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Fİrāsetle Nazar Edesİn: Recreating the Gaze of the Ottoman Slave Owner at the Confluence of Textual Genres

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Chapter Summary

This chapter argues that through a close reading of texts produced by the milieu of slave-owning bureaucrat-poet elites of Istanbul, across genres, the perceptions of the slaveowner can be illuminated, thereby adding a new dimension to the study of early modern Ottoman slavery. Comparing manumission documents with contemporary literary texts reveals a distinct overlap in the Ottoman lexicon used to describe slaves across diverse genres, suggesting that the linguistic and philosophical confluence of these texts can be used to reveal the ways in which an educated Ottoman slaveowners's supposedly "penetrating gaze" or Firāsetle naẓar, viewed and perceived his slaves. The chapter analyzes the study of slavery, which has been jeopardized by the stigma attached to slavery today. Reconstructing the gaze of the early modern Ottoman slave owner across a range of contemporary textual genres illuminates the complexity of the cultural background to Ottoman slavery.

Keywords: Firāsetle Naẓar Edesin; Gaze; Istanbul; Ottoman slavery; Textual Genres



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