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The Institut für Neuzeit- und Zeitgeschichtsforschung (INZ) at the Austrian Academy of Sciences in Vienna is offering a two-week intensive summer school devoted to comparative reading and analysis of early modern (1500-1800) Habsburg and Ottoman primary sources. During the two-week program that will be held at the INZ’s centrally-located building in the second district of Vienna, participants will decipher and analyze many different types of early modern documents in German in the first week and Ottoman Turkish in the second week. They will also listen to at least eight lectures by experienced scholars in both fields.



July 22 – August 2, 2019, Vienna


The relationship between the Habsburg Monarchy and the Ottoman Empire was uneasy yet mutually formative and transformative. From the first diplomatic contacts in the early 1500s through the end of the eighteenth Century (and beyond), the Habsburgs and Ottomans mutually shaped each other’s policies, priorities, and imperial visions through a constant cycle of war, peace, and exchange. This interaction has produced a copious amount of archival sources including diplomatic instructions and reports, public and private letters, diaries, testimonies, travelogues (seyahatnameler/Reiseberichte), final summaries (tezkire/Hauptrelation) and many other types of documents.

However, there has been a major shortcoming in the scholarship to this day concerning the common histories of the Habsburg Monarchy and Ottoman Empire: a comparative use of their archives in early modern Habsburg and Ottoman studies has lagged far behind the use of Venetian, French, and British archives. The explanation might be in the research trends of recent decades prioritizing the broader Mediterranean world or relative difficulty of concurrently mastering complexities of early modern Germanic and Ottoman Turkish documents in comparison to archival sources in Romance languages. This intensive summer school aims to address this research gap by fulfilling two goals: first, introducing graduate students and early career researchers to the intricacies of Habsburg and Ottoman primary sources in an intensive two-week program, and second, giving researchers an opportunity to explore on-site the rich archival collections in Vienna.


The language of instruction will be English. There are no linguistic prerequisites for registration. However, the organisers would like to remind that at least an intermediate level of reading knowledge in both German and Ottoman Turkish is required for efficient completion of the program.

The program is geared toward graduate students and postdoctoral/early career researchers. More senior researchers may also apply, but priority will be given to younger applicants in case the number of applicants exceeds the registration quota. Application deadline: May 10, 2019.

Please submit your application by filling the online application form.

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