[P6330] Gender and the Body in the Late Ottoman Empire and Modern Turkey

Created by Kate Dannies
Friday, 12/03/21 11:30 am


Gendered embodiment is a rich area of scholarly research in Middle Eastern Studies. Yet in the context of Turkey, both modern and Ottoman, this area of study remains in its early stages. As such, this panel proposes to examine the importance of bringing gendered embodiment, and particularly masculinity and the male body, to center stage in understanding processes of social and political formation between Late Ottoman, modern, and contemporary Turkey.

The first paper examines the centrality of the male body and masculinity to military conscription during the Ottoman First World War. Drawing upon Ottoman archival documents, legal regimes, ego documents, and press materials, it analyzes how the establishment of a normative male military body provided a framework for mediating embodiments of masculinity within late. Ottoman society.

The second paper examines the female body in the late Ottoman Empire through the story of a young woman named Åžaziye. The analysis focuses on the female body as a site of contestation during the First World War, arguing that the issue of abortion provides instructive insight into how wartime policies toward the body were gendered, and how wartime concerns continued to guide early Republican policies on abortion and female sexuality.

The third paper examines how the medicalization of male circumcision in Turkey has transformed the young male body from a physical body to an affective body. It argues that the biomedicalization of male circumcision during the developmentalist era rested upon the notion of a physical body whose physical pain could be eliminated by medical professionals, while the psychologization of male circumcision in the neoliberal era regards the body as vulnerable to psychic pain/trauma, leading medical professionals have incorporated this affective body into the consumer body.

The fourth paper focuses on how ordinary men circulate conspiracy theories to forge themselves as political subjects and, in the process, overgrow their bodily extents as agents of the state. The analysis particularly focuses on conspiratorial accounts that imagine threats targeting the corporeality of men, such as genetically-modified seeds, and underline how bodies of everyday actors become the interfaces upon which state power is issued forth.

Drawing on historical, anthropological, and sociological approaches to the study of gender and the body between the Late Ottoman Empire and modern Turkey, this panel probes how gendered bodies have served as sites of conflict, control, and change, reflecting broader political and social trends in the making of modern Turkey.


Anthro; Hist; Socio; Anthro; Hist; Socio



Kate Dannies

(Miami University)
Kate Dannies is a social historian of the Late Ottoman Empire and Modern Middle East and Assistant Professor of Global and Intercultural Studies at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio.
Panel Participating Role(s): Organizer; Presenter;

Stefan Hock

(Tulane University)
Panel Participating Role(s): Presenter;

Oyman Basaran

(Bowdoin College)
Panel Participating Role(s): Presenter;

Erol Saglam

(Istanbul Medeniyet University & Freie University Berlin)
Panel Participating Role(s): Presenter;