History Talks: Decoding Teodor Kasap
Speaker: Madeleine Elfenbein (Visiting Scholar, Columbia University)
History Talks are organized by İstanbul Bilgi University Department of History.
In his own day, the Ottoman Greek journalist Teodor Kasap (1835-1897) loomed large in Ottoman public life. Today he is little known except to literary historians, who remember him as a pioneer of Turkish satire. A close collaborator of Namık Kemal and other prominent dissidents, Kasap was himself arrested and jailed for his outspokenness and lived in exile for several years during the early reign of Abdülhamid II. This talk will trace the outlines of his life and work, from his youthful participation in the Italian Risorgimento to his later publishing ventures in multiple languages, and his confrontations with the Ottoman state. In exploring his writings in multiple registers, both satirical and earnest, the talk aims to recover the originality of Kasap’s contributions to the Young Ottoman movement and the broader legacy of his work. To help us unravel the paradoxes in Kasap’s writings, this discussion will highlight the theme of multilingualism and the linguistic concept of code-switching as a key to reconstructing the political patterns of a lost era.
Date: 4 December 2019
Place: santralistanbul Campus, Seyfi Arıkan building, Z05