The Lives of Ottoman Children

with Nazan Maksudyan

hosted by Chris Gratien

This episode is part of a series on Women, Gender, and Sex in Ottoman history

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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.

Nazan Maksudyan is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Sociology at Istanbul Kemerburgaz University. Her work examines the social, cultural, and economic history of children and youth during the late Ottoman period. (see
Chris Gratien is a doctoral candidate at Georgetown University researching the social and environmental history of the Ottoman Empire and the modern Middle East. (see

Episode No. 150
Release date: 22 March 2014
Location: Istanbul Kemerburgaz University
Editing and Production by Chris Gratien
Bibliography and images courtesy of Nazan Maksudyan

Citation: "The Lives of Ottoman Children," Nazan Maksudyan and Chris Gratien, Ottoman History Podcast, No. 150 (22 March 2014)


Nazan Maksudyan, Orphans and Destitute Children in Late Ottoman Empire (Syracuse: Syracuse University Press, 2014).

Nazan Maksudyan, “Foster-Daughter or Servant, Charity or Abuse: Beslemes in the Late Ottoman Empire”, Journal of Historical Sociology, vol. 21, no. 4, December 2008, pp. 488-512.

Yahya Araz, Osmanlı Toplumunda Çocuk Olmak (İstanbul: Kitap Yayınevi, 2013).

Mine Göğüş Tan, Özlem Şahin, Mustafa Sever, Aksu Bora, Cumhuriyet'te Çocuktular (İstanbul: Boğaziçi Üniversitesi Yayınevi, 2007).
François Georgeon, Klaus Kreiser (eds.), Childhood and Youth in the Muslim World (Paris: Maisonneuve & Larose, 2007).

Elizabeth W. Fernea, ed., Children in the Muslim Middle East (Austin: Univ. of Texas Press, 1996).

_________, ed., Remembering Childhood in the Middle East: Memoirs from a Century of Change (Austin: Univ. of Texas Press, 2003).

Karen Sanchez-Eppler, Dependent States: The Child's Part in Nineteenth-Century American Culture (Chicago: Univ. of Chicago Press, 2005).

Carl Ipsen, Italy in the Age of Pinocchio: Children and Danger in the Liberal Era (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2006).

Marjatta Rahikainen, Centuries of Child Labor: European Experiences from the Seventeenth to the Twentieth Century (Hampshire: Ashgate Publishing, 2004).


Nursery/Wet-nursing Ward (ırzahane) of Darülaceze in Ottoman Istanbul
Band of Ottoman islahhane (reform home) in Salonika
Surgery patients at Hamidiye Children's Hospital in Istanbul, c1905


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