ZOOM SEMINAR: Diplomacy and Empire: Peter Tolstoi in Istanbul and Russian-Ottoman Entanglements in the Age of Tsar Peter the Great

  • Date: –16:00
  • Location: Via Zoom
  • Lecturer: Jan Hennings, Fellow, SCAS. Associate Professor of History, Central European University, Vienna
  • Website
  • Organiser: Swedish Collegium for Advanced Study (SCAS)
  • Contact person: Klas Holm
  • Seminarium

Jan Hennings, SCAS and Central European University, gives a seminar on "Diplomacy and Empire: Peter Tolstoi in Istanbul and Russian-Ottoman Entanglements in the Age of Tsar Peter the Great". The talk will be followed by a Q&A session.

Abstract: European identity is closely linked to Europe’s historical relations with Turkey and Russia and the two multi-ethnic, multi-confessional land empires from which they emerged. By the same token, Europe (or “the West”) served as an important reference point for both self-identification and self-demarcation in the history of the Russian and Ottoman Empires. While these “East-West” exchanges have always figured strongly in Russian and Ottoman studies, the relations between Moscow and Istanbul themselves remain a fascinating but little studied field in early modern history. To uncover the complex relations between the two empires, that Europeans often portrayed as their “oriental” counterparts, I study diplomatic practice as a space of cultural, religious, and political entanglements within and between these “orients.” The main objective is to locate the two empires in a political order which is not limited to the idea of an exclusive states system of emerging European great powers but that takes account of early modern foreign relations as a process of global exchanges between societies with different socio-political norms, notions of sovereignty, and forms of diplomatic representation. The focus of the resulting monograph is on the first Russian resident embassy in Istanbul at the beginning of the eighteenth century. The book asks how a specific type of an early modern institution – the permanent ambassador – emerged in imperial contexts. In my presentation, I will give a brief overview of the book project and then discuss the question of how empires represented themselves to each other by exploring performances of sovereignty and ritualized encounters between the Russian ambassador, the Ottoman court, and members of the European diplomatic corps in Istanbul.

For more information and the Zoom link, please see the enclosed PDF file or http://www.swedishcollegium.se/subfolders/Events.html.

Additional information