May 23, 2024

Al-Tikriti Presents Paper at Budapest Workshop

Associate Professor of History and American Studies Nabil Al-Tikriti presented a paper titled “Registering Slavery, Takfīring Enemies, Tasting Death: Şehzade Korkud’s (d. 1513) Contributions to Ottoman Religio-Political Policies.” It was presented at the “(Re)thinking Ottoman Sunnitization, ca. 1450-1700” workshop, held on August 25-26, at Budapest’s Central European University (CEU).  The workshop is part of the OTTOCONFESSION Project, which is supported by a European Research Council (ERC) grant, and jointly administered by both Prof. Derin Terzioğlu of Istanbul’s Boğaziçi Üniversitesi and Prof. Tijana Krystić of CEU.

Prof. Al-Tikriti’s paper summarized the contributions of Korkud to Ottoman religious identity in the early 16th century. This paper should next be turned into a chapter in the workshop proceedings, with an exploration of Korkud’s sources and their intellectual lineages.

Here is a link to the Ottoconfession Project Website.

The project summary: “How and why did the Ottoman Empire evolve from a fourteenth-century polity where “confessional ambiguity” between Sunnism and Shiism prevailed into an Islamic state concerned with defining and enforcing a “Sunni orthodoxy” by the early sixteenth century? How did the Ottoman Sunni notions of “orthodoxy” subsequently evolve during the 17th century? Recent historiography attributes the growing concern with “orthodoxy” in the Ottoman Empire to the rise of the rival Shii Safavid Empire beginning in the first decade of the sixteenth century. However, the OTTOCONFESSION project is based on the premise that the evolution of Ottoman discourse on Sunni orthodoxy can be understood only in a longer perspective that spans the fifteenth and seventeenth centuries and that it was shaped by religio-political dynamics not only among the Ottoman and Safavid Muslims, but also among Christian communities in the Ottoman Empire and in Europe as well. The project sets out to demonstrate that although the polarization between Sunni and Shii Islam on the one hand, and Catholic and Protestant Christianity on the other, resulted from the dynamics specific to the Turco-Iranian world and Europe, respectively, the subsequent processes of confession- (and in some cases state-) building were related and constitute an entangled history of confessionalization that spanned Europe and the Middle East. The project will investigate the evolution of confessional discourses in the Ottoman Empire in both community-specific and entangled, cross-communal perspectives between the fifteenth and seventeenth centuries by focusing on a) the agents and strategies; b) textual genres; and c) sites of confessionalization.”

Prior to the workshop Prof. Al-Tikriti rode the rails from Budapest to Bucharest to Sofia before taking a bus to Istanbul and then spending three weeks in rural Turkey preparing for these august proceedings.

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. Inquiring 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.