Griffith, Zoe Ann

Brown University

Araştırma Konusu: Zenginliğin Kökleri, İmparatorluğun Yolları: On Sekizinci Yüzyıl Sonu Osmanlı İmparatorluğu’nda Ticari Tarım ve İmparatorluk Yönetimi

Research Topic: Roots of Wealth, Routes of Empire: Commercial Agriculture and Imperial Governance in the Late-Eighteenth-Century Ottoman Empire

Ms. Griffith’s dissertation explores human and commodity chains between Istanbul and Egypt’s Mediterranean port cities of Rosetta, Damietta, and Alexandria to highlight the important role of provincial wealth in Ottoman geopolitics and administrative reforms between 1750 and 1820. She follow goods such as wheat, linen, and rice through the hands of large landowners, local brokers, Mediterranean merchants, and Mamluk and Ottoman government officials to shed light on a vital and unexplored facet of the Ottoman political economy. Rather than treat Egypt as autonomous and anomalous, I argue that Egypt provides an ideal case study of the intersections between regional commercialization and Ottoman imperial governance, an important missing link in our understanding of imperial “decentralization” in the eighteenth century.
Triangulating from archival sources in Arabic, Ottoman Turkish, and French, my project challenges the narratives that modern economic transformations and administrative reforms arrived in the Ottoman Empire from “outside.” Attention to the neglected role of individuals and groups invested in Egyptian land, agriculture, shipping, and commerce in Ottoman politics and strategic affairs thus provides an alternative lens through which to analyze the intersection of capital and state-formation that lies at the heart of many seminal and recent articulations of global early modernity.