Cancelled – Event: “Hajji Mama”: Family and Status in the Ottoman Empire (November 3, 2016, Columbia Global Centers, Istanbul)

We regret to inform you that this event has been cancelled due to a change in Professor Valentina Izmirlieva’s travel plans. We hope to reschedule the event at a later date.

“Hajji Mama”: Family and Status in the Ottoman Empire
Date: November 3, 2016 18:30-20:00
Location: Columbia Global Centers, 49 Sıraselviler Street Apt.5 Taksim, Istanbul

Columbia Global Centers | Istanbul invites you to the launch of the Black Sea Networks Project with a lecture by Valentina Izmirlieva, Columbia University

“Hajji Mama”: Family and Status in the Ottoman Empire

Tuesday, November 3 | 18:30-20:00
Columbia Global Centers | Istanbul
49 Sıraselviler Street Apt.5 Taksim, Istanbul

Starting in the early 19th century, Eastern Orthodox men in the Ottoman Empire went on the Hajj to Jerusalem “the family way,” taking along not only their wives and male children, but also their elderly mothers and unmarried daughters of all age. Despite the dangers of the long trip, some took their new brides on a honeymoon pilgrimage so that their first child would be conceived in Jerusalem, and some even took their pregnant wives so that they would give birth in the Holy Land. The Orthodox Hajj to Jerusalem thus emerges as a family project and a surprising vehicle for female mobility, creativity, and empowerment. This talk will explore how this transformation occurred and why.

Valentina Izmirlieva is a historian of Balkan and Russian religious cultures and Chair of the Department of Slavic Languages at Columbia University.  She has a strong background in critical theory and intellectual history. Two areas of specialization represent the scope of her teaching interests: the religious culture of the Orthodox Slavs with an emphasis on the medieval and early modern periods, and literary Modernism and Postmodernism with a focus on Vladimir Nabokov. Much of her research addresses cultural transfers among Christians, Jews, and Muslims in the context of multi-religious empire. Her talk is based on a current book project, Christian Hajjis: Mobility and Status in the Late Ottoman Empire, which explores Christian-Muslim cultural transfers in the larger Black Sea area during the long 19th century.

The Black Sea Networks—the recipient of the President’s Global Innovation Fund grant for 2016-2018—is a new teaching, learning, and research initiative at Columbia University. Housed in Columbia’s Slavic Department and led by Professor Valentina Izmirlieva, the project aims to re-conceptualize existing multidisciplinary programs and initiatives within a larger Black Sea framework and to encourage undergraduate and graduate education in Black Sea Studies. Truly global in its scope, the initiative is developed by an international team of scholars in partnership with Yale University, NYU, Cambridge University, and Columbia’s Global Centers in Istanbul and Paris, and boasts the support of the Harriman Institute, the American Councils for International Education (Washington D.C.), the Orthodox Christian Studies Center at Fordham University, and a vast network of institutions across the Black Sea region.