A three-week institute for thirty school teachers on the Ottoman Empire to be held in Istanbul, Turkey.
Project director Linda Cunningham leads an institute on the history of the Ottoman Empire (CE 1299-1922). Initial orientation sessions outline major periods in Ottoman history and introduce participants to Turkish language and culture. On day three, participants begin a six-day trip focusing on early Ottoman history by heading east to the Anatolian plain where the state was founded. During the trip, participants visit Yörük Köyü, a nomadic village associated with Sufism; Safranbolu, a historic Anatolian town; Iznik, formerly the Roman and Byzantine city of Nicaea; and Bursa and Edirne, the first and second Ottoman capitals. In these places, they discuss early commercial and domestic life, religious heterodoxy in the early empire, and the silk trade and Silk Road. Back in Istanbul, participants focus on the middle period of the empire, with discussions highlighting the relationship between the sultan's court and the imperial mosque, the arts and artisanal traditions of the city; and the ways in which charitable institutions (waqf), legal and education institutions (ulema), and Sufi mystics functioned within urban society. A ferry ride up the Bosphorus begins the discussion of the expansion and consolidation of Ottoman power during its "golden age." This is followed by a discussion of Ottoman minority communities and the challenges of ruling a multi-ethnic, multi-religious empire. The last part of the institute focuses on the late Ottoman Empire, including European perceptions of the Ottomans in the nineteenth century, Ottoman aspirations vis-à-vis the West, and the transformation of Istanbul at the end of the empire. On the final day, teachers share reflections, discuss curriculum projects, and make presentations. Exemplary curricula are hosted on a dedicated website. Core texts include: Donald Quataert, The Ottoman Empire; Suraiya Faroqhi, Subjects of the Sultan: Culture and Daily Life in the Ottoman Empire; İiber Ortaylı, Discovering the Ottomans; Talat Halman, A Millennium of Turkish Literature; and Sooyong Kim and Robert Dankoff, eds., An Ottoman Traveler: Selections from the Book of Travels of Evliya Çelebi. Project directors from Primary Source include Deborah Cunningham, Susan Zeiger, Dana Sajdi, and Barbara Petzen—the latter two specialists in Middle Eastern history and culture. Guest lecturers in Istanbul include Cemal Kafadar, Ciğdem Kafesçioğlu, Giancarlo Casale, Sooyong Kim, and Suraiya Faroqhi.
Faculty: Dana Sajdi, Barbara Petzen, Cemal Kafadar, Suraiya Faroqhi, Giancarlo Casale, Sooyong Kim