History Talks: "Famine and Social Ecology, 1839-1894"
History Talks are organized by İstanbul Bilgi University Department of History.
Date: October 9, 2018 Tuesday
Place: santralistanbul Campus, Seyfi Arıkan Building-Z05
Speaker: Matthew Ghazarian (Ph.D. Candidate, Columbia University, Department of Middle Eastern, South Asian, and African Studies & Junior Fellow, Koç University, Research Center for Anatolian Civilizations)
Famine and Social Ecology, 1839-1894 What conditions harden communal boundaries and provoke violence across them? My research addresses these questions in the Ottoman Empire in 1839-94: 1839 brought radical moves toward religious equality before the law, but 1894 brought years of sectarian violence across imperial realms. Other studies focus on Ottoman state, European colonial, and Protestant missionary activities to explain transformations in communal relations. My project draws on this work but focuses on how new ideas and practices of religious difference arose from local material and ecological conditions. It examines the effects of famine and responses to it, showing how extreme material conditions upended the social ecology of Ottoman Anatolia, distributing collective trauma along communal lines, crystallizing boundaries between religious communities, and planting the seeds for later sectarian violence. This talk will include an overview of this project as well as some its research concerning the Anatolian famines of 1879-81.