World Congress for Middle Eastern Studies

Barcelona, July 19th - 24th 2010


Remembering the Ottomans: New Perspectives (206) - NOT_DEFINED activity_field_Panel

· NOT_DEFINED date: WED 21, 11.30 am-1.30 pm

· NOT_DEFINED institution: McMaster University (Canada)

· NOT_DEFINED organizer: Virginia H. Aksan

· NOT_DEFINED language: English

· NOT_DEFINED description: In the last two decades, interest in the Ottoman Empire has grown tremendously. Historians of Turkey, the Balkans and the Middle East have begun to turn their attention to the pre-modern Ottoman world, whether in search of commonalities of experience, origins of contemporary problems, or analysis of empires and imperialism. This panel proposes to examine recent Ottoman historiography from a number of perspectives.

Chair: Plamira Brummet

Paper presenter: Kristin Tassin, University of Texas, Austin, The Use of the “Ottoman Yoke” in Balkan and Arab Historiographies
Following the independence movements of the nineteenth century in the Balkan provinces of the Ottoman Empire and the collapse of the Empire after the First World War, the nation states formed from former Ottoman provinces began their own negotiations with identity and modernity. This paper will review the Balkan and Arab historiographies of the Ottoman Empire from the nineteenth and early twentieth-centuries. Further, it will argue that these histories were specifically and purposefully constructed as part of a nation-building project in the post-independence world. It will also offer suggestions for more fully integrating provincial and Empire studies.

Paper presenter: Madeline Zilfi, University of Maryland, History, Memory and the Ottoman Janissary Corps
Madeline Zilfi will consider the gender and confessional implications of Ottoman nostalgia for the defunct Janissary army in the generations following its abolition in 1826. In what sense did post-Janissary Ottoman historians and bureaucrats reconfigure the role of the former military institution as the moral barometer of the empire, especially in the late nineteenth century Ottoman reform circles?

Paper presenter: Virginia Aksan, McMaster University, Friends, Enemies and Ideologues of the Ottomans 1750-1850
Virginia Aksan will consider new work on Ottoman identities, loyalties and disloyalties in the great transformation period of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Who spoke for and stood by the empire as it remade itself in a period of great stress, and Ottoman subjects became citizens of a constitutional monarchy?

Paper presenter: Dina Khoury, George Washington University, Where are the Ottomans in the Contemporary Historiography of the 20th Century?
Dina Khoury addresses the changing views among Arab historians on the Ottoman past, and the implications of such challenges for the reworking of post-Ottoman, nationalist histories, especially concerning the question of continuity of political and social practices. Together the four papers represent the broad and vibrant range of new approaches to the pre-modern Middle East.