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The Ottoman Empire, Its Minoritized Voices, and the Global South

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Organizer: Arif Camoglu

Co-Organizer: Ceyhun Arslan

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This seminar shifts the focus from hegemonic narratives of and about the Ottoman Empire to epistemic, aesthetic, sociocultural and political imaginaries of minoritized communities in and outside the Ottoman lands. We seek to understand how the histories, images, and legacies of the Ottoman Empire appear when perspectives from the Global South and the disadvantaged populations of the empire are foregrounded. How was the Ottoman rule experienced and evaluated by those who were at the margins of imperial power structures around the world? What forms of solidarities, resistances, revolutions, critiques can be located in languages and among peoples that remain peripheral to the study of the Ottoman Empire in literary and cultural studies? We invite proposals from across disciplines to explore these questions together. 


Situating the Ottoman studies within larger disciplinary discussions in the humanities and social sciences, the seminar will shed light on forms of imperialism that complicate the distinction between ‘imperial center’ and ‘marginalized periphery’ as they reveal contradictions and ambiguities within the imperialistic and marginalized discourses. As papers steer attention to understudied authors, languages, and communities in the empire, they also will have the opportunity to discuss how specific case studies can reshape theoretical debates in comparative literature on multilingualism, imperialism, and communal identities. 


Possible topics of discussion include but are not limited to:


–Minor literatures and languages of the Ottoman Empire

–Canons and their appropriations

–Perceptions of the Ottoman Empire from the Global South

–Subaltern voices (queer, disabled, racialized lives)

–Slavery and slave trade

–Imperial and anti-imperial narratives 

–Narratives of health and care (as scientifically, politically or poetically understood)


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