Imperial Men: Manhood and Masculinity in Early Modern Ottoman Empire

DEC 05, 2013 | 6:30 PM TO 8:30 PM



The Graduate Center
365 Fifth Avenue




December 05, 2013: 6:30 PM-8:30 PM







What do we know about the past is mostly the world of men. What does manhood and masculinity mean to Muslims? How is Islamic masculinity formalized across historical periods and specific place? Dr. Felek focuses on the pre-modern constructions of manhood and masculinity in the early-modern Ottoman Empire. She argues that at the court of Sultan Murad III (r. 1574-1595), masculinity was not always tied to sexuality and relations between men and women. Rather, manhood and masculinity interacted with piety as a device to legitimize power and sovereignty in relations between the sultans and their subjects.

Özgen Felek is Postdoctoral Research Fellow at MEMEAC. Previously she was on a Mellon Postdoctoral Fellowship in the Department of Religious Studies at Stanford University. She received her first Ph.D. from Firat University (Turkey) in classical Ottoman poetry with a focus on the Sebk-i Hindi (Indian Style) poetical movement. Her second Ph.D. was in the Near Eastern Studies Department from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, where she worked on Ottoman dream culture and Sufism. She is the co-editor, with Walter G. Andrews of a festschrift, Victoria Holbrook'a Armağan (Kanat 2006) and Dreams and Visions in Islamic Societies (SUNY 2012). Presently, Dr. Felek is completing a book about Murad III’s dreams and working on a book manuscript on masculinity in early modern Ottoman Empire.