Edited by Duygu Köksal and Anastasia Falierou
In A Social History of the Late Ottoman Women: New Perspectives, Duygu Köksal and Anastasia Falierou bring together new research on women of different geographies and communities of the late Ottoman Empire. Making use of archives, literary works, diaries, newspapers, almanacs, art works or cartoons, the contributors focus particularly on the ways in which women gained power and exercised agency in late Ottoman Empire and early Republican Turkey. The articles convincingly show that women’s agency cannot be unearthed without narrating how women were involved in shaping their own and others’ lives even in the most unexpected areas of their existence. The women’s activities described here do not simply reflect modernizing trends or westernizing attitudes—or their defensive denial. They provide an array of local responses where ‘the local’ can never be found (and should never be conceptualized) in its initial, unchanged, or authentic state.