Third NEHT Workshop 2022

Environmental Histories of the Ottoman and post-Ottoman World
The Anthropocene: From Empire to Nation-States

University of Vienna
8-10 September 2022

John McNeill (Georgetown University)
Building the Anthropocene:
A Global Environmental History of Industrialization, 1780—1920

Environmental history is a growing field of study for scholars of the Ottoman Empire and nation-states in the post-Ottoman territories, especially Turkey. Over the past decade, environmental history has emerged as one of the most significant sub-fields of Ottoman-Turkish history. After successful meetings in Hamburg (2017) and Ankara (2019), we are happy to announce that the 3rd Network for the Study of Environmental History of Turkey (NEHT) Workshop will take place in Vienna in 2021.

The workshop, organised by the Professor of Turkish Studies at the University of Vienna, will bring together scholars of Ottoman and post-Ottoman environmental history, whose research interests converge around the concept of the Anthropocene. Under the overarching theme The Anthropocene: From Empire to Nation-States, the 3rd NEHT workshop will discuss the ways of integrating the concept of the Anthropocene into the field of Ottoman/post-Ottoman environmental history. It will open a space for analysing the role of human activities in transforming the Ottoman/post-Ottoman landscapes in the age of the Anthropocene.

The major aim of the 3rd NEHT workshop is to provide an international and interdisciplinary forum; and therefore, it is open to a wide range of disciplines, fields, approaches, subjects, and methodologies.


8 September 2022

15:00-16:00 Registration

16:00 Opening and Welcome
Eva Horn (Vienna Anthropocene Network, University of Vienna), Onur İnal (University of Vienna), Yavuz Köse (University of Vienna)

16:15-17:00 Keynote
John McNeill (Georgetown University)
Building the Anthropocene: A Global Environmental History of Industrialization, 1780—1920

18:00 Welcome Reception

9 September 2022

Poster Session

Mustafa Emir Küçük (Boğaziçi University)
Urban Parks in Late Ottoman Istanbul

Alperen Arslan (Central European University)
Measuring Empire: The Emergence of Climate Science in the Ottoman Empire

Panel 1:
Imperial Policies and Local Practices
Chair: Zozan Pehlivan (University of Minnesota)

Thomas Kuehn (Simon Fraser University)
Local Environmental Knowledge in the Service of Imperial Rule: The Case of Ottoman Yemen, 1872-1914

Elçin Arabacı (Independent Researcher)
Dispossession, Violence and Usurpation of the Commons in the late Ottoman Empire

Önder Eren Akgül (Georgetown University)
Analyzing the 1908 Aydın Deâvî Register: Criminalization of Customary Forest Usage in the Western Anatolian Mountains

Elizabeth Williams (University of Massachusetts Lowell)
Environment Challenges and Rural Administration in the late Ottoman Eastern Mediterranean

Panel 2: Alternative Sources, New Perspectives

Chair: Mehmet Kuru (Sabancı University)

Selçuk Dursun (METU, Turkey) and Eyüp Özveren (METU)
Yaşar Kemal as a Universal 'Southern' Environmental Historian: A Reassessment in the Light of Lessons Drawn from a Comparison with William Faulkner

Zeynep Akçakaya (Independent Researcher)
Mapping Agricultural Production in Bursa in the Mid-19th Century

Semih Çelik (University of Exeter)
An Ottoman Agricultural Enlightenment? Reform and Production in District of Biga (1830-1860)

Özlem Sert (Hacettepe University)
Water The Transparent Actor in Sugar Production; Climate Variability, Cash Crops, Mills and the Industry

13:00-14:30 Lunch Break

Panel 3: Technologies and Infrastructures

Chair: Onur İnal (University of Vienna)

Hümeyra Bostan-Berber (Marmara University)
Environmental Challenges to the Construction of the Bosphorus Forts

Ecem Doygun (Yıldız Technical University)
From Empire to Nation-State: The Transformation of the Urban Water System between 1880-1950

Nurçin İleri (Humboldt University, Germany)
An Environmental Undertaking of Istanbul’s Electrical Grid from Empire to Nation-State

Deniz Armağan Akto (Bilkent University)
Coping with the River: Nature, Empire, and the Making of the Early Modern Ottoman Danube

Panel 4: Istanbul and the Environment

Chair: Brett Wilson (Central European University)

Ayşe Nur Akdal (Boğaziçi University)
Rethinking the Urban-Rural Linkages: Change in Fresh Food Supply Patterns of Istanbul since the Late Nineteenth Century

Zuhal İbidan (Boğaziçi University)
Three Big Fires in Istanbul in the Nineteenth Century and Their Role in Urban Development of Istanbul

Berin Golonu (University at Buffalo)
The aesthetic lineage of the pastoral and its recreation as simulacra in the Ottoman public gardens of the late nineteenth century

Mehmet Kentel (Istanbul Research Institute)
Champs des Morts, Jardins des Vivants?: An Environmental History of Pera’s Cemeteries in the Nineteenth Century

19:00 Welcome Dinner

10 September 2022

Panel 5: The Levantine Coast

Chair: Yavuz Köse (University of Vienna)

Dotan Halevy (Columbia University)
Settling Sands: The Ecological Alienation of Native Rights in Coastal Dunes

On Barak (Tel Aviv University)
The Discovery of the Levantine Beach

Or Aleksandrowicz (Israel Institute of Technology)
From Stone to Sand: The Role of Local Raw Materials in the Modernized Building of Palestine's Coastal Areas

Mona Bieling (Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies Geneva)
Development from Shore to Shore: Palestine Potash Ltd.’s Impact on the Palestinian Landscape, 1930-1948

Panel 6: Human-Animal Encounters

Chair: Jeanine Dağyeli (University of Vienna)

S. Doğan Karakelle (Max Planck Institute for the History of Science)
Animal-Human Languages and the Anthropocene: Interspecies Communication and the Making of the Imperial Ecosystems in Early-Modern Ottoman Books on Animals

Yonca Köksal Özyaşar (Koç University) and Can Nacar (Koç University)
Epidemics and Epizootics in the Late Ottoman Empire: Livestock Trade from Anatolia to Istanbul

Deniz Dölek Sever (Zonguldak Bülent Ecevit University)
A Legal Overview of Animal-Human Relations: Regulations on Animal Theft in the Late Ottoman Empire

12:30-14:00 Lunch Break

Panel 7: Environmental Anxieties

Chair: Faisal Husain (Pennsylvania State University)

Andras Vadas (Eötvös Loránd University)
The Ottoman-Habsburg Wars and Forests in the Carpathian Basin

Elvan Cobb (Hong Kong Baptist University)
Winter Torrents to Malignant Fevers: Environmental Anxieties along the Early Ottoman Railways

Sarah Irving (Edge Hill University)
Scientific and Popular Debates on Earthquake Science: The 1927 Jericho Earthquake

Mustafa Emre Günaydı (Iowa State University)
At the Crossroads of Disaster and Opportunity: Ecologies of Centralization in Ottoman Baghdad, 1828-1831

15:30 NEHT Meeting and Social Program

Third NEHT Workshop 2022 Program Committee

Eva Horn (Vienna Anthropocene Network, University of Vienna)
Onur İnal (University of Vienna)
Yavuz Köse (University of Vienna)
Zozan Pehlivan (University of Minnessota)
Semih Çelik (University of Exeter)

The workshop is a collaboration between the NEHT, the Department of Near Eastern Studies at the University of Vienna, the Vienna Anthropocene Network, the Austrian Research Association (ÖFG), the European Society for Environmental History (ESEH), the Centre for Environmental History (ZUG), the Environmental History Cluster Austria (EHCA) and the University of Vienna.

The 3rd NEHT workshop is certified under the Austrian Eco-Label for Green Meetings and Green Events. We aim to organize the workshop according to the criteria of this quality label. We would be pleased, if you would approve with these efforts and also support them from your side.