In the early twentieth century, everybody who was anybody had an identity. But identities were hard to find; it took hard work to become who one was. Fortunately, there were experts who could help: ethnographers, race scientists, psychoanalysts, historians, and so forth. This presentation examines the role of an important group of identity experts in and from the North Atlantic region. Modern dancers in Europe before World War I developed sophisticated techniques for discovering identity--often working in collaboration with psychoanalysts, ethnographers, Orientalists, graphic artists, ethno-musicologists, and actors. After the war, they were able to export their services to other parts of the world where those techniques were in demand among those in rebellion against colonialism and neo-colonialism. This presentation will look particularly at three cases: India, Peru, and the United States.
Interpreting Kadizade: Ottoman Early Modernity and the Gradual Transformation of Islam into a Religion
Kadizade Mehmed (1582-1635) was a preacher who retrospectively came to be seen as the founding father of a Muslim revivalist movement that had a major impact in seventeenth-century Ottoman public life -- and, arguably, beyond. This presentation will introduce him as an early modern reformer of Islam and interpret him, as well as several other figures and socio-economic and intellectual developments of the period between 1580 and 1826, as constituents of an Ottoman early modernity that prepared the ground for the nineteenth-century transformation of Islam into the "religion" we came to know.
'The "New" History of Capitalism and Slavery'