The Ottoman Culture of Death: A Vision of Modernity and Change
Pasts, Inc. Distinguished Lecture by
Much can be revealed about the structure, the culture, and the mentalities of a society by studying the way it perceives and manages death. This is certainly true of Ottoman society. By investigating centuries of change in the funerary culture of the Empire from the sixteenth to the twentieth century, one can follow the way in which rituals, tombstones, epitaphs, cemeteries have reflected the major transformations undergone by society itself, in terms of its socio-economic make-up, of culture, of gender roles, and even of ideology.
Edhem Eldem is a professor at the Department of History of Bogazici University, Istanbul, and has taught as visiting professor at the University of California at Berkeley and at the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales, Paris. Among his fields of interest are foreign trade in the Levant in the eighteenth century, Ottoman funerary epigraphy, the development of an urban bourgeoisie in late-nineteenth-century Istanbul, the history of the Imperial Ottoman Bank, and late-nineteenth-century Ottoman first-person narratives and biographies. His publications include (with Daniel Goffman and Bruce Masters) The Ottoman City between East and West: Aleppo, Izmir and Istanbul (Cambridge, 1999), Pride and Privilege. A History of Ottoman Orders, Medals and Decorations (Istanbul, 2004), (with Nicolas Vatin) L'épitaphe ottomane musulmane XVIe-XXe siècles. Contribution à une histoire de la culture ottomane (Paris-Leuwen-Dudley, 2007).
19 May, Monday, 5:30 p.m.
István György Tóth Room, Nádor u. 11, courtyard