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For an edited volume Becoming Ottoman. Converts, Renegades and Identity in Early Modern and Modern Context which has been accepted for publication by I.B. Tauris we are seeking additional contributions on the early modern period (16th-18th centuries). The volume examines the role of Europeans who settled in the Ottoman Empire between the 16th and 19th centuries and assumed “Ottoman identity”, be it by way of conversion to Islam and assimilating to the host society or by becoming citizens/loyal servants of the Ottoman state, identifying themselves as Ottomans, but retaining their faith.
The aim of the book is to widen the scope of research on “turning Turk”, to use the jargon of the time, to include those who as merchants, diplomats, scholars, envoys, travelers, family members – mostly voluntarily – relocated from Christian Europe to the Ottoman Empire, and “Ottomanized” in the sense of converting to Islam, adopting the life-style of the Ottoman majority, assuming an Ottoman name, and/or offering their services to the Ottoman state. We are also interested in the accounts of people, who, while themselves having not “turned Turk”, in their travel accounts, memoirs, or letters described and reacted to their fellow Europeans conversions or change of allegiance. We address questions such as, how were these “new Ottomans” viewed in their countries of origin and what use was made of this representation? What was the social meaning of “nativization” and has it changed over time and in different cultural settings? And how was this process conceptualized, imagined, and constructed in a variety of archival and other sources, such as travelogues, diaries, and folk epics? One of the goals of the book is to bring together different perspectives on what it meant to “convert”, “go native”, “become a renegade” in the Ottoman context between the 16th and 19th centuries.