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How to Make a Boundary in Four Hundred Years: The Case of Ottoman Iranian Borderland

Sabri Ates
Southern Methodist University
Watson Hall 517

Event Poster

One of the longest-in-the-making and oldest among Muslim countries, the Ottoman-Iranian frontier underwent nearly four centuries of evolution to reach its final form. The geographical line separating Iran, Iraq, and Turkey today emerged from the conflation of numerous boundaries, including geopolitical, religious-ideological, and medical. The first two types of frontiers evolved in tandem and in relation to global shifts in the territorialization of sovereignty. However, the emergence of the medical frontier accelerated the transition from a borderland to a delineated boundary. In this talk, Dr. Ates will explore how these borders merged to form the contemporary boundary. 

Sabri Ates is an Associate Professor at Southern Methodist University’s Department of History in Dallas, Texas. Ates’ research focuses on Ottoman-Iranian relations, Kurdish history, borderlands and the borderland peoples, and the history of sectarianism in the Middle East. He is the author of Tunalı Hilmi Bey: Osmanlıdan Cumhuriyet’e Bir Aydın, (Istanbul: Iletişim Yayınları, 2009), and, Ottoman-Iranian Borderlands: Making a Boundary (Cambridge University Press, 2013). At present, Ates is working on his new book, The Sheikh Ubeidullah Uprising: The Pursuit of an Independent Kurdistan.

Department of History, Queen's University

49 Bader Lane, Watson Hall 212
Kingston ON K7L 3N6




Queen's University is situated on traditional Haudenosaunee and Anishinaabe territory.