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Title: Outside the house but not in the city: Promenades in Istanbul as negotiated public spaces for women in 19th-century Ottoman novels
Authors: Çil, Ela
Şenel Fidangenç, Ayşe Nur
Keywords: Promenades
Tanzimat novels
Public spaces
Publisher: İstanbul Teknik Üniversitesi
Abstract: Drawing on from feminist literary theory, this article analyses the first Ottoman novels working within and consolidating the patriarchal discourse published in the rampant modernization period in the second half of 19th century, which is also named the Tanzimat (Reorganization) era of the Ottoman Empire. Having Istanbul as their settings, the discourse of the novels tackle with delineating the limits to the social and cultural transformations, which the novels’ writers perceive to be the direct result of Western influence. The novels have a didactic style aimed for guiding their readers to shield certain values, which they think hold the core of Ottoman identity, from the changes. We argue that the discourse of the novels manifest ambivalence regarding the inevitable presence of women outside the house and negotiate with their readers on the place and practices of publicness. No matter how popular and crowded they had then become, the promenades, were where the male writers aimed to confine women in their outings. At one level, their emphasis on the promenades is related with the conceptualization of nature as a safe space in the context of a modernizing city. And, on the other level, they want to keep Muslim women away from Pera, the Westernized and cosmopolitan district, in Istanbul.
Appears in Collections:Architecture / Mimarlık
Scopus İndeksli Yayınlar Koleksiyonu / Scopus Indexed Publications Collection
TR Dizin İndeksli Yayınlar / TR Dizin Indexed Publications Collection

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