25 episodes

"The Visual Past” showcases the latest research by scholars who explore the visual, spatial, and material culture that shaped the Ottoman world. The series will address not only objects, images, and calligraphy, but also works of architecture that were themselves contexts for other media. Before being designated historical landmarks or enshrined in museum displays, these rich artistic and architectural products constituted an intrinsic part of Ottoman life, intersecting with and affecting all levels of society. Episodes in this series investigate crucial issues about sight and seeing in the Ottoman Empire, including the power of the gaze, the depiction of human and animal imagery, and questions of style, aesthetics, and patronage. The series also explores transformations in technology that opened up new possibilities during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries for the popular dissemination of images through photographs, print media, and film.

The Visual Past Ottoman History Podcast

    • History

"The Visual Past” showcases the latest research by scholars who explore the visual, spatial, and material culture that shaped the Ottoman world. The series will address not only objects, images, and calligraphy, but also works of architecture that were themselves contexts for other media. Before being designated historical landmarks or enshrined in museum displays, these rich artistic and architectural products constituted an intrinsic part of Ottoman life, intersecting with and affecting all levels of society. Episodes in this series investigate crucial issues about sight and seeing in the Ottoman Empire, including the power of the gaze, the depiction of human and animal imagery, and questions of style, aesthetics, and patronage. The series also explores transformations in technology that opened up new possibilities during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries for the popular dissemination of images through photographs, print media, and film.

    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 »

    Survivor Objects and the Lost World of Ottoman Armenians

    Survivor Objects and the Lost World of Ottoman Armenians

    Episode 407 with Heghnar Watenpaughhosted by Emily Neumeier Download the podcast Feed | iTunes | GooglePlay | SoundCloud The genre of biography usually applies to people, but could a similar approach be applied to an object? Can a thing have a life of its own? In this episode, Heghnar Watenpaugh explores this question by tracing the long journey of the Zeytun Gospels, a famous illuminated manuscript considered to be a masterpiece of medieval Armenian art. Protected for centuries in a remote church in eastern Anatolia, the sacred book traveled with the waves of people displaced by the Armenian genocide. Passed from hand to hand, caught in the chaos of the First World War, it was divided in two. Decades later, the manuscript found its way to the Republic of Armenia, while its missing eight pages came to the Getty Museum in LA. In this interview, we discuss how the Zeytun Gospels could be understood as a "survivor object," contributing to current discussions about the destruction of cultural heritage. We also talk about the challenges of writing history for a broader reading public. « Click for More »

    Forging Islamic Science

    Forging Islamic Science

    Episode 400 with Nir Shafirhosted by Suzie Ferguson Download the podcastFeed | iTunes | GooglePlay | SoundCloud In this episode, Nir Shafir talks about the problem of "fake minatures" of Islamic science: small paintings that look old, but are actually contemporary productions. As these images circulate in museums, on book covers, and on the internet, they tell us more about what we want "Islamic science" to be than what it actually was. That, Nir tells us, is a lost opportunity. « Click for More »

    Orientalism in the Ottoman Empire

    Orientalism in the Ottoman Empire

    Episode 399 with Zeynep Çelikhosted by Zeinab Azarbadegan and Matthew Ghazarian Download the podcastFeed | iTunes | GooglePlay | SoundCloud How did the Ottomans react to European attitudes and depictions of their own lands? Pondering on the groundbreaking book 'Orientalism' by Edward Said forty years after its publication, our guest Zeynep Çelik discusses the ways in which urban, art, and architectural historians have grappled with representations of the Ottomans by Europeans and representations of Ottomans by Ottomans themselves. Telling us about a number of paintings, monuments, scholarly writings and stories, she argues that Orientalism is still relevant and with us wherever we go. « Click for More »

    The Incredible Life of Antoine Köpe

    The Incredible Life of Antoine Köpe

    Episode 387 with Nefin Dinçhosted by Chris Gratien Download the podcast Feed | iTunes | GooglePlay | SoundCloud Antoine Köpe was never a prominent politician or public figure, but he was witness to extraordinary events. Born in late Ottoman Istanbul to French and Hungarian parents, Antoine was there to celebrate the 1908 Young Turk revolution, fight in the First World War, live under an Allied occupation, and experience the emergence of the national resistance and the establishment of the Republic of Turkey. Driven by an irresistible instinct to document, he produced writings, drawings, audiovisual recordings, and a 10-volume memoir of his unusual life. In this episode, our guest filmmaker Nefin Dinç shared more about the life of Antoine Köpe, which is the subject of a documentary project titled "Antoine the Fortunate." « Click for More »

    The Gardens of Mughal Kashmir

    The Gardens of Mughal Kashmir

    Episode 346 with Jan Haenraetshosted by Nir Shafir and Polina Ivanova Download the podcast Feed | iTunes | GooglePlay | SoundCloud Over the course of the seventeenth century, Kashmir became a valley adorned with gardens as Mughal emperors and nobles built garden after garden across the valley floor and mountainous landscape. In this episode, we speak with landscape architect and preservation specialist Jan Haenaerts on his research into the history of these gardens. We discuss not only their historical formation and usage of these spaces but also how they differed from the more well known Mughal gardens surrounding the Taj Mahal and Humayun's tomb. In the second half of the episode we also explore the difficulty of conserving historical gardens and landscapes in general and how this occurs in conflict areas such as Kashmir. « Click for More »

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