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Locale, Empire and Nation: Ottoman and Post-Ottoman Jewish Spatial Identifications

Tue, December 18, 8:30 to 10:00am, Seaport Hotel & World Trade Center, Backbay 2 Complex

Session Submission Type: Panel Session

Abstract

This session will discuss the real and imagined spaces in which Ottoman and post-Ottoman Jews acted and which they perceived in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. How did these Jews create and develop contacts with their coreligionists from other empires, particularly the Austro-Hungarian Empire, and how did these contacts take place? How did the education and rearing of Jews in one empire influence their perceptions as they moved to another? What impact did the spatial imagination of Ottoman Jews have on their attitudes toward the Middle East in the post-Ottoman era? And how were these spatial identifications perceived or even negated in hegemonic Zionist discourse?
The session will explore the ways in which local, imperial, and national foci of affiliation clashed in the experiences of Ottoman and post-Ottoman Jews. These foci of affiliation were not necessarily perceived as mutual exclusive; indeed, in many senses they appeared to coexist alongside one another.
The three lectures in our session will accompany these issues as they move from the Ottoman Empire to the Austro-Hungarian Empire and back, and thereafter on to the post-Ottoman world; from the nineteenth to the twentieth century; and from imperial order to national order.

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