– Giancarlo Casale, 9 January 2015, 3:00 PM, Concordia University, EV 3.760: New Worlds, Ancient Pasts, and the Politics of Representation in Ottoman Mappaemundi

Between the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, the combination of the oceanic discoveries and the recovery of geographic knowledge from the ancients provoked a powerful transformation in both the politics and the practice of making world maps in Western Europe.  But to what extent were Ottoman cartographers engaged in this transformation? How did they translate the evolving politics of European maps into an Ottoman cartographic idiom?  And how was this influenced by alternative Ottoman ‘world views,’ and the politics of representation within the Ottoman Empire itself?  This paper will propose a few tentative answers to these questions through an examination of the interrelationship between several Ottoman mappaemundi and geographical treatises, all of which were produced in the Imperial atelier of master illuminators in Istanbul’s Topkapi Palace over the course of the sixteenth century.

Giancarlo Casale, McGill University