Society for Asian Art and Asian Art Museum are separate non-profit organizations with separate memberships. Please use the appropriate registration buttons to register for Society programs.
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.
a. What was the Ottoman Empire? Introduction to its history and peoples.
b. The Ottoman language and the art of calligraphy: tombstones and chronograms.
a. Life in the Ottoman palace: Slavery and the Imperial Harem.
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.
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.
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.
Please note that by registering for a program, you are giving consent to the SAA to be photographed or videoed as a participant.