Shared Histories of the Ottoman East

Episode 322

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This episode examines historical approaches to Armenians, Kurds, and Turks in the eastern provinces of Ottoman Anatolia. "Shared history" has been offered up as a corrective to the existing historiography's nationalist and often exclusionary approaches, but what does writing a "shared history" actually look like? Yaşar Tolga Cora and Dzovinar Derderian talk about their approaches in their recent 2016 edited volume, The Ottoman East in the Nineteenth Century: Societies, Identities and Politics. The volume discusses Trans-regional Connectivity; the fluidity of identities and loyalties, state and local politics; and the social history of space. They draw on the work to unpack the political and scholarly challenges of writing a "shared history" for an area that has been and still is marked by deep conflicts.

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Contributor Bios

Yaşar Tolga Cora received his Ph.D. in Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations from the University of Chicago in 2016 and is currently a post-doctoral fellow at the Armenian Studies Program and History Department at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. He focuses on the social history of Armenian communities in the Eastern provinces of the Ottoman Empire before the Genocide.
Dzovinar Derderian is a Ph. D. Candidate in the Department of Near Eastern Studies at the University of Michigan. Her dissertation explores iterations of belonging to nation and empire through love, law and knowledge among Ottoman Armenians of Van in the mid-nineteenth century.
Matthew Ghazarian is a Ph.D. Candidate in Columbia University's Department of Middle Eastern, South Asian, African Studies. His research focuses on the intersections of sectarianism, humanitarianism, and political economy in central and eastern Anatolia between 1856 and 1893.

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Episode No. 322
Release Date: 1 July 2017
Recording Location: Boston, MA
Audio editing by Matthew Ghazarian
Music: Katibim (Üsküdar'a Gider iken) - Safiye Ayla and Baglamamin Dugumu - Necmiye Ararat and Muzaffer
Images and bibliography courtesy of Yaşar Tolga Cora, Dzovinar Derderian, and Ohannes Kılıçdağı


A map of Ottoman Anatolia, including the Ottoman East (Source: Tab'hane-yi Hümayun, William Faden, and Mahmud Raif Efendi. Cedid Atlas Tercümesi. [Istanbul: Bu evan-i yumn-i ikbalde mahruse-yi Üsküdar'da müceddeden bina ve inşa buyurlan Tab'hane-yi Hümayun'da tab' ve tekmili müyesser olmuşdur ve bi-Allah'l-tevfik, sene 1803 or 1804] Map. Retrieved from the Library of Congress,

Armenians making lavash c1906 (Source: M. Noel Dolens, "Ce Que l'on Voit En Armenie," Le Tour du Monde Journal des Voyages et des Voyageurs, v. 12, 1906, 471.) 

Shoemakers in Erzurum (Source: George. H. Hepworth, Through Armenia on Horseback, New York, E. P. Dutton & company, 1898.)

The front cover of the Armenian newspaper Եփրատ (Yeprat, "Euphrates") published in Harput on November 1st, 1909 (Photo taken by Ohannes Kılıçdağı) 

Select Bibliography

The Ottoman East in the Nineteenth Century
by Yaşar Tolga Cora, Dzovinar Derderian, and Ali Sipahi, eds.
I.B. Tauris
Antaramian, Richard Edward. “In Subversive Service of the Sublime State: Armenians and Ottoman State Power, 1844-1896.” PhD Diss., University of Michigan, 2014.

Ateş, Sabri. Ottoman-Iranian Borderlands: Making a Boundary, 1843-1914. Cambridge; New York: Cambridge University Press, 2013.

Cora, Yaşar Tolga, Dzovinar Derderian, and Ali Sipahi, eds. The Ottoman East in the Nineteenth Century: Societies, Identities and Politics. London; New York: I.B. Tauris, 2016.

Ghazarian, Haik. Arevmtahayeri Sotsial-tntesakan ev Qaghaqakan Katsutyuny, 1800-1870 [The Socio-economic and Political Condition of Western Armenians]. Yerevan: Haykakan S.S.H. G.A.H., 1967.

Hambarian, Azat S. Agrarayin haraberutiunnery arevmtian Hayastanum, 1856–1914 [Agrarian relations in Western Armenia, 1856–1914]. Yerevan: Haykakan S.S.H. G.A.H.,1965.

Joost Jongerden and Jelle Verheij, eds. Social Relations in Ottoman Diyarbekir, 1870-1915. Leiden: Brill, 2011.

Kévorkian, Raymond H, and Paul B. Paboudjian, 1915 Öncesinde Osmanlı İmparatorluğu’nda Ermeniler [Armenians in the Ottoman Empire before 1915]. Translated by Mayda Saris. İstanbul: Aras Yayıncılık, 2013. Originally published as Les arméniens dans l’Empire ottoman à la veille du génocide. Paris: Les Éditions d’Art et d’Histoire, 1992.

Kieser, Hans-Lukas. Iskalanmış Barış: Doğu Vilayetleri’nde Misyonerlik, Etnik Kimlik ve Devlet, 1839-1938 [The Squandered Peace: Missionaries, Ethnicity and the State in the Eastern Provinces of Turkey, 1839-1938]. Translated by Atilla Dirim. Istanbul: İletişim Yayınları, 2005. Originally published as Der verpasste Friede. Mission, Ethnie und Staat in den Ostprovinzen der Türkei 1839–1938. Zürich: Chronos, 2000.

Klein, Janet. Margins of Empire: Kurdish Militias in the Ottoman Tribal Zone. Palo Alto, CA: Stanford University Press, 2011.

Tachjian, Vahé, ed. Ottoman Armenians: Life, Culture, Society, Vol. 1. A Houshamadyan Publication: Berlin, 2014

Üngör, Uğur Ümit. The Making of Modern Turkey: Nation and State in Eastern Anatolia, 1913-50. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2011.

Van Bruinessen, Martin. Agha, Shaikh and State: The Social and Political Structures of Kurdistan London: Zed Books Ltd., 1992.


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