history of the Red Sea as seen through both Ottoman and European eyes, and a reflection on the methodologies, tropes, and preoccupations of Ottoman history writ large.

Aug 10, 2016

African Diaspora in Ottoman Izmir

with Michael Ferguson

hosted by Chris Gratien and Saghar Sadeghian

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The Ottoman slave trade, which was part of an increasingly globalized trafficking network of the early modern period, brought millions of people from the surrounding regions of Europe, Asia, and Africa to the Ottoman Empire. While abolition and emancipation movements occurred in various forms throughout the last century of the empire's history, slavery remained in practice until its very end. In recent decades, the ignored history of the Ottoman slave trade has received more attention, but there has been considerably less discussion of how enslaved people brought to the empire contributed to its socioeconomic and cultural transformation and where the descendants of such people can be found today. In this episode, we talk to Michael Ferguson about his research on the African diaspora in modern Turkey, especially around the city of Izmir. We discuss the origins of Izmir's Afro-Turk community, their historical experience during the late Ottoman and early Republican periods, and the ways in which the Afro-Turk identity has been transformed and revived in recent years. We also delve into shared aspects of history and culture between diasporic African communities in other parts of the Middle East.

Aug 7, 2016

Secular Dhimmis of the Republic

with Lerna Ekmekçioğlu

hosted by Chris Gratien, Nir Shafir, and Eda Çakmakçı

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After facing the destruction of their community during the First World War, former Ottoman Armenians set about rebuilding in Turkey first during a period of relative optimism under the Allied occupation of Istanbul and later as non-Muslim citizens of new Turkish nation-state. In her new work entitled Recovering Armenia, Lerna Ekmekçioğlu explores the changes and continuities in the identity of Istanbul's Armenian community during this transformative period. In this interview, we explore Armenian collective politics, feminist movements, and expressions of loyalty through the Armenian press and through the writings of women in particular, and we examine the issue of Armenian belonging in Turkey through the lens of "secular dimmitude" among non-Muslim citizens of a predominantly Muslim but secular republic.

Aug 4, 2016

Armenian Photography in Ottoman Anatolia

with Armen T. Marsoobian

hosted by Zoe Griffith

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Interest in Ottoman photography has tended to focus on the orientalist gaze or the view from the imperial center. In this episode, Armen T. Marsoobian offers us the unique lens of the Dildilian family of Armenian photographers in provincial Anatolia. Around the turn of the twentieth century, the Dildilians worked to memorialize portraits of fragmenting families and to document everyday scenes in provincial cities such as Sivas, Samsun, and Merzifon. Marsoobian, himself a descendant of the Dildilians, has woven together the family's remarkable photographic archive along with their memoirs and oral histories, to describe how  through ingenuity and professional connections, the family and with them much of their art survived the genocide in 1915-16.

Aug 2, 2016

Inside the Nubarian Library

with Boris Adjemian

hosted by Matthew Ghazarian and Susanna Ferguson

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Since its foundation in 1928 by Boghos Nubar, son of Egyptian Prime Minister and Ottoman dignitary Nubar Pasha, the Nubarian library in Paris has served as a major resource for Armenian intellectual life and historical research in the diaspora. What is less well-known is how the library's rich holdings in Ottoman Turkish, Armeno-Turkish, French and English as well as in Armenian might be useful for historians of the larger Ottoman world. In this episode, we talk with library director Boris Ajemian about the extensive archival, photographic, and periodical collections available at the Nubarian library, new directions and possibilities for Armenian and Ottoman social and cultural history, and the library's own fascinating past.