Contextualizing History Writing in the Ottoman and Indian Worlds (C.1400-1850)

revised: 08.06.2017

Date: June 10-11, 2017
Time: 9.30-17.30
Place: santralistanbul Campus, E1-301

The conference is organized by İstanbul Bilgi University Department of History.

During the last twenty or thirty years, scholars working on the Ottoman world and specialists on Mughal and post-Mughal India have become interested in the manner in which chroniclers of the early modern period treated their sources, and in the varying literary conventions that they followed. Moreover, in both fields, historians have realized that official documents do not always convey ‘the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.’ By bringing scholars from different fields together, the organizers hope to promote the understanding that source criticism is a worldwide enterprise and encourage participants to view their own problems in a broader context.

The conference language is English; there will be no translation.


Oktay Özel (Bilkent University)
Ahmet Ersoy (Boğaziçi University)
Edhem Eldem (Boğaziçi University)
Cengiz Kırlı (Boğaziçi University)
Eva Orthmann (Bonn University)
Chander Shekhar (Delhi University)
Sunil Kumar (Delhi University)
Malte Fuhrmann (İstanbul Bilgi University)
Suraiya Faroqhi (İstanbul Bilgi University)
Murat Dağlı (İstanbul Bilgi University)
Başak Tuğ (İstanbul Bilgi University)
Ranjeeta Dutta (Jawaharlal Nehru University/Delhi)
Najaf Haider (Jawaharlal Nehru University/Delhi)
Denise Klein (Leibniz Institut für Europäische Geschichte/Mainz)
Hakan Erdem (Sabancı University)
Tülay Artan (Sabancı University)
Bidisha Dhar (Tripura University)
Konrad Petrovszky  (Vienna University)
Fatma Tunç Yaşar (Yıldız Technical University)



June 10, Saturday

9.15-9.30     Welcome

9.30-11.15      Historians discussing the worlds they inhabited -Part 1-
Moderator: Suraiya Faroqhi 
Hakan Erdem: “In Search of Legitimacy in Post-mongol Anatolia: Yazıcızade Ali’s Construction of a Nomadic World on the Bithynian Frontier ”
Sunil Kumar: “ Between History and Historiography: The Muslim and Turkish nature of the 13th-14th century Delhi sultanate”
Chandar Shekhar: “The Treatise of Asad Beg Qazvini: An eye witness account of Akbar’s last years and the beginning of Jahangir’s reign”

11.15-11.45      Coffee/Tea break

11.45-13.45     Historians discussing the worlds they inhabited  -Part 2-
Moderator:  Bülent Bilmez
Edhem Eldem: “Şanizade Ataullah Efendi and the darker side of Ottoman historiography in the nineteenth century”
Denise Klein: “History for All! Audiences and Reading Practices in Tatar Crimea”
Eva Orthmann: “Compilation and contention: sources, structure and aims of the Ma’āsir-i-Rahīmī”
Oktay Özel: "Rethinking 17th century Ottoman nasihatname literature"

13.45-11.15     Lunch break

15.15-17.00: Sometimes dubious: the real or supposed reliability of archival sources  
Moderator: Murat Dağlı
Başak Tuğ: "A petition concerning sexual assault: Emine from Antalya complaining to the Imperial Council"
Cengiz Kırlı: “Following-up a Petition from the Ottoman Balkans ”
Tülay Artan: “Ottoman inventories as a source for social stratification”

June 11, Sunday

9.30-11.15      A tangled web: contemporary historians disentangling and re-entangling -Part 1-
Moderator: Başak Tuğ
Murat Dağlı: “Rumor in History and Historiography”
Fatma Tunç Yaşar: “Late Ottoman Etiquette Books: Multiple Negotiations with Alla Franca”
Najaf Haider: "Fact and Fiction in Mughal Sources: A Study of the Life of Nurjahan"

11.15-11.45    Coffee/Tea break

11.45-13.30     A tangled web: contemporary historians disentangling and re-entangling -Part 2-
Moderator: Ahmet Ersoy
Ranjeeta Dutta: “Clio’s Journey: Past, Historical Consciousness and Identities in Early Modern Peninsular India ”
Malte Fuhrmann: “Reentangling the Disentangled Historiographies of 19th c. Eastern Mediterranean Port Cities ”
Konrad Petrovszky: “History as pastiche. Ianake Văcărescu's unfinished "History of the Almighty Ottoman Emperors"”

13.30-15.00     Lunch break

15.00-16.45     Towards a history of everyday life
Moderator: Sunil Kumar
Ahmet Ersoy: “Ottoman New Media: Everyday Life and the Historical Past in Ottoman Illustrated Journals”
Bidisha Dhar: “Artisans in Indian history”
Suraiya Faroqhi: “Toward a History of Work in Ottoman Istanbul: Interpreting Artisan nizams of the Eighteenth Century”