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Les princesses ottomanes à l’aune du pouvoir (XVe-XVIIIe s.)
Author: Juliette Dumas
Les femmes ottomanes n’auraient pas leur place en politique ; recluses dans leur harem, elles passeraient leur temps en distractions superficielles ou en intrigues pernicieuses : tel est l’héritage de l’orientalisme et de l’historiographie traditionnelle. Loin de ces poncifs, cet ouvrage propose une plongée dans les cadres institutionnels et sociaux ottomans, qui commandent le spectre des interactions sociales et politiques des femmes de la cour ottomane, en prenant pour champ d’étude une figure largement ignorée de l’historiographie : les filles de sang des souverains ottomans – les sultanes.

Ottoman women would have no place in politics; recluse in their harem, they would pass their time in superficial distractions or in pernicious intrigues: such is the heritage of Orientalism and traditional historiography. Far from these clichés, this work offers a dive into the Ottoman institutional and social frameworks, which govern the spectrum of social and political interactions of the women of the Ottoman court, taking as a field of study a figure largely ignored by historiography: the blood daughters of the Ottoman rulers – the sultanas.
Author: Boris Liebrenz
Arab Traders in their Own Words explores for the first time the largest unified corpus of merchant correspondence to have survived from the Ottoman period. The writers chosen for this first volume were mostly Christian merchants who traded within a network that connected the Syrian and Egyptian provinces and extended from Damascus in the North to Alexandria in the South with particular centers in Jerusalem and Damietta. They lived through one of the most turbulent intersections of Ottoman and European imperial history, the 1790s and early 1800s, and had to navigate their fortunes through diplomacy, culture, and commerce. Besides an edition of more than 190 letters in colloquial Arabic this volume also offers a profound introductory study.
Author: Peter Knapczyk

Abstract

This paper examines the changing roles and status of marṡiyah poets within hierarchies of political and religious authority during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. A direct link between the marṡiyah tradition and these institutions was a system of patronage that bound poets to the brokers of power. Although in the early 1700s marṡiyah poets were often dismissed as “inept poets,” in subsequent generations marṡiyah poets were nurtured by the patronage of political rulers and counted among the masters of Urdu literature. The Navābs of Avadh in particular, with their promotion of Shīʿī ritual in their capital Lucknow, helped to widen the audience for the marṡiyah. Such temporal rulers appropriated the marṡiyah’s wide appeal as a strategy for fostering social and cultural cohesion among an otherwise diverse population. The Urdu marṡiyah gave expression to the localized concerns and novel self-understanding of the Navābs as they broke politically and ideologically from Mughal rule. These changes in the systems of patronage for the marṡiyah and the genre’s unique association with Avadh’s political and religious project resulted in marṡiyah poets’ growing status in both literary and religious circles. As marṡiyah poets began to feature prominently in the religious life of Avadh, their authority and pious personas came to strain relations with marṡiyah poets’ more worldly patrons. By the mid-1800s, the growing power and influence of the British had undermined the traditional systems of literary patronage for the marṡiyah. But as marṡiyah poets sought out new sources of patronage, they helped extend Urdu’s popularity to distant regional centers. Across India, marṡiyah poets were instrumental in establishing networks of patronage and creating models of language and performance that were influential in Urdu literary circles well beyond the marṡiyah genre, placing such poets as Mīr Anīs and Mirzā Dabīr at the vanguard of crafting the cosmopolitan orientation of Urdu literary culture.

In: Journal of Urdu Studies