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Susan Kentish

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Title of thesis

  • Turning points in Anglo-Ottoman Relations in an Age of Revolutions, 1789 to 1839


Research interests

  • How to imagine the last 225 years without the stories of the nineteenth century? How to understand the past if you cannot read the histories, the memories, the archives, the newspapers?
  • These questions have drawn me towards studying the former Ottoman empire where its heartland country, Turkey, shed the Arabic script in the 1920s and, as a result, the records of the past have become impenetrable to all but a sprinkling of Ottoman language scholars.
  • I am fascinated, too, by the Ottoman legacy, often overlooked, in the tumultuous political and social current affairs of the empire’s successor states of Turkey, Greece, the Balkans and much of the Middle East.
  • My current research focuses on retracing early nineteenth century Ottoman history and in understanding from the records left by the players the influences which shaped the earliest transition from old times to new times.

Papers given

  • “Revolutionary impressions of the other: Islamic perceptions, portraits and protocol during the residence of the first Ottoman ambassador to Christian London, 1793-5”, Workshop on Transnational History, King’s College London, June 6, 2011.
  • “A tale from two cities: ambassadors in London and Istanbul in the revolutionary period 1793 and 1794”, Research Students Seminar Series, Birkbeck College, February 16, 2010.

Honours and awards

  • Turkey Travel Award, 2011, awarded by Turkey Foreign & Tourist Offices.

Forthcoming papers

  • “Richard Kemble: Rebel against authority and first English consul to Greece, 1716”, forthcoming paper, Conference of the Association for the Study of Travel in Egypt and the Near East, Dead Sea, Jordan, April 25, 2013.