Website Review

Ottoman History Podcast

Ottoman History Podcast

The Ottoman History Podcast is an exceptional interest for scholars and those who have a deep interest in the Ottoman Empire, the modern Middle East, and the Islamic World. A large team of about 15 doctoral students and professors, spanning the globe, produce and host the series.
There is nothing more comprehensive in this genre to learn about the Ottoman Empire and to gain familiarity with its vast scholarship. The team has produced a whopping 488 episodes in its 10 seasons from the most recent “Zeinab’s Odyssey” to earlier ones from 2011, such as “Earthquakes in Istanbul” and “U.S. Turkey Relations in the 1950s.” It is clear that while the overall focus of the podcast is on the Ottoman Empire, the producers and historians do not limit themselves to the geopolitical area and timeframe that we associate with the Ottomans. For example, they also examine the modern Middle East and the larger Mediterranean World.
One of the joys of listening to a podcast that has been in existence for a decade is it provides a sense of the evolution of the medium itself. Earlier episodes tend toward a straightforward interview format with scholars. Later episodes, meanwhile, benefit from an improved production value, such as introductory clips from the guest speaking (with musical background) meant to create interest.
It is no surprise that a podcast created by university professors and doctoral students is academic in tone. The high production value of the podcast seems inviting to the general listener but the specificity of the topics and the nature of the discussion keeps it solidly in the realm of higher education. Occasionally an episode could draw a wider listening audience, such as a biographical one on “The Life and Times of Sultan Selim I.” Despite its interview format, however, there is sometimes too little back-and-forth between the host and guest, leading the guest to talk for extended periods of time and the listener to lose focus.
The Ottoman History Podcast is an incredible triumph in academic podcasting. The conversations are deep, nuanced, and rich in scholarship. For the past decade, it has been the go-to podcast for learning about contributions to the scholarship on the Ottoman Empire and the larger region. The podcast could serve as a useful tool for scholars of the Ottoman Empire to stay up-to-date on scholarship, for professors in other areas to broaden their knowledge of the Ottoman Empire and establish relevant connections, and for students to engage in analysis of “texts” beyond the written word.

Reviewed by David Sherrin, Scarsdale High School

How to Cite This Source

"Ottoman History Podcast," in in World History Commons, https://worldhistorycommons.org/ottoman-history-podcast [accessed January 17, 2022]
Painting of a ship with a mosque in the background
“The podcast could serve as a useful tool for scholars of the Ottoman Empire to stay up-to-date on scholarship, for professors in other areas to broaden their knowledge of the Ottoman Empire and establish relevant connections, and for students to engage in analysis of “texts” beyond the written word.”