Aspects of Ottoman Culture

Literature Courses
Rustem Pasha Mosque tiles 1560. Photo courtesy of Douglas Brookes.

Aspects of Ottoman Culture

Douglas Brookes
Repeats every week every Sunday until Sun Mar 24 2024.
March 10, 2024
Sundays, March 10, March 17, and March 24, 2024 2:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Koret Education Center, Asian Art Museum, 200 Larkin Street, San Francisco
$100 per person Society members; $125 per person non-members for the course after museum admission. Advance registration must be received by SAA by March 8, 2024.

Registration for this course is now closed.

This course begins with an overview of the history of the Ottoman Empire. Then we will explore aspects of Ottoman culture: the Ottoman Turkish language and its expression in the art of calligraphy; the Imperial Harem system with its use of concubines and eunuchs; and Ottoman music and architecture.

March 10
a. What was the Ottoman Empire? Introduction to its history and peoples.
b. The Ottoman language and the art of calligraphy: tombstones and chronograms.

March 17
a. Life in the Ottoman palace: Slavery and the Imperial Harem.

March 24
a. Ottoman music and architecture.

Recommended readings for an overview of Ottoman history:
Justin McCarthy, The Ottoman Turks: An Introductory History to 1923 (Longman, 1997)
Donald Quataert, The Ottoman Empire, 1700-1922 (Cambridge, 2000)

For further reading (all by the instructor):
Death and Life in the Ottoman Palace: Revelations of the Sultan Abdülhamid I Tomb. Edinburgh University Press, 2023.
On the Sultan's Service: Halid Ziya Uşakhgil's Memoir of the Ottoman Palace, 1909-1912. Indiana University Press, 2019.
The Concubine, the Princess, and the Schoolteacher: Voices from the Ottoman Harem. University of Texas Press, 2008.

Word Lists
Week 1
Week 2
Week 3

Douglas Brookes teaches Ottoman Turkish language at the University of California, Berkeley. He is the author of five books on Ottoman culture and has led numerous educational tours through Turkey.

Registration Policies

The Society for Asian Art's cancellation policy requires at least one week's advance written notice in order to receive a refund of registration fees. This excludes our Travel programs, which have separate cancellation policies, as well as any programs where a specific refund policy is stated on the event page. Your fees will be returned to you through a check in the mail. To cancel, please contact us.

For programs located within the Asian Art Museum, the museum entrance fee must be paid separately and is not included with your registration fee.

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