Fourth Annual International Graduate Student Workshop. "Shared History, Shared Geography: The Ottoman East."
Conveners: Kathryn Babayan, ASP Director, Near Eastern Studies/History; Richard Antaramian, Dzovinar Derderian, Ali Sipahi, ASP graduate students.
Over the last three decades scholars of the Middle East have raised new questions and used new methods that have forced them to reconsider approaches of the former generations of scholarship. These include, but are not limited to, critical interrogations of modernization theory and the provenance of the nation-state form. Accounts exclusively based on Armenians, Kurds, Syrians, missionaries, etc. have emerged, while the historiography of the Ottoman East has largely been concerned with governmentality studies. Welcome as these changes may be, the respective turns have had little impact on our study of the Ottoman Empire’s eastern borderlands (defined roughly as the area bounded by Ankara, Mosul, and Kars).
The Ottoman East has been viewed largely, both by contemporary Ottoman statesmen and modern-day historians, as a periphery of the Ottoman enterprise centered in the imperial capital and western Anatolia. These accounts posit the imperial center as the active agent of history, seeking to civilize or bring order to its borderlands. This workshop will begin to provincialize the center as it attempts to understand the Ottoman East on its own terms.
The Shared History, Shared Geography: The Ottoman East workshop is organized by University of Michigan Graduate Students (Richard Antaramian, Dzovinar Derderian, Ali Sipahi with faculty advisor Prof. Kathryn Babayan) and seeks to bring together younger scholars (graduate students engaged in research or those having defended their dissertations in the last three years) studying the Ottoman East for the period 1839-1950.