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The Ottoman Empire after #MeToo and Black Lives Matter

  • Wednesday, March 31, 2021
  • 4:00 PM–5:00 PM
  • Virtual (Teams)

In talking about race, President Obama quoted Faulkner, “The past is never dead. It isn’t even past.” This presentation explores this observation by examining the Ottoman Empire, focusing on the early modern era (mid-1400 - mid-1700s). It will introduce this empire’s diverse culture, its complex fiscal model, and its dynastic political system, which revolved around the household of the Ottoman sultan. We will see that the #MeToo and Black Lives Matter movements make us pay more attention to slavery in the Ottoman Empire, and to the surprisingly powerful role of its white concubines and black eunuchs.

This virtual event will be hosted in Microsoft Teams. If you already have a Microsoft Teams account, you can simply click the link below and then select "Open your Teams app" to join the meeting using Teams. If you do not have Teams or have trouble logging in, click the link and select "Continue on this browser" to join the meeting as a guest using your web browser. This meeting uses a virtual "lobby," so the event host will admit you into the event once it begins.

  • Join MS Teams meeting by clicking this link.

About the Speaker

Doug Howard is Professor of History at Calvin University. His field of research is the history of the Ottoman Empire, and he is the author of A History of the Ottoman Empire (Cambridge, 2017). In the book, he uses the main theme of the Ottoman worldview to write about how humans cope with calamity, suffering, and the passage of time. At Calvin, Professor Howard teaches courses on ancient history, history of the Middle East, US-Middle East relations, the history of India, and the religion of Islam. He has led off-campus interim courses in Turkey and Oman, with a focus on interfaith relations.

This event is sponsored by the Historical Studies department and is part of our history colloquia series. These lectures are open to the Calvin community - students, faculty, staff, alumni and friends - and all are welcome to attend. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, our events will take place virtually.

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