September 20, 2017

Al-Tikriti Joins MESA Panel Discussion on Ottoman Seas

On Friday, Nov. 18, Associate Professor of Middle East History Nabil Al-Tikriti served as the discussant for the second of two panels titled “Ottoman Seas,” which took place in Boston at the Middle East Studies Association (MESA) Conference. As the panel discussant, Al-Tikriti placed the panel papers within the context of the field, critiqued the papers’ content and structure, and provided additional perspective on the arguments presented. This panel attendance was supported by a CAS Dean’s Office Faculty Supplemental Grant. On the way home from the conference, on Monday, Nov. 21, Al-Tikriti served as a grant reviewer for this year’s Fulbright-IIE research competition, at the Institute for International Education, in New York City.

The MESA conference panel announcement, presented below, can be reached here: https://mesana.org/mymesa/meeting_program_session.php?sid=f90e0e7f8bf5a54af89ee6e278d01a39.

Panel Summary: “Ottoman Seas” is a two-panel session that explores how the Ottomans imagined, constructed, and interacted with maritime space. As with every early modern empire, the limits of Ottoman territories were characterized by a degree of fluidity, more akin to flexible markers (Stuart Elden, The Birth of Territory). Much more so in the case of maritime realms, territorial ownership and control were regularly negotiated and reconstructed. Trying to avoid generalizations and blanket statements about big spatial units such as the Mediterranean, the session shifts attention to the specific components of the Ottoman seas: the Black Sea, the Adriatic, the Marmara Sea, the Aegean archipelago or the North African coast. Bringing together scholars who work on different facets of maritime interactions in these areas, we invite them to consider how maritime spaces were both geographically- as well as ideologically defined Ottoman entities. Participants will explore Ottoman seascapes on the basis of eyewitness accounts, collective experiences of sailors, pirates and statesman, as well as cartographical and architectural evidence. Enquiring into the military, economic and cultural nature of the Ottoman imaginations of the empire’s liquid frontiers, we aim to bring together studies of primary sources, and construct empirical and theoretical arguments building upon and contributing to, existing literature.

Paper Titles:

Panel Participants:

Palmira Brummett, Brown University, Chair.

Christine Isom-Verhaaren, Brigham Young University, Presenter.

Nabil Al-Tikriti, University of Mary Washington, Discussant.

Murat Menguc, Seton Hall University, Organizer; Presenter.
Joshua White, University of Virginia, Presenter.
Sona Tajiryan, University of California at Los Angeles, Presenter.