Transnational Ottoman Military Officer Families from the Mashriq in the Interwar Period


Fri, 01/27/2023 - 3:00pm

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

Sean Tomlinson, MENAS PhD Candidate


Tomlinson headshot


Full Abstract

Recent scholarship has illuminated the educational and anticolonial activities of networks of Ottoman-trained military officers in the Middle East and North Africa through World War I and into the interwar period. Beyond the classroom and battlefield, additional examination of these officers’ life-writings can offer insight into these officers’ families and households, raising new questions about marriage, households, and mobility among individuals from the Mashriq who traveled and resided across the lands of the late Ottoman Empire and subsequent mandate states. My initial research into these accounts reveal patterns in marriage and household formation for Ottoman trained officers before during and after World War I; the central importance of these households to military officer life; glimpses into the social lives of Ottoman trained officers and their families; and trends in the mobility of these military officer households and families across specific Ottoman cities in the Mashriq. These patterns of mobility and activity that spanned the late Ottoman to mandate periods reveal important historical continuities in the social history of the late Ottoman Empire and interwar mandate states in the Mashriq.


Sean Tomlinson is a PhD Candidate in Middle Eastern and North African Studies at the University of Arizona. He is researching memoirs of Ottoman-educated army officers from the Mashriq about World War I, the interwar period, and continuities between the Late Ottoman period and Modern Middle East. Sean's current research project focuses on Ottoman military families and households. Sean received his BS in History from the US Military Academy and his MA in Middle Eastern and North African Studies from the University of Arizona.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             
Co-sponsored by: The Arizona Center for Turkish Studies, the Center for Middle Eastern Studies and the School of Middle Eastern and North African Studies

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