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Wednesday, November 29, 2017 at 4:45pm
Toboggan Lodge 38 Forest Home Drive
Fall 2017 New Conversations Series:
Assistant Professor, History
Director, Ottoman and Turkish Studies Initiative, Cornell University
Focusing on the Ottoman Empire’s engagement in multilateral agreements in the late 19th century, and Istanbul’s efforts to assert its legal authority to rule over its self-declared colonies, my talk discusses the process of inter-imperial competition between the Great Powers and the Ottoman Empire for colonial possession in the Sahara and the African Red Sea coast. Highlighting the increasing reliance on legalistic justifications of European colonial expansion in Africa—what I call “juridical colonialism”—I examine the liminal legal space that the Ottoman state inhabited at the end of the 19th century. The Ottoman Empire, considered both, part of Europe but “non-European,” was in a unique position which allowed Istanbul a range of choices from full participation in, to a complete rejection of Euro-centric legalistic definitions of sovereignty and colonial authority, which sought to exclude those that did not fit into Euro-centric notions of “civility.