Entertainment Among the Ottomans

Editors: and
Approaching Ottoman social history through the lens of entertainment, this volume considers the multi-faceted roles of entertainment within society. At its most basic level entertainment could be all about pleasure, leisure and fun. But it also played a role in socialisation, gender divisions, social stratification and the establishment of moral norms, political loyalties and social, ethnic or religious identities. By addressing the ways in which entertainment was employed and enjoyed in Ottoman society, Entertainment Among the Ottomans introduces the reader to a new way of understanding the Ottoman world.

Contributors are: Antonis Anastasopoulos, Tülay Artan, Ebru Boyar, Palmira Brummett, Kate Fleet, James Grehan, Svetla Ianeva, Yavuz Köse, William Kynan-Wilson, Milena Methodieva and Yücel Yanıkdağ.

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Ebru Boyar, Ph.D. Cambridge University, is Professor at the Middle East Technical University, Ankara. Her publications include Ottomans, Turks and the Balkans: Empire Lost, Relations Altered (London, 2007) and A Social History of Ottoman Istanbul (Cambridge, 2010).

Kate Fleet, Ph.D. SOAS, London University, is Director of the Skilliter Centre for Ottoman Studies, University of Cambridge. Her publications include European and Islamic Trade in the Early Ottoman State (Cambridge, 1999) and A Social History of Ottoman Istanbul (Cambridge, 2010).
‘Some of the common themes – tradition and modernity, homosocial entertainment (including cross-dressing and acting), fun and escape under trying circumstances – come together to conclude this informative, wide-ranging and eye-opening volume.’
Li Guo in Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies 83.2 (2020), 347-349.

List of Illustrations
 1 Ottoman Society through the Lens of Entertainment
Ebru Boyar and Kate Fleet
 2 Contemplation or Amusement? The Light Shed by Ruznames on an Ottoman Spectacle of 1740-1750
Tülay Artan
 3 Caravans and Voyages, Story and Song: Entertaining the Traveler in/to Ottoman Space
Palmira Brummett
 4 Play and Performance in Ottoman Costume Albums
William Kynan-Wilson
 5 Fun and Games in Ottoman Aleppo: the Life and Times of a Local Schoolteacher (1835-1865)
James Grehan
 6 Between Tradition and Modernity – Entertainment in Late Ottoman Rusçuk
Svetla Ianeva
 7 Public Celebrations and Ceremonies in the Late Ottoman Cretan Press: Building a Collective Identity among the Christian Population
Antonis Anastasopoulos
 8 The Late Ottoman Brothel in Istanbul: a Heterosexual Social Space for Homosocial Entertainment?
Ebru Boyar
 9 Bicycling into Modernity in the Late Ottoman Empire: Ahmed Tevfik and his Bicycle Travelogue
Yavuz Köse
 10 Muslim Culture, Reform and Patriotism: Staging Namık Kemal in Post-Ottoman Bulgaria (1878-1908)
Milena B. Methodieva
 11 Warriors in Drag: Performing Gender and Remaking Men in Prisoner of War Theater
Yücel Yanıkdağ
All interested in Ottoman history, the history of the Middle East, and the history of entertainment and leisure more generally.
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