In this seminar, we will address the critical issues of Ottoman-European relations with a particular focus on the German-speaking territories. The thematic emphasis will be on transcultural mediation and translation. By providing students with the historical background, the course explores how travel, trade, diplomacy and other cultural contacts connected Ottoman and European individuals communities. Besides getting to know the people and concepts that moved between the Ottoman and European territories, the course considers the role that military conflicts played in creating mutual perceptions. In our investigations, we will trace the historical genealogy of opposing terminologies such as "East/West", "Orient/Occident", "Ottomans/Europeans". The course will also question the analytical validity of concepts such as "rise", "decline" and "reform" in the context of the Ottoman-European dialogue. How did these categories emerge, and how do they contribute to the way the Ottoman Empire is perceived? With these questions in mind, the seminar will guide us through accessible primary sources and secondary literature from the first contacts in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries to the revolutionary and reform periods of the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. 

Semester: SuTerm 2021