April 12, 2006

Wednesday Talk

Prof. Vemund Aarbakke

Religion, language and violence - Identity Formation in Late Ottoman Macedonia

Prof. Aarbakke's lecture discussed the administrative categories in the Ottoman Empire, the role of language and religion, and the millet system as a way of having a semi-autonomous communal-confessional organisation. This was based on the presupposition of the lack of a unified category of citizenship, that was never surpassed in spite at some attempts in the 19th century.

He has put the following questions for discussion: What are the categories? What is the relative importance of these categories? How do these relationships change over time? (could be used for both the Slavs: Bulgarians-Grekomans-Macedonians or the Muslim-Turks of Thrace). What is the possibility to gain acceptance for the choice? Proselytising and non-proselytising communities. What do you have to gain or loose by adopting a certain identity. This is always multi-faceted.

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