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Unformatted text preview: Modern Middle East January 24 T HE O TTOMAN H ERITAGE Particularly relevant to the current polemical debates about the Clash of Civilizations East and West are reductionism categories that confuse, rather than illuminate, the realities of the Middle East E AST VS . W EST COULD BE AN INCOHERENT DISTINCTION Especially since the geographic east could contain seemingly European features (Byzantine, Christianity, Hellenic Civilization, law and citizenship, etc.) Similarly the category west refers to items associated with Islam and the East o e.g. Andalusian symbiotic culture that is both Western and Islamic evokes pluralism, co- existence and liberalism among various cultures A M EDITERRANEAN C ULTURE Circumvent this binary dilemma by thinking of Ottoman culture as a Mediterranean culture that encompasses both East and West Mediterraneanism is an implicit cultural domain (people dont normally subscribe to it consciously but belong to it as a matter of externally observable attributes) Those include small peasant cultures, cropping arrangements, cuisine, folk traditions, the mountain against the sea; and basic social organization features that unite Ottoman societies with southern European cultures T HE R EPUBLIC OF C OUSINS Refers to certain social features that unite North Africa, Levantine and southern European social organization; those include the preference in marriage given to the first cousins; this is probably related to the turn in issues of property and defensive solidarity *** stranger someone who has no blood-relation *** U NITED AND D IVISIVE Unite societies that are diverse in religions through these traditions (cuisine, urban culture, architecture, peasant social organization, etc.) e.g. Islam and Jews Divide societies united in religion and language (e.g. Syria from Iraq) T HE M IDDLE E AST AND THE M ODERNITY Q UESTION Modernity is not modernism Gelvin suggests that Middle East modernity is associated with two global trends: o Emergence of world economic system trade and mobility (begins in 16 th cent.) o Emergence of the nation states in the 18 th /19 th centuries O TTOMAN M ODERNITY AND E UROPE The idea of rupture with the past is an essential component of modernity The introduction of secular nationalism Notions of citizens vs. subjects The associated idea of right (entitlement) as opposed to privilege The replacement of autarky with market determination January 29 The Tanzimat of 1839: Ushering Ottoman and Middle Eastern Modernity H ATTI S ERIF G ULHAM Tanzimat Reforms were signed by Sultan Abdulmecid ushering a period of Organizational Reforms Tanzimat were aimed at reorganizing administrative, fiscal, and military reforms to allow Ottoman Empire to European encirclement They were also aimed at ending era of capitulations by which immense privileges were given to European consular officials and trading posts...
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- Spring '07