CFP - Spectacle, Entertainment, and Recreation in the Modernizing Ottoman Empire and Republican Turkey

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We are seeking for contributions for the edited volume that we are compiling for Intellect Publication’s new series: "Critical Studies in Architecture of the Middle East". (Series editors: Mohammad Gharipour and Christiane Gruber).

Please see the CFP below and, if interested, send a 300 word abstract and a short bio to Nilay Ozlu ( and Seda Kula ( until November 15, 2018.


CFP: Spectacle, Entertainment, and Recreation in the Modernizing Ottoman Empire and Republican Turkey


The Ottoman historiography assesses the short lived Tulip Era in the early 18th century to have breathed a new life into Ottoman social life, and introduced novel elements of art, architecture, leisure, and entertainment that people of both sexes could enjoy. Triggered by the state policies to maintain closer diplomacy with European states as well as the royal urge to be seen and felt by its subjects more often and in a more than ever interactive manner, these novelties in social life, predominantly adopted by the ruling elite and in the capital city, would lead to swift creation of new urban and architectural spaces serving this emerging culture of visibility, spectacle, and recreation. With increasing interaction with Europe, the emulation of the ruling elite, social mobility, it gradually, permeated into the rest of the society, and had a long-term impact on the Ottoman society whose initiatives and preferences would further be encouraged by Tanzimat reforms. Hence, the 19th century bore a modern kind of urban life in Ottoman centers.  Ripping open of their traditional nuclei in the second half of the 19th century, they would accommodate, along with new trading, financial, industrial and residential facilities, different forms of entertainment and recreation, ranging from opera and theatre to cinema and sports with new architectural and urban programs like theatres, clubs, performance halls, sports fields, as well as recreational areas, parks, and picnic areas.


We are seeking for articles that conducted original research on the forms and spaces of spectacle, entertainment, and recreation during the late Ottoman and early Republican eras. We encourage submission of articles focusing on cities other than Istanbul, such as Smyrna, Beirut, Thessaloniki, Aleppo, Ankara, etc. The social, cultural, urban, and architectural impact of these spaces in the modernizing Ottoman Empire and Republican Turkey are to be scrutinized.


Nilay Özlü

Seda Kula