Posts tagged with "ottoman empire"

    The difficulty of establishing publication dates for books from late Ottoman Bilād al-Shām

    Original post (2015-07-23)

    I am currently preparing my thesis for publication and the process of revision, I am again turning to Ottoman legal texts and their translations. Today I want to come briefly back to a question I have extensively dealt with in my thesis: The difficulty of dating printed sources from the late Ottoman Bilād al-Shām. Consider the following image of the imprint for the second volume of Nawfal Niʿmat Allah Nawfal’s translation of Ottoman laws edited by Khalīl Khūrī and published by al-Maṭbaʿa al-Adabiyya in Beirut1.

    1. Nawfal, Nawfal Efendi Niʿmat Allāh. Al-dustūr: Tarjamahu min al-lughat al-turkiyya ilā al-ʿarabiyya Nawfal Niʿmat Allāh Nawfal bāshkātib kamāruk ʿArabistān sābiqan; bi-murājaʿa wa tadqīq Khalīl al-Khūrī mudīr maṭbūʿāt Wilāyat Sūriyya. Edited by Khalīl Efendi al-Khūrī. Vol.2. Bayrūt: al-Maṭbaʿa al-adabiyya, 1301. 

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    Thesis: English abstract

    To whom belong the streets? Property, propriety, and appropriation: The production of public space in late Ottoman Damascus, 1875–1914

    Following the title’s programmatic terminology and Henri Lefebvre’s analytical suggestions, the dissertation portrays an urban society’s production of public places and public spaces during the transition from a pre-national Ottoman ancien régime to the paradigm of modern mono-dimensional identities from four distinct angles: public discourse and historical semantics; the transformation of the material environment and questions of public property; social norms of propriety and official policies governing access to and movement in public places; and finally, the appropriation of public places through public rituals and contentious performances. The leading question, “to whom belong the streets?”, explores the nascent epistemic shift from a multiplicity of overlapping public spaces, in which ever-changing social groups negotiated political claims, to the dominance and, finally, hegemony of the Public, which would limit the sphere of legitimate participation to the male bourgeois compatriot.

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    Thesis: German abstract

    To whom belong the streets? Property, propriety, and appropriation: The production of public space in late Ottoman Damascus, 1875–1914

    Die vorliegende Dissertation untersucht die Produktion von öffentlichen Orten und Öffentlichkeiten während des Übergangs von einem vor-nationalen osmanischen ancien régime zum Paradigma moderner eindimensionaler Identitäten aus vier verschiedenen Blickwinkeln und greift dabei die programmatische Terminologie des Titels und Henri Lefebvres analytische Vorschläge auf: öffentlicher Diskurs und Begriffsgeschichte; die Transformation der materiellen Umgebung und die Frage nach öffentlichem Besitz; soziale Normen von Anstand und offizielle Grundregeln zu Zugang zu und Bewegung im öffentlichen Raum; und die Inbesitznahme von öffentlichen Orten durch öffentliche/staatliche Rituale und contentious performances. Die Leitfrage, “wem gehört die Straße?”, zielt auf eine Untersuchung des angenommenen epistemischen Wandels von einer Vielzahl sich überlappender Öffentlichkeiten, in denen sich permanent wandelnde soziale Gruppen politische Forderungen verhandeln, zur Dominanz und schließlich Hegemonie der Öffentlichkeit, die dann die Sphäre legitimer politischer Partizipation auf bourgeoise Landsmänner beschränkte.

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    Historical Currency Converter

    Conducting historical research, one often encounters odd currencies, measures, and calendars, all of which are bound to space and time. Calender conversion tools can be readily found on the internet (a good example is CalendarHome’s adaptation of Fourmilab’s code), but converters for non-metric currencies and weights are a bit trickier to come by. As I found myself repeatedly computing exchange rates between Ottoman Lira, British Pound Sterling, US Dollars, and French Francs, I wrote a simple javascript and html frontend.

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