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Muftis, Dragomans, and Ottoman Law in Translation: Multilingual fatwas from the Turkish Chancellery of the Republic of Ragusa

Muftis, Dragomans, and Ottoman Law in Translation: Multilingual fatwas from the Turkish Chancellery of the Republic of Ragusa
4 Bancroft Ave., Bancroft bldg 200B
Time: Nov 28th, 4:00 pm End: Nov 28th, 6:00 pm
Interest Categories: Slavic Studies (FAS), Religion, Study of (FAS), Near and Middle Eastern Civilizations (FAS), Medieval Studies (FAS), Linguistics (FAS), Law, Faculty of , Italian Studies (FAS), History (FAS), Historical Studies (UTM), Historical and Cultural Studies (UTSC), Book History/Print Culture, 1800-1900, 1500-1800
Seminar in Ottoman and Turkish Studies by Selma Zecevic, York University

The Departments of History and Near & Middle Eastern Civilizations are pleased to present:

Selma Zecevic, York University

Muftis, dragomans, and Ottoman law in translation: Multilingual fatwas from the Turkish chancellery of the Republic of Ragusa

This presentation uses a selection of Ottoman fatwas issued by Ottoman  muftis (16th to 18th c.) to the subjects of the Ottoman tributary  state of the Republic of Ragusa (Dubrovnik), in order to address the  linguistic and other transmutations that these texts underwent, from  their composition in Ottoman Turkish to their translation into Italian  and/or Ragusan Slavic. Specifically, attention is focused on various  stages of the formation and transformation of these texts as they  cross cultural and ethno-linguistic boundaries between the Ottoman  Empire and its vassal-state, the Republic of Ragusa. Central to this  inquiry is the analysis of the activities of the two  interpreters/translators who were involved in the creation of each fatwa text and its corresponding translation: Ottoman muftis and  Ragusan dragomans. A close comparison of fatwa texts in Ottoman  Turkish and Arabic with the texts of the corresponding Italian or  Slavic translations show how Ottoman muftis and Ragusan dragomans  mediated between the imperial legal texts and their own cultural  contexts. Furthermore, this comparison shows that numerous textual  interventions—truncation, omission, and addition of words and  phrases—in Ottoman Turkish and Arabic, and in Italian and Slavic texts  attest to the instability of muftis’ and dragomans’ identities  themselves as they consistently negotiated their positions with  respect to the trans-local and local, imperial and vernacular.

This event is free and open to the public.  Registration is not required.  For further information, please contact the Department of Near & Middle Eastern Civilizations at (416) 978-3306.

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The purpose of the Seminar in Ottoman and Turkish Studies series is to bring together and initiate active discussion among scholars and students in any field relating to the Ottoman Empire, its predecessors, successors, and neighbors, be they allies or rivals, in Europe or Asia. It welcomes the presentation of completed studies, work in progress, as well as discussion on recent trends in Ottoman and Turkish studies. The seminar aspires to facilitate the building of bridges with scholars working in adjacent areas.




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