History of the Ottoman Empire
Members: Marc Aymes, Irène Beldiceanu, Elisabetta Borromeo, Matei Cazacu, Rachida Chih, Nathalie Clayer, Dilek Desaive, Maryta Espéronnier, François Georgeon, Frédéric Hitzel, Işık Tamdoğan, Nicolas Vatin
Associates: Emanuel C. Antoche, Yavuz Aykan, Olivier Bouquet, Edhem Eldem, Güneş Işıksel, Erdal Kaynar, Benjamin Lellouch, Noémi Lévy-Aksu, Claudia Römer, Özge Samancı, Wajda Sendesni, Nikos Sigalas, Marie-Carmen Smyrnelis, Emmanuel Szurek, Özgür Türesay, Michael Ursinus
Ottomanists at CETOBaC share a common interest in the analysis of original sources (archives, historical chronicles, inscriptions), and in certain main research themes while also collaborating on joint studies and the preparation of seminars. The participation of associated researchers is an area of particular importance with several colleagues from abroad being actively involved in some of the team’s collective projects.
To all team members the word “Ottoman” primarily refers to an empire which lasted for more than five centuries, a time span that the team’s activities cover in its entirety, from I. Beldiceanu’s research into medieval times to F. Georgeon and his colleagues’ work on the aftermath of the 1908 Revolution and the First World War. A point of convergence between all members is that an Ottoman culture and civilisation exist and that these cannot be defined as solely Turkish or Muslim. Thus the CETOBaCOttomanists’ research deals with other religious or cultural communities in the Empire which requires interdisciplinary collaborations and joint studies with specialists in other cultural and historical fields (Byzantium, Balkans, etc.).
Main research fields
– The Ottomans in the Mediterranean: piracy, the installation of Ottomans in the Maghreb according to the Gazavât-ı Hayreddin Paşa, studies of Ottoman documents from the archives of St. John’s Monastery in Patmos, border and commercial relations with the Venetians, missionaries in the Cyclades, provincial administration in Cyprus;
– War and diplomacy, the latter taking special interest in the Ottoman conceptions thereof while war is studied in its broadest definition (including discussion of massacres of prisoners of war for example);
– Legal institutions and law enforcement: the social and legal status of individuals and populations, judicial proceedings, provincial administration, evolution of the State structure;
– Ottoman society and communities in the Ottoman Empire: the family, slavery, Jewish, Greek, Catholic, Albanian communities;
– At the crossroads of these themes, research into the social and administrative practice of forgery and into capitulations;
– Politics and society at the end of the Empire, the 1908 Revolution and its aftermath and consequences, Islam and politics, the development of philosophy (and even spiritualism) at the beginning of the 20th century, Ottoman modernity;
– Special attention is paid to the publication and study of archival documents and narrative texts.
Main collective projects
– Final preparations for a Dictionnaire de l’Empire ottoman (1200 pages, over 700 entries contributed by around 170 specialists from all over the world), to be published by Fayard (Paris) in 2015; a Turkish translation is planned;
– A monthly seminar entitled “The Ottomans as they saw themselves”: the participants analyse original texts illustrative of the way the Ottoman portrayed themselves and identified those they considered “outsiders”. The publication of a compilation of commented translations is planned;
– Ongoing research into the aftermath of the 1908 Revolution, the politicization of Islam revisited, and philosophical thought in the early 20th century;
– Creation of a catalogue of Ottoman documents from the archives of St. John’s Monastery in Patmos (vol. I published in 2011, vol. II in preparation);
– Edition of an unpublished “Register of important affairs” dated 1563‑1564 (preserved at the Austrian National Library in Vienna);
– Preliminary work on documents from the archives of the Venetian bailo, within the framework of the classification project undertaken at the state archives in Venice;
– Publication (in collaboration with Byzantinists) of texts on the Ottoman conquest of Istanbul (1453) in a translated and commented version;
Several of CETOBaC’s Ottomanistsare actively involved in the preparation of two international scholarly journals —Turcica, European Journal of Turkish Studies— and a monograph series (Turcica, Peeters Publishers, Leuven).
Teaching: Graduate seminars at EHESS (M. Aymes, N. Clayer, F. Hitzel, G. Işıksel), at École Pratique des Hautes Études (N. Vatin), teaching by B. Lellouch (Paris VIII University) and O. Bouquet (Paris VII University).
This teaching work highlights the contribution of CETOBaCmembers to the diffusion of Ottoman studies, as does the placement of former PhD students (who have often keenly maintained active collaborations with the CETOBaC) in higher education careers: A. Doğan-Kayapınar (Izmir Katip Çelebi University), J. Dumas (Aix-Marseille University), Ö. Türesay (Galatasaray University, Istanbul), N. Lévy-Aksu (Boğaziçi University, Istanbul), G. Işıksel and Y. Aykan (ERC project on “Mediterranean Reconfigurations”), E. Kaynar (Van Leer Jerusalem Institute), D. Sarmis (French-German ANR project on “New religiosities in Turkey”), E. Szurek (Princeton University).
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