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The Urban Janissary in Eighteenth Century Istanbul

March 12 2020 @ 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm

Joint seminar with the Anglo-Turkish Society

Tuesday 12 March 2020  6:00-8:00pm

at the Royal Anthropological Institute

The Urban Janissary in Eighteenth Century Istanbul

Speaker: Dr Gemma Masson

During the eighteenth-century the Ottoman Empire was changing, and so the long-standing institutions changed with it. By far the most famous, or, in some cases, infamous, of these institutions is the Janissary Corps. Once the elite backbone of the Ottoman infantry historiography has debated the moral and legal corruption of the corps for decades. The purity/corruption paradigm is now viewed as not being a useful lens through which to view the janissaries. With that in mind the doctoral research upon which this talk is based focussed on re-framing the discussion of the janissaries in eighteenth-century Istanbul away from purity/corruption and towards viewing the changes as an adaptation to the changing world.
This talk shall break down the identity and function of the janissaries of eighteenth-century Istanbul into military, political and socioeconomic and examine each aspect of janissary identity. The use of an urban context, especially the capital of the Ottoman Empire, provides a view of the janissaries in the thick of Ottoman society, in close proximity with both regular Ottoman subjects and the domestic power structure of the Empire. It is in Istanbul that the janissaries are most impacted by the changes of the eighteenthcentury and where they in turn are the catalysts for change, both inside and outside of the traditional boundaries of the janissary corps.

Booking essential: https://gemma-masson-lecture.eventbrite.co.uk      Contact: contact@angloturkishsociety.org.uk


Dr Gemma Louise Masson is an Associate Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, currently a PhD graduate from the Centre for Byzantine, Ottoman and Modern Greek Studies. She has diverse research interests including Ottoman History, Imperial and Global History, History in Popular Culture, Dracula History, Supernatural History/Mythology/Folklore, and Death. Her institutional affiliations include the British Institute at Ankara, the Transylvanian Society of Dracula, Association for the Study of Death and Society and the Association for the Study of Transport in Egypt and the Near East.


March 12 2020
6:00 pm - 8:00 pm
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