Transottoman (Retro-)Perspectives: Eastern European-Middle Eastern Shared History and Its Global Implications

Transottoman (Retro-)Perspectives: Eastern European-Middle Eastern Shared History and Its Global Implications

SPP 1981 Transottomanica
Funded by
Takes place
In Attendance
From - Until
29.02.2024 - 01.03.2024
Florian Riedler, Ost- und Südosteuropäische Geschichte, Universität Leipzig

At the end of 2023, the DFG Priority Program Transottomanica (DFG SPP 1981) will draw to a close. We want to mark the end of the program with a conference that will reflect on Transottomanica’s outcomes and discuss new avenues of research.

29 Feb–1 March 2024, Leipzig

Transottoman (Retro-)Perspectives: Eastern European-Middle Eastern Shared History and Its Global Implications

In the past six years, Transottomanica conducted research on mobility dynamics and their spatial and societal consequences in all their dimensions between Eastern Europe and the Middle East from the early modern period to the twentieth century. We started from the observation that to date, social and (trans)cultural ties between Poland-Lithuania, Russia, the Ottoman Empire and Persia have not been the subject of systematic historical research. Therefore, the program focused on societal ties and communication practices in the context of a large transregional migration society, which emerged as a consequence of large scale mobility between these dominions. This approach promised to change our understanding of globalized European and Asian histories in a transcontinental context. Instead of constructing “one” new region, our “post-area studies” approach allowed us to look beyond the established area containers and focus on concrete contexts and fields of social interaction with different spatial and social ranges unified by the lens of mobility: Our focus was on reciprocal processes of migration, knowledge circulation, travel, trade and mobility of entire societies between Muscovy and then the Russian Empire, Poland-Lithuania, the Ottoman Empire and Persia, always including military dynamics. In the program’s publication series, we proposed a research perspective in an introductory volume (2019) and gathered preliminary results in three more volumes: Knowledge on the Move (2021), Transottoman Matters (2022), Transottoman Biographies (forthcoming 2023, all volumes accessible open access at:

The conference will give opportunity to the working groups and research projects assembled in the program to discuss their results. Moreover, the event wants to open the horizon again and invite researchers with a similar approach to reflect on their relationship with Transottomanica. This can include a critical assessment of common concepts, a reflection on difficulties and avenues of future research that would productively enlarge and deepen the Transottoman approach.

Unfortunately, as our research developed, so did (not only) military entanglements between the Middle East and Eastern Europe, involving e.g. Syria, Iran, Russia, Turkey, Ukraine, Armenia and Azerbaijan: We are not least interested in discussing Transottoman, transregional perspectives on today’s shared history across the continents.

Having said this, we invite papers on
- conceptually similar approaches such as Area Studies, Crossroads or Transregional Studies, Mobility or Migration Studies;
- comparisons with/on the conceptual rivalries of partially related/overlapping (trans)epochal area studies concepts such as the Ottoman or Mediterranean World, Indian Ocean World, Eurasia, MENA or (South) Eastern Europe, Silk Roads, Caspian or Black Sea and Balkan Studies, Persianate, Islamicate, the Orthodox Commonwealth etc. seen from a meta, post-area studies, i.e. Transottoman, perspective;
- hitherto less or unexplored topics in Transottoman settings from the past to the 21st century such as visuality, disease, climate, environment and animals, music, new materialism, assemblage, memory, post- and neo-imperial, post- and decolonial perspectives, imagined geopolitics, contemporary literary studies, etc.;
- studies on long distance mobility dynamics or transregional shared history across and/or well beyond Transottomanica, e.g. connecting India with Europe, or Africa with Russia;
- global histories of Transottoman localities, e.g. Polish, Ukrainian, Russian, Turkish, Iranian, Albanian, Greek, Armenian, Crimean Tatar Glocal history in and beyond Transottomanica etc.;
- any conceptually instructive case study discussing Transottoman perspectives.

Please send a short proposal (abstract) and an academic CV by 15 April 2023 to:

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