February 10, 2011, 5:00pm
Ottoman Diplomat, Kurdish Patriot, and Russophile: Abdurezzak Bedirhan and the Imperial Struggle for the Borderlands of Anatolia, 1864-1918
Presenter: Michael Reynolds, Princeton University Department of Near Eastern Studies
Location: Williams Hall 202

Eastern Anatolia, the home of Kurds, Armenians, Turks, and Assyrians, is known as a contested borderland and the site of horrific killing in the first quarter of the twentieth century. The subsequent polarization of the region’s historiography into nationalist narratives, however, has obscured the imperial dynamics that shaped the political landscape of the region up through the end of WWI. By examining the life and aspirations of an Ottoman diplomat, Kurdish patriot, and Russophile named Abdurrezzak Bedirhan, this talk seeks to highlight the ways in which imperial rivalries, ethnic tensions, and a emerging new global order shaped the fate of Eastern Anatolia and its peoples.

Michael Reynolds is an Assistant Professor of Near Eastern Studies at Princeton University. His research interests include the history and politics of the Caucasus and Anatolia, the interaction of Ottoman and Russian-Soviet history, state secularism, and Islamic mysticism.  He is also the author of Shattering Empires: the Clash and Collapse of the Ottoman and Russian Empires (1908-1918) (Cambridge University Press 2011). Professor Reynolds earned his B.A. in Government and Slavic Langauge and Literature from Harvard University and holds advanced degrees from Columbia and Princeton, where he now teaches on Middle Eastern politics.

Rescheduled from January 27th.

The Middle East Center