Dr. M. Fatih Çalışır will present a paper on the Ottoman Environmental History


Our part-time faculty member, Dr. M. Fatih Çalışır will attend a workshop organized by the Orient Institut Beirut, titled “Environmental History of the Ottoman Empire.” In his paper, “Where Intellectual and Environmental Histories Meet: Kashf al-ẓunūn and its Addenda as a Source for Ottoman Environmental History,” Dr. Çalışır will discuss the utility of Katip Çelebiʼs Kashf al-ẓunūn and its addenda as a source for Ottoman environmental history.

The workshop will begin 10 December 2020 at 9:45 AM local time (10:45 AM Istanbul time) with the welcoming speech and last for two days with 5 panels. For more details, please visit the workshop website.

Here is the abstract of Dr. M. Fatih Çalışır’s presentation:

Kâtib Çelebi or Hacı Halife (1609-1657) was a passionate bibliophile and a prolific Ottoman scholar who wrote, among many other works, Kashf al-ẓunūnʿan asāmi al-kutub wa al-funūn (“The Removal of Doubt from the Names of Books and the Sciences”), a bibliographical encyclopedia giving information on circa 14.500 Arabic, Persian, and Turkish texts under three hundred scientific branches. Covering the books written up to the mid-seventeenth century in the Islamic world, Kâtib Çelebi’s Kashf al-ẓunūn became a well-received reference study in Ottoman scholarly circles. The followers of Kâtib Çelebi, including Bağdatlı İsmail Pasha who completed his work in 1910, produced nine addenda (zeyls) for Kashf al-ẓunūn in the following centuries and thus created the most important single source to follow scholarly production in the Ottoman Empire from its early centuries up until its last years.

Kashf al-ẓunūn and its addenda include hundreds of books in more than twenty scientific fields that are in the interest of historians who are attempting to write environmental histories of the MENA region in general and the Ottoman Empire in particular. These fields include, but are not limited to, medicine, veterinary medicine, mineralogy, geology, geography, municipal management, mining, falconry, cookery, nature, animal husbandry, farming, raining, cadastral survey, seasons, seas and oceans, and botany. By offering a perspective from intellectual history, this paper aims to demonstrate the utility of Kashf al-ẓunūn and its addenda as a source for Ottoman environmental history.

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