Stories of Survival

Recovering the Connected Histories of Eastern Christianity in the Early Modern World

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Nir Shafir (UCSD) on Rethinking global history through Ottoman travelogues

On 20th February 2018 at Balliol College,  Nir Shafir (UCSD) will be talking about ‘Rethinking global history through Ottoman travelogues: Arabic travel writing from the sixteenth to eighteenth centuries’. The seminar will be chaired by John-Paul Ghobrial.

More information here.

New project associate Salam Rassi

The Stories of Survival project would like to extend a warm welcome to Salam Rassi as  Project Associate.

Salam Rassi is Post-Doctoral Fellow in Eastern Christian & Islamic Manuscript Cataloguing at the Hill Museum & Manuscript Library (HMML). His current research focuses on the history of theological encyclopaedism among Christians in the medieval Islamic world and the Syriac reception of Avicennan philosophy. . In addition to his own research, he is currently working on an extensive digital catalogue of Arabic and Syriac manuscript collections from Aleppo, Lebanon, Iraq, Turkey, and Mali. Salam hopes that his cataloguing efforts will help further the impact of Oxford’s ERC-funded project Stories of Survival, which, among other things, seeks to document the literary output of Middle Eastern Christians between 1500 and 1750.

Public lecture, January 31st, at the Central European University

On January 31st, research associate Dr Lucy Parker will be giving a public lecture at the Central European University entitled ‘The poet-patriarch Abdisho of Gazarta (d.1570) and the Church of the East in Schism’, as part of CEU’s lecture series Global Minorities in the Early Modern Period.  More information can be see here

Feras Krimsti on the Diplomatic Milieu in Istanbul during the Long Eighteenth Century

In November 2017, a workshop took place at the German Historical Institute in Paris, exploring the mechanisms of diplomacy in a transcultural context.  It focused particularly on the social life of the diplomatic milieu of Istanbul from the seventeenth to the nineteenth century.

At the workshop, entitled ‘Politics and Sociability in a Transcultural Context: The Diplomatic Milieu in Istanbul during the Long Eighteenth Century’, Research Associate Dr Feras Krimsti gave a paper which examined how Ottoman and Venetian processions were depicted in the travelogue of Ḥannā ṭ-Ṭabīb, a physician from Aleppo (1764/65).

A conference report and more information can be found here: 

Workshop on Christian societies of Aramean tradition

In October, PI Dr John-Paul Ghobrial and Research Associate Dr Lucy Parker spoke at a workshop in Frankfurt on ‘Christian societies of Aramean tradition’ organised by Forschungsstelle für Aramäische Studien Goethe-Universität Frankfurt am Main . Dr Ghobrial gave a paper on ‘The conversion of the Christian community in Mosul to Catholicism in the 17th century’, and Dr Parker presented on ‘Reassessing the schism of 1552 in the Church of the East ‘. The full workshop programme can be seen here.



New Research Associate appointed

Tobias GrafWe are delighted to announce the appointment of Dr Tobias Graf as a Research Associate with the Stories of Survival project.

Dr Graf will be joining us in October 2017 from the University of Tübingen, where he has spent the academic year 2016/2017 teaching courses on Euro-Ottoman history, political and military conflict during the European ‘age of confessionalization’, and the history of slavery.  Dr Graf’s research focuses on Euro-Ottoman connections and entanglements in the context of religious practices and ideas as well as migration. Read more here.

Lucy Parker presenting at the European Academy of Religion in Bologna

In Bologna in June, at the European Academy of Religion Conference, Dr Lucy Parker will be giving two papers  on on the project – Stories of Survival: Recovering the Connected Histories of Eastern Christianity in the Early Modern World , the other on herown research with the title ‘Becoming Catholic at the Time of the Counter-Reformation: the case of the sixteenth-century Chaldaeans’.

Religious Minorities in Early Modern Rome, St Andrews

Research Associate Dr Lucy Parker will be giving a paper at a workshop on ‘Religious Minorities in Early Modern Rome’ at the University of St Andrews on June 14th 2017. The paper is entitled:  ‘When Patriarchs Met Popes: Two Sixteenth-Century Eastern Christian Embassies to Rome’.

Programme announced: New Perspectives in Mediterranean History seminar series

The full programme for Trinity Term’s seminar series New Perspectives in Mediterranean History has just been published, beginning with  Sir Noel Malcolm (All Souls) on 24 April, on ‘Tracking a transnational family in the sixteenth-century Mediterranean world: the Brunis and the Brutis’.

Full details of the seminar series are available here.

Towards a New History of Christians and Jews in Ottoman Society

In recent years, there have been significant developments in Ottoman history, Islamic history, and Eastern Christian and Jewish Studies, which promise to radically transform our understanding of the mechanics of communal identity in the Ottoman world.  The time is ripe for a new, three-dimensional study of Christians and Jews in Ottoman society, one that cuts across social, intellectual, economic, cultural, legal and religious history.  Such an endeavour requires the collaboration of specialists working on different parts of the empire.  As part of the Stories of Survival project, a workshop will be held in Oxford in July 2017 with the express purpose of writing such a history.  The outcome of the workshop will be a book aimed at a wide readership, which promises to shape the research agenda for the future while also offering non-specialists a vision of Ottoman society that better reflects the developments of the past thirty years.

For a copy of the Call for Papers, click here.

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