Dienstag-Mittwoch, 10-11.05.2016

Centrum für Religionswissenschaftliche Studien (CERES) - 4.13 “Ruhrpott” - Universitätsstr. 90a (44789 Bochum)

Writing History in Ottoman Europe

Genres – Themes – Historians – Works – Archives (15th-18th Century) Workshop

The Chair for the History of the Ottoman Empire and Turkey – Bibliographische Datenbank Project

Recently, historians and social scientists have become increasingly aware of the fact that “modern” historiography, as it took shape as “science” in Western Europe in the 19th century and as it has been practiced almost everywhere ever since, does not always acknowledge the existence and richness of other longstanding or rather fresh historiographical traditions. In consequence, efforts were made to understand this “theft of history” (Jack GOODY), to write “global”

history, to see how “universal” histories were written in various times and spaces, and to shed light upon “different historiographies, ancient and new, modern and traditional” (Nathalie KOUAMÉ).

Yet with one major exception (Konrad PETROVSZKY), the Early Modern Ottoman Europe was never the object of similar comparative efforts. In spite of many remarkable results, national historiographies (Albanian, Bulgarian, Croatian, Greek, Macedonian, Romanian, Serbian and Turkish) still find it difficult to overcome inherent methodological, linguistic and financial difficulties and to offer proper answers to several decisive questions: “How was history written in Ottoman Europe?” “How was the past recorded?” “How was it told and re-told?” “How did these people build their worlds, and what kind of boundaries did they construct between them?” (This last question echoes Greg DENING...)

In order to fill this significant historiographical gap, the Department of the History of the Ottoman Empire and Turkey and the University Library of the Ruhr University Bochum have started in July 2015 a project entitled “A Bibliographical Database of Historical Writing in Ottoman Europe (15th-18th Century”) / “Bibliographische Datenbank zur Geschichtsschreibung im Osmanischen Europa (15.-18 Jh.)”. This project is funded by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG). It is our aim to identify, process and record the main published and unpublished historical sources and archival materials relevant to the topic.

We strongly believe that a workshop perfecly adds to the project as it allows us to interact with main specialists in the field and to better understand the nature of the data under scrutiny. It would also provide the invited speakers with the opportunity to exchange daring thoughts and to test bold hypotheses.

Feel free to join us.

Organizers: Prof. Markus Koller / Dr. Konrad Petrovszky / Dr. Ovidiu Olar