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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 don’t 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
- Ottoman Empire