Ambivalences of Ottoman Modernity: Nahda, Tanzimat, and World Literature
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Arslan, C. Ceyhun
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CitationArslan, C. Ceyhun. 2017. Ambivalences of Ottoman Modernity: Nahda, Tanzimat, and World Literature. Doctoral dissertation, Harvard University, Graduate School of Arts & Sciences.
AbstractThe late Ottoman period of the nineteenth and early twentieth century has been almost exclusively associated with national cultural revivals, which prepared the ground for the emergence of nation-states that led to political and cultural splits after the demise of the Ottoman Empire. Ambivalences of Ottoman Modernity argues that this period needs to be projected less as the moment of origin that sowed the seeds for nationalism, modernity, and a new literature, and more as a time of cultural experimentation in which new, hybrid visions of Ottoman identity were imagined for shedding light upon new cultural convergences and the formation of interstitial identities that also characterized the late Ottoman Empire.
Through this revisionist analysis of the late Ottoman period, Ambivalences of Ottoman Modernity undermines the typical scholarly view that nahḍa—which refers to Arab cultural revival or “awakening”—and tanzimat—which refers to both statewide imperial reforms and the late Ottoman Turkish literature—were two separate movements that took shape solely under the Western influence. To show that these movements were instead constitutive of each other, I re-examine nahḍa and tanzimat under the larger umbrella term “Ottoman modernity” and re-contextualize modern Arabic and Turkish literary texts of the nineteenth and early twentieth century within a multilingual Ottoman cultural milieu instead of their respective national communities.
The comparative nature of my project also gives me the opportunity to participate in some of the most recent and fundamental debates in world literature, which studies how texts from a particular source culture transform as they are translated, interpreted, and intertextualized in global literary networks. Ambivalences of Ottoman Modernity proposes that fundamental notions in the world literature scholarship need to be revised for a nuanced understanding of the late Ottoman Empire, hence giving a close reading of Arabic and Turkish literary texts to provide new theoretical perspectives on translation, intertextuality, canon formation, and world literature.
Citable link to this pagehttp://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.InstRepos:41140255
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