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From the Province to the Centre: Translocal Perspectives and Representations of Istanbul in Arabic Travelogues of the 17th and 18th centuries

Feras Krimsti

This project examines Arabic travelogues from the 17th and 18th century, which do not focus on the Ottoman city of Istanbul as the seat of imperial power, but rather on its urban landscape and its everyday life. Focusing on the ways in which the capital was perceived and represented by the travellers from the Arab provinces of the Ottoman Empire, the research project aims to shed light on translocal perspectives as well as on knowledge reaching beyond the local sphere. Through their detailed descriptions the travelogues – literary fictions as well as mediums of cognition and knowledge – document the widening horizons of the erudite inhabitants of Ottoman Arab cities on the eve of modernity.