Mobilizing Gender and Family for the Ottoman First World War -- Lecture by Dr. Kate Dannies

Tuesday, November 8, 2022 at 6:00 PM Istanbul
In-person lecture at ANAMED Auditorium, İstiklal Caddesi, 181, Merkez Han, Beyoğlu
“Mobilizing Gender and Family for the Ottoman First World War”

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The front and homefront are familiar concepts in the
study of the First World War. But dividing how we
understand the experience of World War I into these
separate spheres conceals the fundamental integration of
the military and the family. Further, reproducing the
idea of the front and the homefront by studying them
separately serves to conceal the contributions and
suffering of women to this transformative period in the
history of the Late Ottoman Empire.
In this talk, I will present findings from my current
book project, A Patriarchy Without Men: Mobilizing
Gender and Family for World War I in the Ottoman
Empire, to argue that we must understand mobilization
for World War I–and the broader history of militarization in the Late Ottoman Empire–as processes
that worked through the gendered family, and in particular were supported by the exploitation of
women’s care and social reproductive labor as well as the extraction of other resources from Ottoman
families. In other words, the family–and women in particular–provided the material foundation for
waging World War I in the Ottoman Empire.
Through a feminist reading of Ottoman Turkish, Arabic, French and English archival sources, I
demonstrate how military law and policy, and its reverberations in everyday life, situated the gendered
family at the heart of the military enterprise–with important consequences for the trajectory of gender,
family, welfare, and military policy and practice in the Ottoman Empire and its successor states.
Kate Dannies is a historian of the Modern Middle East and Assistant Professor
of Global and Intercultural Studies at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. Dr.
Dannies was a 2021–2022 Fulbright U.S. Scholar in Turkey and is a Kluge
Center Fellow at the Library of Congress, and an ARIT Fellow for the 2022–
2023 academic year. Her in-progress book manuscript, A Patriarchy Without
Men: Mobilizing Gender and Family for World War I in the Ottoman Empire,
examines the gender and family dimensions of late Ottoman militarization and
mobilization for the First World War. Her articles have appeared in the Journal
of the Ottoman and Turkish Studies Association and the International Journal of
Middle East Studies.