Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Provincial, Not Peripheral: Ottoman-Iraqi Intellectuals and Cultural Networks, 1863-1914
by Greene, Annie Leah, Ph.D., The University of Chicago, 2018, 377; 10837194
Abstract (Summary)

This dissertation examines the cultural production of late nineteenth and early twentieth-century Ottoman-Iraqi intellectuals within their social and print networks. Their contemporaries and the historiography have presented the region of Ottoman Iraq as being marginal, culturally backward, and semi-isolated. However, this dissertation argues that through overlapping local, regional, imperial, and extra-imperial networks, the region was integrated into Ottoman intellectual, political, and cultural networks through the cultural production and political activity of Ottoman-Iraqi intellectuals. This cultural production can also be understood as shaping Ottoman citizenship discourse, in which they were active as provincial intellectuals. Due to the Iraqi provinces’ location and composition, this Ottoman citizenship discourse was multilingual, multiethnic, multiconfessional, and multisectarian.

To trace these overlapping networks of agency, this dissertation places multilingual Ottoman-Iraqi cultural production, such as the press, poetry, literary prose, and correspondences, alongside sources of political activity, such as Ottoman petitions and parliamentary transcripts. Reading these sources together bridges the historiographical frameworks of the Ottoman Tanzimat reforms and of the Arab Nahda (renaissance), which have been kept separate, and exclude the Iraqi provinces from their discussions of reform and enlightenment. I argue that the Nahda was an Ottoman phenomenon, created by Ottoman-Arab intellectuals for Ottoman-Arab audiences. By combining an investigation of the Nahda with an examination of the effects of the Tanzimat reforms in frontier provinces, I demonstrate that Ottoman-Iraqi intellectuals were major contributors to the Nahda, Ottoman intellectual life, and local culture, in addition to being active provincial representatives in the Ottoman political system.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Bashkin, Orit
Commitee: Khoury, Dina R., Shissler, A. Holly
School: The University of Chicago
Department: Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations
School Location: United States -- Illinois
Source: DAI-A 80/01(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Middle Eastern literature, Middle Eastern history, Near Eastern Studies
Keywords: Citizenship, Intellectuals, Iraq, Networks, Ottoman Empire
Publication Number: 10837194
ISBN: 978-0-438-37054-8
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