Challenges western images of Ottoman prisons as sites of Oriental brutality.Contrary to the stereotypical images of torture, narcotics and brutal sexual behaviour traditionally associated with Ottoman (or 'Turkish') prisons, Kent Schull argues that they were a site of immense reform and contestation during the late 19th and early 20th century. He shows that they acted as 'laboratories of modernity' for the Ottoman ruling establishment during the Second Constitutional Period (1908-1918), playing a critical role in attempts to transform the empire comprehensively. It was within the walls of these prisons that many of the pressing questions of Ottoman modernity were worked out, such as administrative reform and centralization, the rationalization of Islamic criminal law and punishment, issues of gender and childhood, rehabilitating prisoners, bureaucratic professionalisation, Ottoman national identity, and social engineering. Key Features: *Views the prison as a microcosm of imperial transformation during this critical period in Middle East history*Heavily critiques Michel Foucault's approach to punishment, state power, and society by applying it to a non-Western context*Challenges assumptions about the impact the Second Constitutional Period had on the development of the current Middle East nation-state system and society.
Kent F. Schull is Assistant Professor of Ottoman and modern Middle East history at Binghamton University. He has graduate degrees in Jewish Studies (Oxon) and in Ottoman and modern Middle East history (UCLA) and is a twice Fulbright scholar to Turkey. His publications include several articles, scholarly contributions, and a forthcoming co-edited volume on Ottoman sociolegal history and identity.
Table of Contents
List of Illustrations List of Abbreviations Note on Transliteration and Pronunciation Preface
1. Ottoman Criminal Justice and the Transformation of Islamic Criminal Law and Punishment in the Age of Modernity, 1839-1922
2. Prison Reform in the Late Ottoman Empire: The State's Perspectives
3. Counting the Incarcerated: Knowledge, Power and the Prison Population
4. The Spatialisation of Incarceration: Reforms, Response and the Reality of Prison Life
5. Disciplining the Disciplinarians: Combating Corruption and Abuse through the Professionalisation of the Prison Cadre
6. Creating Juvenile Delinquents: Redefining Childhood in the Late Ottoman Empire