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Women, Gender, and Sex in the Ottoman World is a series of podcasts that pulls together women’s history and the history of gender and sex in the Ottoman Empire and beyond. It explores the particular historical experiences of women and girls based on the conviction that returning the lives, experiences, and ideas of women to the historical record will change the way we look at historical periods and transformations at large. It also investigates the ways in which gender and sexuality can serve as useful categories of historical analysis (Scott, 1986) as they help us to better understand broad transformations in regimes of knowledge and politics, relations of property, forms of governance, and the nature of the state.
Currently our series contains 20 podcast episodes featuring 32 contributors available for play or download through our podcast feeds. Let us know what you'd like to hear next!
by Susanna Ferguson and Seçil Yılmaz
The pairing of women’s history and the study of gender produces an inherent tension: while women’s history assumes the coherence of categories like “man” and “woman,” ascribing particular historical experiences to women and to men, studying gender means analyzing and interrogating the very categories on which women’s history is based. What did it mean, historically, to be a “man” or a “woman,” and what other gender categories might have been equally important in shaping social life? How did ideas about sex, biology, desire, gender roles, and the family change over time? Below, you’ll find groups of episodes which ask both questions about the historical experiences of women and about the historical construction of gender categories and norms. (click for more)
The topics of women and gender in the historiography of the Ottoman and post-Ottoman world have to a great extent emerged out of a broader critique of the vision of history that once placed “great men” of state at the center of historical narratives. The work of Leslie Peirce, for example, has shown that some women wielded power in the highest ranks of the Ottoman state (1993) while other women of the most provincial origins (2003) also used available institutions and resources to assert their rights and interests. The drive to restore the presence of women as actors within historical narratives has served as an important thread of commonality between scholars working on a diverse range of geographies and periods.
However, questions regarding women and gender have been of particular importance for scholars studying the Ottoman Empire and the Middle East. In part, this is because scholarship on the region since the 1950s has been at pains to differentiate itself from a long history of Orientalist knowledge production in the West, in which art, literature, and later, scholarship, often used depictions of “the harem” as a way of portraying “the East” as exotic and despotic. Beginning in the 19th century, orientalists, missionaries, and travellers began to report back to avid reading publics in Europe and America on the “plight” and “oppression” of Muslim women (for example, see Our Moslem Sisters (1901)), while Christian women belonging to the Eastern church were also often seen as lost and oppressed. These accounts produced a figure of the “Middle Eastern woman” as static, homogenous, and oppressed, sometimes in contrast with the progressive and liberated women of the West.
The origins of scholarship on women and gender in the region, as Beth Baron has argued (1994), cannot be traced solely to Western accounts: at the turn of the 20th century, men and women writers from across the Ottoman Empire and the Arab world were contributing to a lively print debate in Ottoman, Arabic, and other regional languages about women and gender. Writing in the wide array of journals, magazines, and books that began to be published in cities like Istanbul, Beirut, and Cairo starting in the 1880s, women and men shared a variety of opinions about the political and social status of women at home and around the globe. They discussed their perceptions of women’s rights, the nature of political life and the place of women within it, and changing experiences of work and education, as well as new ideas about family, child rearing, and health.
These writings on women were disciplinary and exclusive in their own right. For example, they often reflected middle class interests, producing narratives about the “failures” of ”traditional” women who couldn’t access the promises of bourgeois family life. But they also departed in important ways from the views of women expressed in orientalist writings and western travelogues. Attending to the important work of women writers in the early Arabic and Ottoman press, for example, shows that not all women in the region thought of themselves as “voiceless” or “oppressed,” and also highlights internal debates that contradict depictions of the “Middle East” or the “Ottoman Empire” as a static, homogenous intellectual space.
Meanwhile, historians of women and gender in the Ottoman Empire have tackled both the orientalist representation of gender in Islamic societies on one hand and paternalist discourses arising from within the region on the other. Research on gender, family, and property relations in the Ottoman Empire during the early modern period has in many cases served to highlight the ways in which the “traditional” or “pre-modern” foils of Islamic families constructed by late nineteenth century writers were caricatured or failed to grasp the ways in which both law and custom functioned in practice (Doumani et al, 2003).
At the same time, this scholarship has also emphasized important historiographical problems regarding class through the study of gender. After all, the vast majority of women living in the region did not belong to the upper class. These women experienced life very differently from one another and from their elite contemporaries, depending not only on socio-economic status but also on factors such as location, religious identity, linguistic tradition, and ethnic background. Thus, “women” has emerged as a historical category that represents a group with both shared and differentiated anxieties, needs, and grievances. In particular, lower class women were impacted very differently than their elite contemporaries by transformations in state governance, law, medicine, reproduction, labor, and family life. By examining a wide variety of historical sources, including court records, folk songs, property registers, art and architecture, and material culture, scholars have made important discoveries about the lives and concerns of female workers, migrants, midwives, widows, prostitutes, and criminals (Zilfi, 1997).
Scholarship on women in the Ottoman Empire and the Middle East has shown that exploring the lives of both elite and lower-class women changes the way we view history, for example by helping us to better understand the construction of power at the Ottoman court (Pierce, 1993). In the 1980s and 90s, however, a new generation of scholars began to ask how gendered categories and identities like “man” and “women” came to seem natural in the first place. Thinking historically about how gender identities are constructed and deployed in politics and in daily life has allowed us to ask new questions about the history of the Ottoman empire and the modern Middle East. For example, Judith Tucker (2002) has shown how new realities such as the conscription of men to forced labor and military service transformed what it meant to be a man and a woman in 19th century Egypt. In turn, these shifts in gender roles contributed to transformations in the economy, the labor market, and the ability of the state to police its population, as well as in the structures of family life. Likewise, Elizabeth Thompson (2000) has used gender as a lens of historical analysis to show how political order was constituted in Mandate Syria and Lebanon: male elites and colonial authorities forged a compromise based on the political marginalization of women, agreeing that women should relate to political power by using male elites as intermediaries. These examples show how changing notions and experiences of gender roles have shaped the histories of families and individuals as well as of states and colonial regimes.
In conversation with the literature on women and gender, the study of sex and sexuality in the Islamic world in particular has raised new questions, especially after Foucault’s History of Sexuality (1978) and its critique by Edward Said (1978). The study of sex in the region has moved beyond preoccupations with the textual constraints offered by “Islamic law” and Orientalist fantasies about the harem. Instead of relying on these homogenizing tropes, scholars have shown that practices and understandings of sex--and its policing--have varied widely across space and time within the boundaries of the Arab, Islamic, and Ottoman worlds as elsewhere. As Judith Tucker (1999) argues for seventeenth and eighteenth century Palestine, in practice, both women and men used the law in complex and flexible ways to adjudicate issues including parental rights and custody, sexual satisfaction and desire, rape, and divorce.
What’s more, particular arrangements of love, sex, and desire have shaped and continue to shape formations of politics, law, and everyday life. For example, Afsaneh Najmabadi (2005) has argued that the androgynous figure of the amrad, or adolescent boy, who functioned as the apex of sexual desirability in Qajar Iran has continued to haunt Iranian nationalism into the twentieth century, interrupting visions of nation-as-family built around companionate marriage and heterosexual love. Scholars have also raised epistemological questions about the historical trajectories and sources of the narratives on sexuality and desire in the Ottoman world (Ze’evi, 2006). What social, legal and medical technologies produced femininity and masculinity as coherent and universal categories, and how did modern forms of power and governance establish heterosexual desire and conjugal love as normative orderings of intimate life?
The study of women and gender has also shed new light onto how Ottoman and post-Ottoman societies were affected by momentous political developments on the world stage. The decades leading up to and after World War I transformed the political, social, and demographic characteristics of the Ottoman world; these transformations, in turn, reconfigured gender dynamics on a grand scale. Conditions of total war in the Middle East introduced new forms of gendered violence including rape and starvation; the loss of husbands, fathers, and male kin during the war brought on numerous other forms of socioeconomic vulnerability. The war also offered unexpected opportunities to women, as women entered the labor market in increasing numbers to replace conscripted, killed, and missing men.
After the First World War, colonial administrations and nationalist governments embarked on processes (often violent and oppressive) of reshaping social and political life in post-Ottoman successor states. Whether in the nation-state project of early Republican Turkey or in the anti-colonial resistance movements of Egypt, Lebanon, and elsewhere, feminist and nationalist discourses and movements often went hand in hand.. During the course of WWI, women had been changed by the hardships of work and survival. When elites and state officials began to attempt to restore a patriarchal status quo at the war’s end, women marshalled multiple forms of resistance, seeking to maintain their social status and expand their civic rights (Thompson, 2000). Through feminist organizations and journals, activist women voiced their claims to equality and freedom against the “paternal” forces of both male nationalist elites and colonial overlords (Baron, 1994). As in the case of early Republican Turkey, feminists’ attempts to play active role in politics by establishing a Women’s People’s Party confronted an immediate intervention of the government by the invention of “state feminism” (Zihnioğlu, 2003).
Nationalist movements led by men asked women to put the struggle for independence ahead of their feminist commitments. In a complex amalgamation of nationalist desires and “gender anxiety” (Thompson, 2000), many women came to embrace nation, family and childraising as roads to independence and a better future, while others were drawn to communist, socialist, and Islamist alternatives. Beyond the history of feminism and activist women in the twentieth century Middle East, however, many women who did not see themselves as “fighting for rights” or “resisting oppression” found new ways of living in a changed social order. Their experiences can help us to think the history of women in the Middle East beyond the normative binaries of “resistance” and “oppression” (Mahmood, 2005).
This podcast series features a growing catalog of interviews with scholars who have tackled many of the issues above. These podcasts highlight the role of women and children as actors in the history of the Ottoman Empire and the Middle East and interrogate presentist and normative assumptions about gender as well as assumptions about the past. Through these episodes, listeners can explore a diverse range of topics related to the history of women and gender and understand the unique approaches and challenges of researchers focusing on the geography of the Ottoman and post-Ottoman worlds. Click the headings below to explore the various categories and episodes and see what is coming next.
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Women's Lives new releases
Locating Women as Historical Actors
|Women Literati in the Ottoman Empire|
Contributors: Didem Havlioğlu, Emrah Safa Gürkan, Chris Gratien
Episode No. 71
Release Date: 24 September 2012
Location: Istanbul Şehir University
While almost all of the well-known authors of the Ottoman period are men, women also participated in Ottoman intellectual circles as authors and artists. In our very first podcast devoted solely to the history of women in the Ottoman Empire, Didem Havlioğlu described the world of early modern Ottoman intellectuals and discussed how we can study the cultural of production of women within this context.
|Gender, Politics, and Passion in the Christian Middle East editor's pick|
Contributors: Akram Fouad Khater, Graham Auman Pitts
Episode No. 229
Release Date: 8 March 2016
Location: Khayrallah Center, North Carolina State University
Scholars have long neglected the Middle East’s Christian communities in general and Christian women in particular. In this episode, Akram Khater draws attention to the biography of Hindiyya al-'Ujaimi (1720-1798) to explore the religious and political upheavals of 18th-century Aleppo and Mount Lebanon. Hindiyya’s story speaks to the dynamic history of the Maronite Church, the fraught encounter between Arab and European Christianities, and the role of faith as a historical force. For half a century, she held as much sway over the Maronite Church as any other cleric. The extent of her influence won her powerful enemies in Lebanon and the Vatican. Hindiyya weathered one inquisition but was eventually convicted of heresy and confined to a solitary cell for the final decade of her life. The story of her ascent and demise illuminates gendered aspects of piety and politics in the Christian Middle East.
|Kocaları Zehirleyen Osmanlı Kadınları popular post|
Contributors: Ebru Aykut, Emrah Safa Gürkan
Episode No. 164
Release Date: 13 July 2014 (Türkçe)
Location: Koç RCAC, Istanbul
What happened when Ottoman women used poison, a would-be weapon of the weak, against their husbands? In this episode, Ebru Aykut explores the stories of such women, the legal ramifications of their actions, and the use of poison during the late Ottoman period.
|Osmanlı'da Kadın ve Savaş|
Contributors: Zeynep Kutluata, Seçil Yılmaz, Chris Gratien
Episode No. 208
Release Date: 8 November 2015 (Türkçe)
Location: Feriköy, Istanbul
Osmanlı tarihinde, tıpkı dünya tarihinde olduğu gibi, büyük toplumsal dönüşümlere, devrimlere, savaşlara ve barışlara dair anlatılara erkeklerin eylemleri, sesleri ve kalemleri egemen olurken, kadınlar ve çocuklar sıklıkla bu anlatıların ya dışında bırakıldı yada yardımcı öğesi olageldi. Sosyal ve feminist tarih yazımının en önemli katkısı kadın anlatılarını merkez alarak ve görünür kılarak Osmanlı toplumunda toplumsal cinsiyet rolleri, vatandaşlık hakları ve emek ilişkilerini yeni bir tarih anlayışı ve Osmanlı tarihi anlatısı sunmak oldu. Zeynep Kutluata ile bu bölümde Osmanlı’nın savaşlara ve göçlere karışmış ‘’en uzun yüzyılı’’nda kadınların gerek savaş alanlarında gerekse cephe gerisinde aldıkları aktif siyasi ve toplumsal rolleri vatandaşlık ve toplumsal cinsiyet tartışmaları ekseninde ele aldık.
|Education, Politics, and the Life of Zabel Yessayan|
Contributors: Jennifer Manoukian, Susanna Ferguson
Episode No. 174
Release Date: 23 September 2014
Location: Manhattan, NY
The late 19th century was a time of intellectual and cultural flourishing for the Armenian community in Constantinople, as a new generation of Armenian thinkers traveled to Europe to study, debated new ideas in the press, and settled on a new vernacular for their literary endeavors. Zabel Yessayan was one of the most important female figures of this generation, publishing articles on subjects including educational reform, art and aesthetics, and the question of women. In this podcast, Jennifer Manoukian discusses her new translation of Yessayan's memoir, The Gardens of Silihdar, and explores questions of women, gender, and politics in Yessayan's work.
|Women and the American Protestant Mission in Lebanon|
Contributors: Ellen Fleischmann, Christine Lindner, Suzie Ferguson
Episode No. 230
Release Date: 12 March 2016
Location: Near East School of Theology, Beirut
In this episode, Ellen Fleischmann and Christine Lindner discuss the history of women and gender and the American Protestant Mission in Lebanon. How did American missionary women experience and transform the American Protestant project in the Levant in the 19th and 20th centuries? How did American missionaries, both women and men, interact with women from Beirut and Mt. Lebanon, both those who converted and those who did not? And how did these heterogeneous interactions produce new experiences of womanhood, family, power, and authority in the Levant? Drs. Fleischmann and Lindner reflect on these questions based on their considerable research in Lebanon and elsewhere, and also share their thoughts about sources and strategies for tracing women's history and missionary history in the Ottoman and post-Ottoman Levant.
|Women and Suicide in Early Republican Turkey|
Contributors: Nazan Maksudyan, Susanna Ferguson
Episode No. 205
Release Date: 26 October 2015
Location: Istanbul Kemerburgaz University
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.
Family and Property in the Ottoman World
|Mulberry Fields Forever|
Contributors: Zoe Griffith, Chris Gratien, Kalliopi Amygdalou
Episode No. 130
Release Date: 18 November 2013
Location: Kurtuluş, Istanbul
Inheritance and the transfer of property across generations connects the history of families to a broader analysis of political economy, particularly in societies where wealth and capital are deeply rooted in the earth. In this episode, Zoe Griffith provides a framework for the study of family history through the lens of the mulberry tree and its produce in a study of Ottoman court records from Tripoli (modern-day Lebanon).
|Osmanlı'da Kadın Mülkiyet Hakları|
Contributors: Hadi Hosainy, Emrah Safa Gürkan
Episode No. 184
Release Date: 2 February 2015
Location: Üsküdar, Istanbul
Various opinions of Ottoman jurists may have offered interpretations of what the sources for Islamic law say about the rights and barriers to women's access to property, but this did not necessarily say much about practice. In this episode, Hadi Hosainy delves into the question of women's property rights in a specific historical context through research in the court records of early modern Istanbul.
|Health and Home in a Turkish Village|
Contributors: Sylvia Wing Önder, Chris Gratien, Seçil Yılmaz
Episode No. 210
Release Date: 16 November 2015
Location: Şişli, Istanbul
The subject of health in the modern period is often discussed as a transition from traditional to scientific medicine and what Foucault has called "the birth of the clinic." Such perspectives view medicine and healing through the lens of changing methods, forms of knowledge, and types of authority. In this podcast, our guest Sylvia Wing Önder offers a slightly different approach to the subject in a discussion of her monograph "We Have No Microbes Here (Carolina Academic Press, 2007)," looking at continuities in the centrality of households and women in making decisions about medical care within a Black Sea village.
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Before and Beyond Taboos
Sex in the History of the Middle East
|Sex, Love, and Worship in Classical Ottoman Texts popular post|
Contributors: Selim Kuru, Chris Gratien, Oscar Aguirre Mandujano
Episode No. 62
Release Date: 1 August 2012
Location: Ottoman Summer School, Cunda, Turkey
Historians have used classical Ottoman texts to explore social issues such as sexuality, with compiled manuscripts from various literary genres often forming a data-mine for historical information. However, this type of selective reading has often distorted or obscured the original meaning and context of literary works. Sometimes, texts that appear erotic or sexual in nature such as gazel could have been intended for an entirely different purpose. In this episode, Dr. Selim Kuru examines the concepts of mahbub peresti (worship of the beloved) and gulâm pâregi (pederasty) and various motifs concerning male beauty in the shehrengiz (Gibb's "city-thrillers") genre in search of a more contextualized approach these would-be erotic texts.
|Sexology in Hebrew and Arabic |
Contributors: Liat Kozma, Chris Gratien, Susanna Ferguson
Episode No. 196
Release Date: 19 August 2015
Location: Okmeydanı, Istanbul
During the late nineteenth and early twentieth century, scientists and physicians the world over began to think of sex as something that could be studied and understood through rational methods. In places like Germany, these sexologists were associated with progressive political movements that combated stigmatization of homosexuality and contraception and broke taboos regarding issues such as impotence and masturbation. In this episode, Liat Kozma examines how sexology traveled and transformed in Middle Eastern contexts through the writings of Egyptian doctors and Jewish exiles.
|Illicit Sex in Ottoman and French Algeria editor's pick|
Contributors: Aurelie Perrier, Samuel Dolbee
Episode No. 188
Release Date: 26 March 2015
Location: Paris, France
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.
|Prostitution in the Medieval Mediterranean|
Contributors: Gary Leiser, Emrah Safa Gürkan, Kahraman Şakul, Louis Fishman
Episode No. 98
Release Date: 25 March 2013
Location: Istanbul Şehir University
The image of prostitution as humanity's "oldest profession" often obscures the fact that this phenomenon has carried different social meaning and economic value across time and space. In this episode, Dr. Gary Leiser explores social understandings of prostitution in the Eastern Mediterranean between various political and legal frameworks during the medieval period.
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Male, Female, and None of the Above
|Naked Anxieties in the Baths of Ottoman Aleppo popular post|
Contributors: Elyse Semerdjian, Chris Gratien
Episode No. 202
Release Date: 8 October 2015
Location: Bebek, Istanbul
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.
|Lubunca editor's pick|
Contributors: Nicholas Kontovas, Chris Gratien, Lydia Harrington
Episode No. 138
Release Date: 18 December 2013
Location: Kurtuluş, Istanbul
The term Lubunca refers to a type of slang historically used among Istanbul’s LGBTQ communities. The term has gained currency only in the past decades, but in this podcast, Nicholas Kontovas suggest much deeper orgins in an overview of this underground jargon and its connections to the historical sociolinguistics of Turkey’s urban communities.
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Boys and Girls, Men and Women
Histories of Children and Childhood
|The Lives of Ottoman Children popular post|
Contributors: Nazan Maksudyan, Chris Gratien
Episode No. 150
Release Date: 22 March 2014
Location: Istanbul Kemerburgaz University
Much has been written about shifts in the concept of childhood and the structure of families, particularly for the period following industrialization. However, seldom do the voices and experiences of children find their way into historical narratives. In this podcast, Nazan Maksudyan offers some insights about how to approach the history of children and childhood and discusses the lives of Ottoman children during the empire's last decades.
Contributors: Yahya Araz, Kalliopi Amygdalou, Serkan Şavk
Episode No. 176
Release Date: 26 October 2014
Location: Izmir, Turkey
While some have contended that the entire notion of childhood is a modern concept, a historical study of the question of childhood reveals continuous transformation and reconceptualization of the question of what constitutes an adult. In this episode, Yahya Araz explores the concept of childhood in the Ottoman context and examines its close link to issues of gender.
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Nation and Gender
Gendered Politics in the Age of Nationalism
|Reconstituting the Stuff of the Nation|
Contributors: Lerna Ekmekçioğlu, Chris Gratien
Episode No. 161
Release Date: 29 June 2014
Location: Beyoğlu, Istanbul
The World War I period irrevocably changed the life of Ottoman Armenians and ultimately heralded the end of Christian communities throughout most of Anatolia. However, following the Ottoman defeat in the war, the brief Armistice period witnessed efforts by Armenians in Istanbul to reconstitute their community in the capital. In this episode, Lerna Ekmekçioğlu explores these efforts and in particular activities to locate and gather Armenian orphans and widows dislocated by war and genocide.
|Missionaries and the Muslim Brotherhood|
Contributors: Beth Baron, Susanna Ferguson, Chris Gratien
Episode No. 182
Release Date: 8 January 2015
Location: City College of New York, Graduate Center
In this episode, Beth Baron discusses the historical context of the Muslim Brotherhood's rise during the interwar period and how the organization's activities and goals were shaped by the actions of European missionaries in Egypt.
|Child and Nation in Early Republican Turkey|
Contributors: Yasemin Gencer, Emily Neumeier, Chris Gratien
Episode No. 102
Release Date: 19 April 2013
Location: Kurtuluş, Istanbul
Following the World War I period, the founders of a new Turkish Republic sought to define and legitimize the new order as a break with the Ottoman past. In this episode, Yasemin Gencer explains the ways in which notions such as childhood were used to construct the image of a renewed Turkish society in the nationalist press during the early years of the Republican period.
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This reading list was prepared by Ottoman History Podcast librarian Heather Hughes.
Agmon, Iris. Family & Court: Legal Culture and Modernity in Late Ottoman Palestine. Syracuse, N.Y: Syracuse University Press, 2006.
Andrews, Walter G, and Mehmet Kalpaklı. The Age of Beloveds: Love and the Beloved in Early-Modern Ottoman and European Culture and Society. Durham: Duke University Press, 2005.
Balsoy, Gülhan. The Politics of Reproduction in Ottoman Society, 1838-1900. London: Pickering & Chatto Publishers, 2013.
Baron, Beth. Egypt As a Woman: Nationalism, Gender, and Politics. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2005.
Cuno, Kenneth. Modernizing Marriage: Family, Ideology, and Law in Nineteenth and Early Twentieth-Century Egypt. Syracuse Univ Pr, 2015.
Duben, Alan, and Cem Behar. Istanbul Households: Marriage, Family, and Fertility, 1880-1940. England: Cambridge University Press, 1991.
Ekmekçioğlu, Lerna, and Melissa Bilal. Bir Adalet Feryadı: Osmanlı'dan Türkiye'ye Beş Feminist Yazar, 1862-1933 [A Cry for Justice: Five Feminist Writers in the Ottoman Empire and Modern Turkey, 1862-1933]. İstabul: Aras, 2006.
El-Rouayheb, Khaled. Before Homosexuality in the Arab-Islamic World, 1500-1800: Khaled El-Rouayheb. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2005.
Faroqhi, Suraiya. Stories of Ottoman Men and Women: Establishing Status, Establishing Control. İstanbul: Eren, 2002.
Fay, Mary A. Unveiling the Harem: Elite Women and the Paradox of Seclusion in Eighteenth-Century Cairo. Syracuse, N.Y: Syracuse University Press, 2012.
Hatem, Mervat F. Literature, Gender, and Nation-Building in Nineteenth-Century Egypt: The Life and Works of ʹaísha Taymur. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2011.
Jacob, Wilson C. Working Out Egypt: Effendi Masculinity and Subject Formation in Colonial Modernity, 1870-1940. Durham [NC: Duke University Press, 2011
Kallander, Amy A. Women, Gender, and the Palace Households in Ottoman Tunisia. Austin, Tex: University of Texas Press, 2013.
Kern, Karen M. Imperial Citizen: Marriage and Citizenship in the Ottoman Frontier Provinces of Iraq. Syracuse, N.Y: Syracuse University Press, 2011
Kozma, Liat. Policing Egyptian Women: Sex, Law, and Medicine in Khedival Egypt. Syracuse, N.Y: Syracuse University Press, 2011
Lewis, Reina. Rethinking Orientalism: Women, Travel and the Ottoman Harem. London: I.B. Tauris, 2004.
Peirce, Leslie P. The Imperial Harem: Women and Sovereignty in the Ottoman Empire. New York: Oxford University Press, 1993.
Peirce, Leslie P. Morality Tales: Law and Gender in the Ottoman Court of Aintab. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2003.
Reeves-Ellington, Barbara. Domestic Frontiers: Gender, Reform, and American Interventions in the Ottoman Balkans and the Near East. Amherst : University of Massachusetts Press, 2013
Semerdjian, Elyse. "Off the Straight Path": Illicit Sex, Law, and Community in Ottoman Aleppo. Syracuse, N.Y: Syracuse University Press, 2008.
Singer, Amy. Constructing Ottoman Beneficence: An Imperial Soup Kitchen in Jerusalem. Albany: State University of New York Press, 2002.
Thys-Şenocak, Lucienne. Ottoman Women Builders: The Architectural Patronage of Hadice Turhan Sultan. Aldershot, England: Ashgate, 2006.
Tucker, Judith E. In the House of the Law: Gender and Islamic Law in Ottoman Syria and Palestine. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1998.
Zarinebaf, Fariba. Women on the Margins: Gender, Charity and Justice in the Early Modern Middle East. Istanbul: The Isis Press, 2014.
Zeʼevi, Dror. Producing Desire: Changing Sexual Discourse in the Ottoman Middle East, 1500-1900. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2006.
Zilfi, Madeline C. Women and Slavery in the Late Ottoman Empire: The Design of Difference. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2010.
Abu-Lughod, Lila. Remaking Women: Feminism and Modernity in the Middle East. Princeton, N.J: Princeton University Press, 1998.
Booth, Marilyn. Harem Histories: Envisioning Places and Living Spaces. Durham: Duke University Press, 2010.
Buturović, Amila, and İrvin C. Schick. Women in the Ottoman Balkans: Gender, Culture and History. London: I. B. Tauris, 2007.
Doumani, Beshara. Family History in the Middle East: Household, Property, and Gender. Albany: State University of New York Press, 2003.
Kandiyoti, Deniz. Women, Islam, and the State. Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1991.
Keddie, Nikki R, and Beth Baron. Women in Middle Eastern History: Shifting Boundaries in Sex and Gender. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1991.
Köksal, Duygu, and Anastasia Falierou. A Social History of Late Ottoman Women: New Perspectives. Leiden: BRILL, 2013. I
Maksudyan, Nazan. Women and the City, Women in the City: A Gendered Perspective to Ottoman Urban History. , 2014.
Okkenhaug, Inger M, and Ingvild Flaskerud. Gender, Religion and Change in the Middle East: Two Hundred Years of History. Oxford: Berg, 2005.
Ruggles, D F. Women, Patronage, and Self-Representation in Islamic Societies. Albany: State University of New York Press, 2000
Sonbol, Amira E. A. Beyond the Exotic: Women's Histories in Islamic Societies. Syracuse, N.Y: Syracuse University Press, 2005.
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