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Festivity and Representation in the Early Eighteenth Century
The 1720 Imperial Circumcision Celebrations in Istanbul offers the first holistic examination of an Ottoman public festival through an in-depth inquiry into different components of the 1720 event. Through a critical and combined analysis of the hitherto unknown archival sources along with the textual and pictorial narratives on the topic, the book vividly illustrates the festival’s organizational details and preparations, its complex rites (related to consumption, exchange, competition), and its representation in court-commissioned illustrated festival books (sūrnāmes).
To analyze all these phases in a holistic manner, the book employs an interdisciplinary approach by using the methodological tools of history, art history, and performance studies and thus, provides a new methodological and conceptual framework for the study of Ottoman celebrations.
Author:
In Richard Pococke’s Letters from the East (1737-1740), Rachel Finnegan provides edited transcripts of the full run of correspondence from Richard Pococke’s famous eastern voyage from 1737-41. In this new volume, Finnegan combines updated biographical accounts of the traveller and his correspondents (his mother, Elizabeth Pococke and his uncle and patron, Bishop Thomas Milles) from vol. 1 of the original edition of Letters from Abroad (2011) with transcriptions of the letters from vol. 3 of the series (2013), together with new material that has hitherto been unpublished. Thus, in a single volume, she sets the context of the life and times of the traveller and his family against the background of this voluminous corpus of fascinating correspondence, which can be read in conjunction with Pococke’s own published account of his travels, A Description of the East and Some Other Countries (1743-45).
Author:
Caught in a Whirlwind: A Cultural History of Ottoman Baghdad as Reflected in its Illustrated Manuscripts focuses on a period of great artistic vitality in the region of Baghdad, a frontier area that was caught between the rival Ottoman and Safavid empires. In the period following the peace treaty of 1590, a corpus of more than thirty illustrated manuscripts and several single page paintings were produced. In this book Melis Taner presents a contextual study of the vibrant late sixteenth-century and early seventeenth-century Baghdad art market, opening up further avenues of research on art production in provinces and border regions.
Mouradgea d’Ohsson’s Tableau général de l’Empire othoman offered the Enlightenment Republic of Letters its most authoritative work on Islam and the Ottomans, also a practical reference work for kings and statesmen. Profusely illustrated and opening deep insights into illustrated book production in this period, this is also the richest collection of visual documentation on the Ottomans in a hundred years. Shaped by the author’s personal struggles, the work yet commands recognition in its own totality as a monument to inter-cultural understanding. In form one of the great taxonomic works of Enlightenment thought, this is a work of advocacy in the cause of reform and amity among France, Sweden, and the Ottoman Empire.

The Sung Home tells the story of Kurdish singer-poets (dengbêjs) in Kurdistan in Turkey, who are specialized in the recital singing of historical songs. After a long period of silence, they returned to public life in the 2000s and are presented as guardians of history and culture. Their lyrics, life stories, and live performances offer fascinating insights into cultural practices, local politics and the contingencies of state borders. Decades of oppression have deeply politicized and moralized cultural and musical production. Through in-depth ethnographic analysis Hamelink highlights the variety of personal and social narratives within a society in turmoil. Set within the larger global stories of modernity, nationalism, and Orientalism, this study reflects on different ideas about what it means to create a Kurdish home.
Portable Archaeology and the Poetics of Influence
Editor:
Using the Braudelian concept of the Mediterranean this volume focuses on the condition of “coastal exchanges” involving the Dalmatian littoral and its Adriatic and more distant maritime network. Spalato and Ragusa intersect with Constantinople, Cairo and Spanish Naples just as Sinan, Palladio and Robert Adam cross paths in this liquid expanse. Concentrating on materiality and on the arts, architecture in particular, the authors identify portability and hybridity as characteristic of these exchanges, and tease out expected and unexpected serendipitous moments when they occurred. Focusing on translation and its instruments these essays expand the traditional concept of influence by thrusting mobility and the "hardware" of cultural transmission, its mechanisms, rather than its effects, into the foreground.

Contributors include: Doris Behrens-Abouseif, SOAS, University of London; Joško Belamarić, Institute of Art History, Split; Marzia Faietti, Uffizi, Florence; Jasenka Gudelj, University of Zagreb; Cemal Kafadar, Harvard University; Ioli Kalavrezou, Harvard University; Suzanne Marchand, State University of Louisiana; Erika Naginski, Harvard University; Gülru Necipoğlu, Harvard University; Goran Nikšić, City of Split, Split; Alina Payne, Harvard University; Avinoam Shalem, Columbia University and David Young Kim, University of Pennsylvania