Mittwoch, 17. November 2021, 18:30 - 20:00 iCal

Ringvorlesung Turkologie Wintersemester 2021/22

Turkey and Southeast Europe in the Interwar Period

As the title “Turkey and Southeast Europe in the interwar period” suggests, the series will concentrate on the late Ottoman and early post-Ottoman/Republican periods and bring together scholars that work on different aspects of that era of radical ruptures and new foundations. Related memory culture and history-writing in many cases still fundamentally disagree. The historical distance of a whole century however invites new or overarching approaches. The series thus aims at a fresh and interconnected understanding of the emerging post-Ottoman world in the large context of the defining Treaty of Lausanne (1923).

06.10.2021-26.01.2022, Mittwochs 18:30-20:00 Uhr, Online-Vorträge


Meeting-ID: 987 7521 2598

Kenncode: 466314



Aline Schläpfer (Basel)

Phantoms in the colonies. Amnesia, nostalgia, and the crisis of imperial transition in Baghdad after the Ottomans


Comparative scholarship on post-Ottoman spaces has first identified a general will to break away from the legacy of the Ottoman Empire, thus systematically silencing voices linking Empire and nation-state. But new scholarship, by shedding light on the multiple expressions of continuity with former social, cultural and political practices inherited from the Ottoman Empire in various sectors of post-Ottoman societies, has challenged the idea that Ottoman “amnesia” always prevailed. Processes of ruptures and continuities, it seems, co-existed, and produced conflicting memory cultures and history-writing traditions.

In post-Ottoman Iraq, disillusions with the new British colonial regime emerged, from the very early days of the formation of the state already. This, in turn, led some within the political elite deeply imbedded in Ottoman-Turkish culture by education, professional training and often marriage, to attempt to renew their tie with their former “Turkish” rulers, most notably around the fate of the province of Mosul. This talk explores the variety of responses in memory production, where the Ottoman past was domesticated (Lowenthal 1996) so as to respond to political concerns of the present day, in a context of strongly divided loyalties.


Aline Schlaepfer leads a research project hosted at the University of Basel (Near and Middle Eastern Studies/Nahoststudien), and funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNF-Eccellenza Professorial Fellowship). The project, entitled "Ottoman afterlife in Jordan and Iraq. Politics of remembering and forgetting in new Arab states” (2020-2025), is interested in questions of memory, heritage and continuity with the Ottoman Empire in Arab spaces. Aline obtained her PhD at the University of Geneva. She was a visiting doctoral student at the School of Oriental and African Studies in London (2009), and a postdoctoral fellow at the American University of Beirut in 2016 and Princeton University in 2017. Before joining the University of Basel, she was maître-assistante at the University of Geneva until 2020. She is the author of Les intellectuels juifs de Bagdad. Discours et allégeances (1908-1951) (Brill 2016), and a number of articles dealing with the history of Jews in Arab lands, nationalism, history of minorities and the study of Ottoman imprint in Arab spaces.

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Institut für Orientalistik


Ayse Dilsiz Hartmuth
Institut für Orientalistik