OPEN AD HOC IASR LECTURE "Exploring with Evliya Ҫelebi, the Ottoman Traveller: Inter- and Multi-disciplinary Research and His Travel Writing" by Professors Gerald MacLean & Donna Landry, UK


Exploring with Evliya Ҫelebi, the Ottoman Traveller: Inter- and Multi-disciplinary Research and His Travel Writing

Gerald MacLean, Emeritus Professor of the University of Exeter, UK
Donna Landry, Emeritus Professor of English at the University of Kent, UK, and a Fellow of the Royal Asiatic Society

Time: Wednesday, 20 November 2019, at 12:15-13:45
Place: Tampere University, Institute for Advanced Social Research (IASR, tutkijakollegium), Atalpa seminar room 208, Ratapihankatu 55, 2nd fl.


The Seyahatname, a ten-volume travel diary compiled by the seventeenth-century Ottoman gentleman Evliya Ҫelebi (1611-c.1687) provides an astonishingly rich source of materials for research from a number of different disciplinary approaches: comparative literature and linguistics; the social, economic, architectural, ethnographic, political and religious history of the Ottoman Empire; early modern-globalisation studies; gender and sexuality studies; ecocriticism and animal studies. For fifty years, Evliya travelled throughout the entirety of the Ottoman Empire and beyond. He described the villages, towns and cities he visited, listing especially their public buildings such as mosques, baths, schools and dervish lodges, recording the peculiarities of local dialects, the types and qualities of food to be found in different regions, the flora and fauna, and describing notable local customs and rituals. For this presentation, we propose to introduce certain elements and aspects of Evliya’s text – the longest single work of travel writing in any language – that have informed and inspired our own researches over the last two decades. These include: the theory and practice of historical re-enactment, studies of migration and hospitality (stimulated by Prof Meyda Yeğenoğlu’s work), Ottoman exploration, Kurdish history, East-West equestrian history, and Ottoman ecocriticism.


Gerald MacLean is Emeritus Professor of the University of Exeter, UK, having held visiting professorship at Bilkent University, Boğaziçi University, King Abdul Aziz University (Jeddah), Cornell University, and the University of Southern California. A literary and cultural historian, MacLean has published widely on relations between early-modern Britain and the Islamic world, especially the Ottoman Empire. MacLean is author, most recently, of Abdullah Gül and The Making of the New Turkey (Oneworld, 2014), Looking East: English Writing and the Ottoman Empire before 1800 (Palgrave 2007; Turkish trans 2009), and The Rise of Oriental Travel: English Visitors to the Ottoman Empire, 1580-1720 (Palgrave, 2004; Turkish trans. 2006, 2017). With Nabil Matar he is co-author of Britain and the Islamic World, 1558-1713 (Oxford, 2011), and with Donna Landry of Materialist Feminisms (Blackwell, 1993). With Ercihan Dilari, Caroline Finkel, and Donna Landry, he is a founding member of the The Evliya Ҫelebi Way Project. Currently he is working on a study of Britain and the Kurds during the period 1908 to 1932.

Donna Landry is Emeritus Professor of English at the University of Kent and a Fellow of the Royal Asiatic Society. She is the author, co-author, or co-editor of seven books, including Noble Brutes: How Eastern Horses Transformed English Culture (2008); Turkish translation: Asil Hayvanlar: Ingiliz Kültürünü Değiștiren Doğulu Atlar, trans. Sinan Akıllı (Istanbul: E Yayınları, 2015); and The Invention of the Countryside (2001). With Ercihan Dilari, Gerald MacLean and Caroline Finkel, she is a founder of the Evliya Çelebi project leading to Turkey’s first equestrian UNESCO-approved cultural route, and with Finkel and Kate Clow, co-author of the guidebook to it, The Evliya Çelebi Way (2011). For more on the Ottoman traveller Evliya Çelebi (1611-c.1687) see her 2019 essay. She is currently working on a study of Waterloo and its aftermaths from the perspective of horses as subaltern subjects, sentient beings, weapons of war, valuable commodities and embodiments of Eastern and Ottoman influence.






Tampere University Institute for Advanced Social Research (IASR)

Further information

Marjukka Virkajärvi, marjukka.virkajarvi@tuni.fi, +358 50 318 6697