december, 2018

201804dec12:30 pm2:00 pmResearch Workshop: Disciplining Language: Dragomans, Ottoman-Turkish, and Oriental Philology—Natalie Rothman12:30 pm - 2:00 pm Institute of Islamic Studies, 170 St. George Street, Jackman Humanities Bldg, Suite 530, Seminar Room, Toronto Event Organized By: Institute of Islamic Studies


Event Details

The chapter to be discussed is an outtake from a monograph-in-progress on dragomans (diplomatic interpreters) in early modern Istanbul. It considers how dragomans mediated Ottoman language ideologies to a nascent European discipline of Orientalism, and, more specifically, how they helped institutionalize Ottoman Studies in the late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries. The chapter traces dragomans’ substantial output of Ottoman-language grammars, dictionaries, lexicons and vocabularies, and contrasts it with that of other professional groups, particularly seminary-trained missionaries and university-trained philologists. It teases out dragomans’ unique contributions to enduring Ottoman language ideologies, including the elevation of Ottoman Turkish to the trifecta of the “three learned languages” of Islam, and the naturalization of Istanbulite courtly registers of the language as particularly pure and authoritative. It then shows how dragomans’ unique mode of language acquisition through immersive apprenticeship—rooted in Istanbulite diplomacy—eventually became an important aspect of foreign language pedagogy more broadly.


(Tuesday) 12:30 pm - 2:00 pm


Institute of Islamic Studies

170 St. George Street, Jackman Humanities Bldg, Suite 530, Seminar Room, Toronto




Institute of Islamic Studies