150 episodes

Interviews with historians about the history of the Ottoman Empire and beyond

Ottoman History Podcast Ottoman History Podcast

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Interviews with historians about the history of the Ottoman Empire and beyond

    Ottomans, Orientalists, and 19th-Century Visual Culture

    Ottomans, Orientalists, and 19th-Century Visual Culture

    Episode 445 with Mary Robertshosted by Zeinab Azarbadegan Download the podcast Feed | iTunes | GooglePlay | SoundCloud The line between Orientalist and Ottoman painting might at first seem clear. But in this episode, historian Mary Roberts argues that such distinctions are in fact complicated, drawing on her recent book Istanbul Exchanges: Ottomans, Orientalists and Nineteenth-Century Visual Culture. She explains how Istanbul became a global center of production, circulation, and exhibition of visual culture in the nineteenth century. Ottomans and Orientalists both contended and connected with each other--whether in Pera or in the palace--and Roberts discusses how these networks of patronage and apprenticeship eventually led to works that were produced in Istanbul ending up all around the world. There they became defined as Orientalist, but Roberts unearths the more tangled genealogy of their production, as well as the relevance of audience in these characterizations.  « Click for More »

    The Mystical Turn in Ottoman Political Thought

    The Mystical Turn in Ottoman Political Thought

    Episode 444 with Hüseyin Yılmazhosted by Nir Shafir and Alp Eren Topal Download the podcast Feed | iTunes | GooglePlay | SoundCloud In medieval Anatolia, political authority could be found in surprising places. In this podcast, we speak to Hüseyin Yılmaz about the political role of Sufi leaders in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries. We explore how these shaykhs could become powerful political leaders in their own right and how the nascent Ottoman state dealt with their power, ultimately participating in what Yılmaz calls "the mystical turn" in Ottoman political thought. « Click for More »

    Afghanistan's Constitution and the Ottoman Empire

    Afghanistan's Constitution and the Ottoman Empire

    Episode 443 with Faiz Ahmedhosted by Shireen Hamza and Huma Gupta Download the podcast Feed | iTunes | GooglePlay | SoundCloud In this episode, Professor Faiz Ahmed recounts the fascinating history of Afghanistan’s first modern constitution, contextualizing it within a broader legal and political history. The constitution was developed by Afghan, Ottoman and Indian and other scholars, at the behest of the country’s monarch, between 1919-1925. After the first world war, Afghanistan was one of few sovereign Muslim countries. This was one factor which drew many scholars and activists to the court of Amanullah Khan — a “Young Afghan,” graduate of an Ottoman institution in Kabul, and a Muslim modernizer. We learn about the role of figures like Queen Soraya, her father Mahmud Tarzi, and myriad scholars and jurists in shaping the constitution. We discuss the nature of the constitution as a living document, which acknowledges its place within an Islamic legal heritage — as well as the fact that the constitution will evolve. Professor Ahmed also reads from one section of the constitution, which determines “Who is an Afghan?,” and shares his translation. We also learn how the history of the constitution is remembered in Afghanistan today. « Click for More »

    Mughal Persian Poetry and Persianate Cultures

    Mughal Persian Poetry and Persianate Cultures

    Episode 442 with Sunil Sharmahosted by Shireen Hamza and Naveena Naqvi Download the podcast Feed | iTunes | GooglePlay | SoundCloud In this episode, Professor Sunil Sharma shares his research on the cast of poets who wrote Persian poetry in India, and the poetic idea of Mughal India as a paradise, or an “Arcadia.” (He also shares some excerpts of this lovely poetry with us!) We discuss how specific regions, like Kashmir, became a hot new topic in Persian poetry, and explore the kinds of competitions that emerged between poets from different places across a broader “Persianate” world. The courtly environments in which these poets found patronage were multilingual and multiracial environments — where someone could enjoy poetry in Persian, Braj Bhasha, Hindavi and Chaghatai Turkish — but in this time, Persian poetry was what got you a job. By studying both poetry and painting, he reflects on the racial differences mentioned by poets, especially the initial difference between those born in India and those who had migrated from Iran and were “native speakers” of Persian. Finally, we discuss different meanings of the term “Indo-Persian,” in the study of the centuries that Persian was used as a language of governance, literature and science in India. « Click for More »

    Language, Power, and Law in the Ottoman Empire

    Language, Power, and Law in the Ottoman Empire

    Episode 441 with Heather Fergusonhosted by Zoe Griffith Download the podcast Feed | iTunes | GooglePlay | SoundCloud In this episode, historian Heather Ferguson takes us behind the scenes of early modern Ottoman state-making with a discussion of her recent book The Proper Order of Things. We discuss how the architecture of Topkapı palace, the emergence of new bureaucratic practices, and the administration of space from Hungary to Lebanon projected early modern discourses of “order” that were crucial to imperial legitimacy, governance, and dissent. Heather also offers rare insights into the challenges, vulnerabilities, and victories of transforming a dissertation into a prize-winning book manuscript. « Click for More »

    Ottoman Children and the First World War

    Ottoman Children and the First World War

    Episode 440 with Nazan Maksudyanhosted by Chris Gratien Download the podcast Feed | iTunes | GooglePlay | SoundCloud Children are often imagined as victims of war or passive bystanders. But in this episode, Nazan Maksudyan is back on the program to talk about how the First World War looked through the eyes of Ottoman children and their lives as historical actors during and after the conflict. We explore the experience of child workers and the many situations faced by children throughout the war, and we also explore the themes of survival and resilience as expressed in the experience of children, especially Ottoman Armenians. We also discuss the challenges of writing amid a tumultuous period for Turkey and an experience of exile.  « Click for More »

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