Wednesday, 24. May 2023, 20:00-21:30
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Losing Istanbul offers an intimate history of empire, following the rise and fall of a generation of Arab-Ottoman imperialists living in Istanbul. Mostafa Minawi shows how these men and women negotiated their loyalties and guarded their privileges through a microhistorical study of the changing social, political, and cultural currents between 1878 and the First World War. He narrates lives lived in these turbulent times—the joys and fears, triumphs and losses, pride and prejudices—while focusing on the complex dynamics of ethnicity and race in an increasingly Turco-centric imperial capital.
Mostafa Minawi is associate professor of history at Cornell University. He holds an undergraduate degree in Civil Engineering and Management from McMaster University after which he worked for several years as a consultant in the banking industry before starting his obsession with Ottoman history, earning an MA from the University of Toronto, and a PhD in History and Islamic and Middle East Studies from NYU. His work focuses on the study of Ottoman imperialism in Africa and Southwest Asia, including the Ottoman metropole. His first book titled The Ottoman Scramble for Africa: Empire and Diplomacy in the Sahara and the Hijaz was published in English by Stanford University Press in 2016, and it has been translated to Turkish and Arabic. His latest book and subject of this talk is Losing Istanbul: Arab-Ottoman Imperialists and the End of Empire, came out in late 2022. In addition to teaching history, Minawi is the director of the Critical Ottoman and Post-Ottoman Studies (CO+POS) initiative at Cornell University.
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