The historical profession is still, by and large, organized around geographical units. Ottoman Europe presents something of a conundrum. This geographical space has long been recognized as a confluence of Christianity and Islam, Europe and the broader Middle East; as such, it defies the conventional boundaries which remain powerful in the division of historical knowledge. At the same time, the geopolitical and, by extension, historiographical priorities of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries have confined the historical significance of the region to the themes of conflict, violence, and economic backwardness. In effect, the study of the region’s history has routinely fallen through historiographical and disciplinary cracks.
By bringing together a group of junior and senior scholars whose work focuses on different aspects of early modern Ottoman Europe, this workshop seeks to confront tropes and assumptions embedded in the study of the region and to reimagine the significance that Southeastern European space had for the Ottoman Empire and beyond. Specifically, the workshop will explore what new light political, religious, linguistic encounters and routine boundary crossings cast not only on the history of the Ottoman Empire and Eastern Mediterranean but on history writ large. In doing so, the workshop will also explicitly address the professional challenges of fitting in traditionally defined disciplinary fields. The overall goal of the event is to begin setting the intellectual agenda of integrating southeastern European history more visibly into historical studies as well as to provide a platform for developing future projects and scholarly collaboration.