Seminari Alta Scuola
FSCIRE, Biblioteca La Pira, Via Umberto Maddalena, 112, 90137, Palermo

Ottoman Istanbul: Cultural Encounters and Religious Debates in an Imperial Capital (15th-17th Centuries)

Denise Klein
Leibniz-Institut für Europäische Geschichte, Mainz

Istanbul was the political, economic and cultural center of the Ottoman Empire and one of the largest and most diverse cities of the early modern world. This masterclass explores key features of the city’s imperial past focusing on the first two and a half centuries after the conquest of 1453. It examines the transformation of Byzantine Constantinople into the capital of an Islamic empire; the city’s society, economy, and different religious communities; Islamic law and (inter-)communal relations; Islamic piety and debates about Sufi practices and new forms of urban sociability; experiences of Christians and Jews and their religious debates; and urban elite culture.

Denise Klein is a historian of the Middle East and the Ottoman Empire, with a PhD in history from the University of Konstanz (2014) and an M.A. in Middle Eastern Studies from the University of Munich (2004). She has been a Research Associate at the Leibniz Institute of European History since 2014. She has been granted several scholarships, including by the Gerda Henkel Foundation (2005-2007), the Research Center for Anatolian Civilizations of Koç University (2012-2013) and the German Research Foundation (2019-now), and has spent time in Istanbul, New York and Athens. Her research focuses on the social, cultural, and intellectual history of the Ottoman world before 1800. Currently, she is co-editing with colleagues a volume entitled Transottoman Biographies, 16th-20th c. She is also revising her book manuscript Narrating the Past: The Historical Culture of the Crimean Khanate and is working on a new project, which investigates the experiences of immigrants in Istanbul before 1800.