Istanbul – Kushta – Constantinople presents twelve studies that draw on contemporary life narratives that shed light on little explored aspects of nineteenth-century Ottoman Istanbul. As a broad category of personal writing that goes beyond the traditional confines of the autobiography, life narratives range from memoirs, letters, reports, travelogues and descriptions of daily life in the city and its different neighborhoods. By focusing on individual experiences and perspectives, life narratives allow the historian to transcend rigid political narratives and to recover lost voices, especially of those underrepresented groups, including women and members of non-Muslim communities.
The studies of this volume focus on a variety of narratives produced by Muslim and Christian women, by non-Muslims and Muslims, as well as by natives and outsiders alike. They dispel European Orientalist stereotypes and cross class divides and ethnic identities. Travel accounts of outsiders provide us with valuable observations of daily life in the city that residents often overlooked.
Table of Contents
Notes on Contributors
Christoph Herzog and Richard Wittmann
Part I: European and Ottoman Women in the Empire
- The Memories of German-speaking Women of Constantinople
- Wanderlust, Follies, and Self-Inflicted Misfortunes: The Memoirs of Anna Forneris and her Thirty Years in Constantinople and the Levant
- The Imperial Harem Network in Istanbul, 1850s to 1922
- Amalgamated Observations: Assessing American Impressions of Nineteenth-Century Constantinople and its Peoples
- Istanbul and the Formation of an Arab Teenager’s Identity. Recollections of a Cadet in the Ottoman Army in 1914 and 1916–17
- Hispanic Observers of Istanbul
- The Autobiographical Writings of the Constantinople Judezmo Journalist David Fresco as a Clue toward His Attitude to Language
- Istanbul’s Jewish Community through the Eyes of a European Jew. Ludwig A. Frankl in his Nach Jerusalem
- A Stroll through the Quarters of Constantinople: Sketches of the City as Seen through the Eyes of the Great Satirist Hagop Baronian
- From Short Stories to Social Topography: Misak Koçunyan’s Life Landscapes
- "Bulgar Milleti Nedir?" Syncretic Forms of Belonging in Mid-Nineteenth-Century Istanbul.
- Twenty Years in the Ottoman Capital: The Memoirs of Doctor Hristo Tanev Stambolski of Kazanlik (1843-1932) from an Ottoman Point of View
Part II: Outside Observers of Istanbul
Pablo Martín Asuero
Part III: Jewish Communities
David M. Bunis
Part IV: Armenian and Bulgarian Christian Communities
Christoph Herzog is Professor of Turcology at the University of Bamberg, Germany. He studied Middle Eastern and modern European history at Freiburg, Germany and in Istanbul. His research interests focus on late Ottoman history, especially on the history of the Arab provinces, intellectual history and biographical studies.
Richard Wittmann is the Associate Director of the German Orient-Institut Istanbul. He studied law, Islamic Studies and Turcology in Munich, Berlin, and Cambridge, Mass., where he earned his PhD in Middle Eastern Studies and History from Harvard University. He specializes in the Islamic legal and social history of the Ottoman Empire, as well as narrative sources for the study of the Middle East.