Colloquium with Zeynep Gürsel
A Picture of Health: The Search for a Genre to Visualize Care in Late Ottoman Istanbul
"I still remember the afternoon I encountered the portraits of seven women who had been treated at Haseki Women’s Hospital (Haseki Nisa Hastanesi), Istanbul. It was August 2009, and the gold-embossed insignia of Ottoman Sultan Abdülhamīd II was still perfectly intact on the century-old photo album’s crimson velvet cover. I could not possibly have known, as I turned to the first portrait, how much this album (which I will refer to as the Haseki portrait album) would teach me not only about photography and late Ottoman healthcare but about how the questions we ask as scholars shape the answers we discover. The very questions we ask make some historical experiences discoverable and, unbeknownst to us, obscure traces of others [...]."
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