Subject: CfP: WOCMES 2014, Ottoman Law and Family
Organizers: Hadi Hosainy and Leyla Kayhan Elbirlik
CfP: Ottoman Law and Family
Abstracts are requested for a panel on Ottoman Law and Family. Please send your abstracts to firstname.lastname@example.org no later than December 13, 2013.
The study of the Ottoman family is a moderately new, yet promisingly flourishing field. Social and legal historians have just begun to reshape the analysis of the family by applying methodologies that would enable both quantitative and interpretative results. To date, the extant studies in this field have focused either on sicils, estate inventories, and endowment deeds in the early-modern period, or they employed the demographic approach to observe household structure, size of family, nuptiality and fertility rates in the period after the first official censuses were conducted. Hence, there is still ample need for more analytical research on the family in the era when the systematic cadastral surveys were irregular and official censuses were not yet being conducted. This panel aims to achieve the enhancement of our knowledge vis-à-vis the characteristics and patterns that made the Ottoman family, as well as the regional and cultural sensitivities in which they were constructed. The integration of different approaches, and the treatment of the subject through different legal sources will pave the way for a more systematic analysis that will enable regional and diachronic comparisons.
While studies on Islamic legal history has successfully challenged the notion of the static nature of pre-modern Islamic law, Ottoman legal doctrine and practice on family is yet to attract the attention of further scholarly research in order to enhance our understanding of the dynamism of both Ottoman law as well as the social and cultural relations of Ottoman family.
One important goal of the panel is to build a constructive dialogue between Ottoman legal and social historians. We encourage, therefore, both legal and social historians to focus on subjects including but not limited to
- domestic servants and slavery
The papers can cover the themes from the entire regions of the Ottoman Empire, including the Balkans, Anatolia, and the Arab Middle East, using various sources including fatwas, court records, endowment deeds, estate inventories, and complaint registers.
Leyla Kayhan Elbirlik
Faculty of Arts and Sciences
Department of History
University of Texas at Austin
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