Liminal Politics from Empire to Republic: The Fortuitous Career of a Turkish Provincial Parliamentarian, 1920-1926


Fri, 04/07/2023 - 3:00pm

Part of the Spring 2023 Middle Eastern and North African Studies Colloquium Series 

Hasan Kayalı, Professor of Middle Eastern Studies, University of California, San Diego


The prominent public figures of the transitional era from the Ottoman Empire to its successor states and their writings have long molded the narratives of empire-to-nation transition, which have been inscribed in official histories. Attention to the experiences of subaltern groups and ordinary citizens have increasingly brought a degree of balance to these historical narratives. This talk explores an intermediate space between the ordinary and extraordinary during this transitional era of upheaval in the person and improbable career of an official and member of the Grand National Assembly, Mehmed Reşad of the Saruhan (Manisa) province. The vicissitudes of the immediate post-WWI years thrust Reşad to the center stage of political life, where he occupied a liminal place in the politics of the era, only to disappear from official registers upon his early death.


Hasan Kayalı has taught the history of the Middle East at the University of California, San Diego since 1990. A native of Istanbul, he studied at Harvard University. Kayalı has written on the Arab provinces in the late Ottoman Empire and has authored Imperial Resilience: The Great War’s End, Ottoman Longevity, and Incidental Nations (University of California Press, 2021) and Arabs and Young Turks: Ottomanism, Arabism, and Islamism in the Second Constitutional Period of the Ottoman Empire, 1908-1918 (University of California Press, 1997).

Cosponsored by the Arizona Center for Turkish Studies. 

This event will be held in person in Marshall 490. 


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