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Arit Book Talk by Melis Hafez

Inventing Laziness : The Culture of Productivity in Late Ottoman Society

January 31, 2023
6 pm
In person lecture at Anamed Auditorium or Register on Zoom through the website

Anamed Auditorium, Beyoğlu, İstiklal Caddesi, 181, Merkez Han, Beyoğlu

“Neither laziness nor its condemnation are new inventions, however, perceiving laziness as a social condition that afflicts a ‘nation’ is. In the early modern era, Ottoman political treatises did not regard the people as the source of the state’s problems. Yet in the nineteenth century, as the imperial ideology of Ottomanism and modern discourses of citizenship spread, so did the understanding of laziness as a social disease that the ‘Ottoman nation’ needed to eradicate. Inventing Laziness asks what we can learn about Ottoman history over the long nineteenth-century by looking closely into the contested and shifting boundaries of the laziness - productivity binary. Hafez also explores how ‘laziness’ can be used to understand emerging civic culture and its exclusionary practices in the Ottoman Empire.”

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