Wednesday, October 12, 2016 - 12:00pm
Dissertation Defense - Emily Neumeier
"The Architectural Transformation of the Ottoman Provinces under Tepedelenli Ali Pasha, 1788-1822" - Professor Renata Holod, Advisor
This thesis stands as the first analytical study devoted to the art and architecture of provincial notables in the Ottoman Empire. More specifically, this dissertation documents the flourishing of artistic and architectural production on the empire’s westernmost frontier under Ali Pasha of Ioannina, who governed what is now Greece and Albania for more than thirty years (r. 1788-1822). Ali Pasha was part of a new class of provincial power-holders, who began to emerge throughout the empire in the eighteenth century. By tracing the governor’s capacity to commission urban architectural complexes including palaces, mosques, and even Christian monasteries, I demonstrate that this shift in the political order translated into new localized strategies for display and representation that both responded to and challenged conventions of architectural patronage established in Istanbul. While recent movements in social and economic history encourage us to turn our gaze toward the provinces, the majority of the recent accounts of Ottoman art and architecture remain resolutely focused on the building activity of the imperial court. By bringing together a diverse range of evidence including archaeological records, inscriptions, museum collections, European diplomatic sources and archival documents in both Ottoman Turkish and Greek, I uncover the significant role that a provincial actor like Ali Pasha played in building theaters of influence outside of the palace system.