Lecture by Hülya Canbakal, Professor of History at Sabanci University (Istanbul)

On Thursday 24rd of November 2022, 7.30 pm, at the Institute for Mediterranean Studies (Melissinou and Nikiforou Foka 130, Rethymno), Hülya Canbakal, Professor of History at Sabanci University (Istanbul), with the topic of "Reflections on the economics of gender inequality in the Ottoman Empire: the case of eighteenth-century Kandiye"

The impact that economic development during the early modern era and the Industrial Revolution had on the social position of women is a well-established paradigm in world historiography, even if it remains relatively marginal in Ottoman Studies. More recently, the direction of causation between development and women’s position has been reversed, and the question of how gender inequality and its institutional pillars may have affected economic development has moved to the forefront of research. This presentation will introduce a research agenda that seeks to engender the debates about regional economic development in the Ottoman Empire, and explores the relevance of this new approach in Ottoman history. Canbakal will lay out the main questions that will guide this research, and introduce her project on Ottoman Crete as a case study. She will present her preliminary findings regarding other provinces on the Ottoman mainland, and provide a preview of how gender inequality in Crete may have compared to these other regions.

Hülya Canbakal received her Ph.D. in History and Middle Eastern Studies from Harvard University, in 1999. She worked as full time faculty at Sabanci University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, Istanbul, in 1999-2017. She continues her research career as network faculty at the same institution. She is specialized in the social and economic history and legal culture of the Ottoman Empire in the early modern period. Her book Society and Politics in an Ottoman Town: ‘Ayntab in the Seventeenth Century (Leiden: Brill, 2006) is based on her dissertation. Her recent research focuses on long-term economic change with specific reference to different forms of wealth, property relations, and inequality. She is particularly interested in the causes of regional diversity in economic performance. In her current project, she probes into the relevance of gender for economic performance and, at the same time, the role that law, custom and the prevalent forms of livelihood may have played in shaping the gender relations in different regions.

 Her recent publications include:

“Slaveholding in the Ottoman Central Lands (1460–1880).” With A. Filiztekin. Turkish Historical Review 2022, Vol. 13 (3), pp. 1–36. DOI: 10.1163/18775462-bja10008.

“Book Ownership Across Centuries: The Case of Military Men in Bursa, 1620-1840.” With M. Moss Quinn and D. Terzioglu. In Crafting History: Essays on the Ottoman World and Beyond in Honor of Cemal Kafadar, eds. R. Goshgarian, I. Khuri-Makdisi, ve A. Yaycioğlu. Brighton: Academic Studies Press, 2022.

“Wealth and demography in Ottoman probate inventories: A database in very long-term perspective.” With Alpay Filiztekin. Historical Methods: A Journal of Quantitative and Interdisciplinary History 2021, Vol.54 (2), pp.94-127. DOI: 10.1080/01615440.2020.1840469. Published online 19 January 2021.

“Erken Modern Dünya ve Osmanlı Topraklarında Servet ve Gelir Dağılımı (Distribution of Wealth and Income in the Early Modern World and Ottoman Lands).” In İktisat Tarihinin Dönüşü: Dünyada ve Türkiye’de Yeni Yaklaşımlar ve Araştırmalar (The return of economic history: New approaches and research in the world and in Ottoman Lands), eds. A. Y. Kaya and U. Karakoç. Istanbul: İletişim, 2021.