Public Lectures

Urban Cartography in the Nineteenth-Century Ottoman Empire (POSTPONED)

Sibel Zandi-Sayek March 12, 2020 | 4:00pm | HRG 126, Herring Hall

This talk explores the particular manifestation of urban maps in the Ottoman Empire during the long nineteenth century. Identifying general patterns as well as specific exemplary instances of urban maps, it traces the cartographic practices and activities of representing urban places in the region.

The talk highlights the production, distribution, and use of Ottoman urban maps; the technological developments, economic and political changes, and historical events that affected the expression of these maps; as well as the scholarly challenges of studying nineteenth-century urban cartography in the region.

Speaker Bio:

Sibel Zandi-Sayek is Associate Professor and Chair in the Department of Art and Art History and founding co-director of the Asian and Middle Eastern Studies at William and Mary. She holds professional degrees in architecture and city planning from the University of Pennsylvania, and a Ph.D. in architectural history from the University of California, Berkeley.

Her research and publications focus on the architectural and urban dimensions of cross-cultural exchange, the cosmopolitan geographies of the Eastern Mediterranean, the modernization of urban space in the Middle East and North Africa, and the politics of space and identity in the late Ottoman Empire. She is the author of Ottoman Izmir: The Rise of a Cosmopolitan Port, 1840-1880 (University of Minnesota Press, 2012), awarded the M. Fuat Köprülü award for best book in Ottoman and Turkish Studies.

Her research has been supported by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Aga Khan Program for Islamic Architecture, and the Fulbright Institute for International Education.

Her current project investigates the architectural and spatial manifestations of industrial and missionary networks in the late Ottoman Empire.

The Ottoman Enlightenment: Cartographic Knowledge and Imperial Power in the Seventeenth Century Ottoman Empire

M. Pınar Emiralioğlu January 23, 2020 | 4:00pm | Moody Center for the Arts, Lantern Studio 201

This presentation aims to investigate the close relationship between cartographical productions and articulation of imperial power in the seventeenth century Ottoman Empire. The end of the sixteenth century saw a radical transformation in the character and use of maps. After Ptolemy’s Geography was translated into Latin in the early fifteenth century, humanist scholars in Europe were exposed to a set of new techniques.

Ptolemy’s works introduced a geometric approach to the depiction of space that was defined by the celestial grid of longitude and latitude. In the same period, innovations in printing and the expansion of a commercial market increased circulation as maps found a new audience, literate urbanites. Commercial map-printing houses of Italy and the Netherlands contributed to the standardization of maps used and distributed across Europe. Mapping in this period shaped how cartographers, intellectuals, and ruling elites conceived space, territory, and political power.

Although this new development impacted the Ottoman world, the Ottoman cartographers and their works have not yet fully been integrated into these discussions. This presentation aims to fill this gap in the literature through a historical analysis of select cartographical works from the seventeenth century including the anonymous Ottoman portolan chart of the Mediterranean from 1652, which is housed in Bayerische Staatsbibliothek, and the Ottoman Cartographer Katip Çelebi’s translation of Atlas Minor, completed in 1655. In doing so, it will argue that in the seventeenth century Ottoman ruling elites and cartographers did also start understanding their realms and measure their imperial authority in spatial terms. Further examination of the production process of these maps will also shed tentative lights into the global intellectual and professional networks in which Ottoman cartographers were operating.

Speaker Bio:

Pınar Emiralioğlu completed her PhD at the University of Chicago in 2006. Her first book Geographical Knowledge and Imperial Culture in the Early Modern Ottoman Empire (Ashgate, 2014) explores the reasons for the flurry of geographical works in the Ottoman Empire in the sixteenth century. Currently, she is working on her second book project which investigates the close relationship between geographical knowledge and imperial politics in the Ottoman Empire during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.

Among her articles are:

  • “Books on the “Wonders of Creation” and “Geography” in ʿAtufi’s Inventory,” in Treasures of Knowledge: An Inventory of the Ottoman Palace Library Commissioned by Sultan Bayezid II from His Librarian ‘Atufi, edited by Gülru Necipoğlu, Cemal Kafadar, and Cornell Fleischer. Vol. 1 & 2. Leiden: Brill, 2019;
  • “Südosteuropa in der kartografischen Kenntnis der Osmanen im 17. und 18. Jahrhundert (Southeast Europe in the Ottoman Cartography of the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries),” in Fließende Räume Karten des Donauraums 1650–1800 (Floating Spaces: Maps of the Danube Region, 1650–1800), edited by Josef Wolf and Wolfgang Zimmermann, 97–109. Regensburg, Germany: Verlag Schnell & Steiner GmbH, 2017;
  • “Islam and empire,” in Encyclopedia of Empire, edited by John MacKenzie (Hoboken, New Jersey: Wiley­-Blackwell, 2016); “Cartography and the Ottoman Imperial Project in the Sixteenth Century,” in Imperial Geographies in Byzantine and Ottoman Space, edited by Sahar Bazzaz, Dimiter Angelov and Yota Batsaki (Cambridge, Massachusetts: Center for Hellenic Studies, Harvard University Press, 2013), 69–91; and,
  • “Cartography and Geographical Consciousness in the Ottoman Empire (1453-1730),” European Cartography and the Ottoman World, edited by Ian Manners (Chicago: Oriental Institute Museum of the University of Chicago, 2007). Pınar teaches undergraduate and graduate classes on World History, History of the Middle East, and the Ottoman Empire.

She is currently the Chair of the Department of History at Sam Houston State University. She is also a member of the Executive Committee of the Forum on European Expansion and Global Interaction.