Reconstructing the Landscapes of Medieval Anatolia
How did various groups (travelers passing through, urban elites owning the land and collecting taxes from it, peasants working in the fields) perceive and experience the rural territory in medieval Anatolia?
My project is an attempt to reconstruct subjective experiences of the land in late medieval Anatolia (13th-15th centuries). Centering on the concept of landscape, defined as ‘a portion of territory as it is perceived’, it is driven by two central research questions: (1) What physical stimuli did the medieval Anatolian countryside present to the visitors? and (2) How did medieval Anatolians interpret these physical stimuli? Using a variety of sources, ranging from archaeological survey data to hagiographical texts to legal descriptions of real estate, this project integrates two realms of considerations that are often kept separate in landscape studies, subjective perceptions (determined by historically-specific cultural filters) and the physicality of the land itself (as it shapes and is shaped by human activity).
Foodways and Daily Life in Medieval Anatolia: A New Social History. Austin (TX): University of Texas Press, 2014.
“Starting without food: Fasting and the early Mevlevî order” in Princeton Papers: Interdisciplinary Journal of Middle Eastern Studies XVI (2011), pp. 1-21.
“The giving divide: Food and social identity in medieval Anatolia” in Christine Isom-Verhaaren and Kent Schull (eds.). Living in the Ottoman Realm: Sultans, Subjects, and Elites. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2016, 21-28.