After a break caused by the restrictions of the pandemic, we invite students to participate in an international summer school devoted to reading and analysing Ottoman manuscript sources, with a particular focus on archival documents. This is the fourth edition of this format, following the summer schools of 2016 in Amman (Jordan), 2017 in Beirut (Lebanon), 2018 in Aix-en-Provence (France) and Ankara (Turkey).
The 2022 summer school is organized by the Islamic Studies Department of the University of Halle-Wittenberg together with the French Institute of the Near East (Ifpo), the Center for Turkish, Ottoman, Balkan and Central Asian Studies (CETOBaC), the Institute of Research and Study on the Arab and Islamic Worlds (IREMAM), the Department for Oriental and Islamic Studies at Ruhr-Universität Bochum, the Seminar für Sprachen und Kulturen des Vorderen Orients, Abteilung Islamwissenschaft at Universität Heidelberg, the Social Sciences University of Ankara (ASBÜ) and the Orient-Institut Beirut (OIB).
The summer school aims to overcome the initial difficulties researchers often face when working with archival documents from the Ottoman period, one of which has to do with technical terminologies no longer in use today. Today, early-career scholars often feel helpless when faced with Ottoman archival material in Ottoman Turkish or other languages used in the Empire, and they need to develop their skills in palaeography and philology. Besides, dialogue and exchange remain limited between the different schools of Ottoman history, particularly between scholars focusing on the analysis of imperial dynamics (who are generally specialists in the Ottoman language) and those who concentrate on the provinces of the Empire and who therefore work on sources produced in local languages.
The five-day programme will introduce young researchers (mostly MA and PhD candidates, though postdocs may also apply) to reading, combining and analysing manuscript sources from various archives of the Ottoman era, produced at the local, provincial and imperial levels. Materials from the 16th through the 20th centuries will receive most of our attention, explorations into earlier archives are welcome.
Sessions will focus on the study of archives in Ottoman Turkish as well as other languages (Arabic, Armenian, Greek, Albanian, etc.) so as to provide future historians with the skills necessary to use such sources within the framework of their research projects. The objective is to foster an exchange around theory and methodology among specialists of different regions of the empire. Coping with different languages is key to a comprehensive analysis of local dynamics in various provinces, be it on administrative, economic and social topics or in religious studies and belles-lettres.
An additional aim of the summer school is to encourage the use of source materials in different languages by facilitating the identification and knowledge of diverse archival holdings. Bringing together specialists of different regions and subjects will encourage the exchange of information on archival repositories, their history, accessibility, and catalogues.
The summer school consists of small-group workshops allowing trainees to read and discuss archival documents with specialists familiar with different types of documents. During workshops, students will be asked to read and analyse a document of their choice.
Besides, presentations of Ottoman archives and research tools in palaeography, as well as discussions about methodology, will be provided. We shall spend one day at Berlin State Library to explore their Ottoman holdings and learn more about their digitization projects.
The working language of the summer school is English.
The summer school will accept up to 20 students depending on available funding. About 10 researchers and professors from Arab, Turkish, German and French universities will participate in the summer school as instructors.
Students enrolled in a Master or Ph.D. programme as well as researchers at an early post-doctoral stage, regardless of nationality, can apply for this summer school, provided that his or her research project necessitates the use of Ottoman source materials in Ottoman Turkish or other relevant languages.
No tuition fees will be charged. Selected students will be offered full coverage of the summer school costs, including accommodation and meals, round-trip transportation from their country of residence to Berlin and Wittenberg, excursions and visits.
Applicants are welcome to mention in their file whether their home institution may (partly or fully) provide funding to cover for their travel and stay, as this may help select an additionnal student to attend the summer school.
In order to be considered, applications must include:
- a proposal outlining the candidate’s research project (maximum 600 words)
- a curriculum vitae, mentioning language skills (two pages maximum)
- name and contact of two referees that may be contacted for a recommendation
Sample pages from a handwritten document (about two pages) and, if available, transcription of the document will be requested from students selected to participate. The applications must be submitted in English.
Applications should be sent to the following e-mail address: ottomansummerschools (at) gmx.net
Applications must be submitted by April 15, 2022.
Reply from the organising committee will be forwarded by May 13, 2022.
The summer school will take place from August 29 to September 2, 2022. Arrival is foreseen in Wittenberg for Sunday, August 28, 2022 at the latest; departure Saturday, September 3, 2022 at the earliest.
The summer school will take place in the Leucorea in Wittenberg and in Berlin.
List of potential instructors
Selim Aslantaş (Ruhr-Universität Bochum), Metin Atmaca (ASBÜ), Marc Aymes (CNRS / CETOBaC), Hülya Çelik (Ruhr-Universität Bochum), Abdul-Hameed al-Kayyali (Ifpo), Stefan Knost (Universität Halle-Wittenberg), Norig Neveu (CNRS / IREMAM), Hayri Gökşin Özkoray (Aix-Marseille University), Henning Sievert (Universität Heidelberg)
Astrid Meier (Universität Halle-Wittenberg), Metin Atmaca (ASBÜ), Marc Aymes (CNRS / CETOBaC), Johann Büssow (Ruhr-Universität Bochum), Hülya Çelik (Ruhr-Universität Bochum), Abdul-Hameed al-Kayyali (Ifpo), Stefan Knost (Universität Halle-Wittenberg), Norig Neveu (CNRS / IREMAM), Henning Sievert (Universität Heidelberg)