Hürrem Sultan or Roxelana, Empress of the East | Leslie Peirce

E340 | In this episode, we explore the life and times of Roxelana, also known as Hürrem Sultan, a slave girl who became chief consort and then legal wife of Ottoman Sultan Suleiman I (r. 1520-1566). We trace Roxelana's probable beginnings and the possible paths that took her to Istanbul, asking how she rose above her peers in the Old Palace to become a favored concubine and then the wife of the Sultan. We explore her relationship to other women at the Ottoman court, the politics of her motherhood and philanthropy, and her role in Ottoman diplomacy. In the end, Roxelana's work, her relationship with Suleiman, and the unusual nuclear family they created despite the otherwise polygynous patterns of reproduction at the Ottoman court would transform the rules of Ottoman succession, the role of Ottoman royal women, and the future of the Empire as a whole. The life story of this one remarkable woman sheds light on many facets of the history of the Ottoman Empire, showing how a single individual's story can serve as a lynchpin for grasping the complexities of an age. More at http://www.ottomanhistorypodcast.com/2017/12/roxelana.html Leslie Peirce has been interested in Turkish and Ottoman history ever since she joined the Peace Corps in Turkey. She has taught at Cornell, UC Berkeley, and New York University. Susanna Ferguson is a Ph.D. Candidate in Middle Eastern History at Columbia University. She is currently working on a dissertation entitled "Tracing Tarbiya: Women, Gender and Childrearing in Egypt and Lebanon, 1865-1939." Seçil Yilmaz received her PhD degree in History from the Graduate Center, CUNY with her dissertation entitled "Love in the Time of Syphilis: Medicine and Sex in the Ottoman Empire, 1860-1922." She is currently a Mellon postdoctoral fellow at the Society for the Humanities and Near Eastern Studies at Cornell University. CREDITS Episode No. 340 Release Date: 12 December 2017 Recording Location: New York University Audio editing by Chris Gratien Music: Harmandali - Recep Efendi, Cemal Efendi; Katibim (Uskudar'a Gider iken) - Safiye Ayla Special thanks to Kara Günes for permission to use the composition "Istanbul" and toMuhtelif for the use of "Ta Paidia & Lamma Bada" bibliography courtesy of Leslie Peirce available at http://www.ottomanhistorypodcast.com/2017/12/roxelana.html


Ottoman History Podcast