Northwestern University

Mon 12:00 PM

MENA Graduate Student Colloquium

When: Monday, December 2, 2019
12:00 PM - 2:00 PM  

Where: Kresge Hall, Room 1-515 (The Forum), 1880 Campus Drive, Evanston, IL 60208 map it

Audience: Faculty/Staff - Student - Post Docs/Docs - Graduate Students

Contact: Danny Postel  

Group: Middle East and North African Studies

Category: Lectures & Meetings


Presentations by MENA doctoral students

Open only to Northwestern graduate students and faculty


Hazal Ozdemir (Department of History)

“They Migrate by Renouncing Their Ottoman Subjecthood and Vowing Never to Return”: Policing Armenian Migration to the United States (1885-1908)

Armenians constituted one of many communities which were participating in the trans-Atlantic labor migration of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. While Armenian return migration has not caught the attention of scholars before, my research in the Ottoman State Archives has revealed that there was a considerable number of Armenians who tried to come back and their return caused a severe problem for the Ottoman state. The government of Abdülhamid II (1876-1909) understood that these migrations were intended to be circular, and this would help explain why it especially feared Armenian repatriates. While focusing on the state restrictions on Armenian overseas mobility between 1885-1908, firstly, my project demonstrates why the government targeted Armenians as an ethnoreligious community in the Ottoman Empire. According to the regime of Abdülhamid II (1876-1909), all Armenians were revolting to get the attention of the European states and force the Ottoman government to give autonomy to Armenia. The fear of a foreign intervention labeled Armenians as a treacherous community and led the Hamidian officialdom to prevent their return from the United States as much as possible. The second aim is to show how Armenian mobility, especially return, was restricted. By revealing how Armenians were singled out as an ethnoreligious community in the eyes of the Hamidian regime, I argue that the Ottoman attitudes towards Armenian migration and return provide a lens to comprehend the population management in the late nineteenth-century Ottoman Empire. Denaturalization of targeted populations and methods devised to control their movements such as photo registers in the Hamidian era, however, has not been previously studied, and this is precisely where my contribution is.


Şeyma Kabaoğlu (Department of Anthropology)

The Everyday Life of Islamic Banking: A Mid-Level Approach

This presentation juxtaposes the discussions around Islamic authenticity of participation banking practices among Islamic finance experts and the mid-level employees in Istanbul, Turkey. First, I argue that the everyday conversations of what makes a loan Islamic are not confined to the experts discussions on the nature of financial instruments and their abstract models. The mid- level bank employees do not only have different answers to the question of authenticity of certain financial contracts, but also ask different questions to assess the Islamic-ness of banking practices. Secondly, I suggest that the discrepancy between Islamic financial theory and practice does not imply the irrelevance of Islamic law in the everyday life of Islamic banking. I highlight the everyday efforts by employees to maintain a space for non-codified, flexible, case-specific Islamic law to function. Lastly, I demonstrate the hesitations among experts and employees to use the term “Islam” to refer to participation banking activities. I suggest that the reluctance to call a financial practice “Islamic” does not necessarily challenge its Islamic permissibility, hence does not imply an inherent hypocrisy in the participation banking industry.

Add to Calendar

Add Event To My Group:

Please sign-in