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Behind Turkish Lattices: The Story of a Turkish Woman's Life (Hardback)


New Introduction by Carolyn Goffman


Hester Donaldson Jenkins (1869-1941), a professor at the American College for Girls in Constantinople from 1900-1909, wrote enthusiastically about the Young Turks who seemed to promise new freedoms for Ottoman women. Jenkins uses her own observations of Constantinople, her students, and their families to construct an account of a "typical" Turkish Muslim woman's life cycle at this turning point in Ottoman history. She directs her comments toward childhood, education, marriage, polygamy, and divorce, in order to correct Western misapprehensions. In its confidence in the bright prospects of American influence and Ottoman reform, this book captures an optimistic moment in which social progress seemed to be thriving.
Publisher: Gorgias Press LLC
Availability: In stock
SKU (ISBN): 1-59333-105-3
  • *
Publication Status: In Print

Publication Date: Oct 8,2004
Interior Color: Black
Trim Size: 6 x 9
Page Count: 268
ISBN: 1-59333-105-3
$149.00
$89.40

Hester Donaldson Jenkins(1869-1941), a professor at the American College for Girls in Constantinople from 1900-1909, wrote enthusiastically about the Young Turks who, in 1908, established a constitutional monarchy in the Ottoman Empire. They seemed to Jenkins to promise new freedoms for Ottoman women. In this book, Jenkins uses her own observations of Constantinople, her students, and their families to construct an account of a "typical" Turkish Muslim woman's life cycle at this turning point in Ottoman history. She directs her comments toward childhood, education, marriage, polygamy, and divorce, in order to correct Western misapprehensions, and notes how Ottoman women selectively adopted Western customs, such as European clothing and the practice of monogamy. Jenkins' corrective is only partial, however, for she describes Turkish women as childishly charming, but sadly ignorant and in need of the uplifting influences of Western education. In its confidence in the bright prospects of American influence and Ottoman reform, this book captures an optimistic moment, in which social progress seemed to prevail against the looming social and ethnic divisions of the Balkan and First World Wars.

Carolyn Goffman is Visiting Assistant Professor in the Department of English, DePaul University, Chicago, IL, USA.

Cultures in Dialogue returns to print sources by women writers from the East and West. Series I considers the exchanges between Ottoman, British, and American women from the 1880s to the 1940s. Their varied responses to dilemmas, such as nationalism, female emancipation, race relations, and modernization in the context of the stereotypes characteristic of Western harem literature, reframe the historical tensions between Eastern and Western cultures, offering a nuanced understanding of their current manifestations.

Series Editors:

Teresa Heffernan is Associate Professor of English at Saint Mary's University, Halifax, NS, Canada. Reina Lewis is Senior Lecturer in Cultural Studies at the University of East London, UK.

Hester Donaldson Jenkins(1869-1941), a professor at the American College for Girls in Constantinople from 1900-1909, wrote enthusiastically about the Young Turks who, in 1908, established a constitutional monarchy in the Ottoman Empire. They seemed to Jenkins to promise new freedoms for Ottoman women. In this book, Jenkins uses her own observations of Constantinople, her students, and their families to construct an account of a "typical" Turkish Muslim woman's life cycle at this turning point in Ottoman history. She directs her comments toward childhood, education, marriage, polygamy, and divorce, in order to correct Western misapprehensions, and notes how Ottoman women selectively adopted Western customs, such as European clothing and the practice of monogamy. Jenkins' corrective is only partial, however, for she describes Turkish women as childishly charming, but sadly ignorant and in need of the uplifting influences of Western education. In its confidence in the bright prospects of American influence and Ottoman reform, this book captures an optimistic moment, in which social progress seemed to prevail against the looming social and ethnic divisions of the Balkan and First World Wars.

Carolyn Goffman is Visiting Assistant Professor in the Department of English, DePaul University, Chicago, IL, USA.

Cultures in Dialogue returns to print sources by women writers from the East and West. Series I considers the exchanges between Ottoman, British, and American women from the 1880s to the 1940s. Their varied responses to dilemmas, such as nationalism, female emancipation, race relations, and modernization in the context of the stereotypes characteristic of Western harem literature, reframe the historical tensions between Eastern and Western cultures, offering a nuanced understanding of their current manifestations.

Series Editors:

Teresa Heffernan is Associate Professor of English at Saint Mary's University, Halifax, NS, Canada. Reina Lewis is Senior Lecturer in Cultural Studies at the University of East London, UK.

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Contributor

Hester Donaldson Jenkins

  • Introduction to the Series
  • Introduction to the Reprint
  • Foreword
  • Babyhood
  • The School Life of A Turkish Girl
  • Where the Brook and River Meet
  • Marriage
  • Husbands and Wives
  • Divorce
  • Turkish Housekeeping
  • How a Turkish Woman Amuses Herself
  • The Reaper Death
  • Religious Observances
  • Workers and Beggars
  • Characteristics and Possibilities
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