The Ottoman Empire After #MeToo and Black Lives Matter (Video Recording)

The Ottoman Empire after #MeToo and Black Lives Matter (Talk by Prof. Doug Howard, March 31, 2021)

Calvin History Colloquium featuring Professor Doug Howard

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.

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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