Insularity, Empire and the ‘Spatial Turn’: Ottoman Cyprus and the Mediterranean World

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On Wednesday 24th of February, we are extremely pleased to welcome friend, colleague and Birmingham alumnus Antonis Hadjikyriacou, who will give a lecture titled:

Insularity, Empire and the ‘Spatial Turn’: Ottoman Cyprus and the Mediterranean World

The presentation examines the correlations between insular space and the development of economic, social and political structures in Ottoman Cyprus. Insularity here is not taken literally, but rather as the condition of being, and being perceived as, an island. In other words, insularity is not just about islands: it is about connections, links, networks, and contexts. The presentation further enquires into the production of space á la Henri Lefebvre, and explores the triad of conceived, perceived and lived space with reference to insularity.

Envisioning the Cypriot insularity entails an understanding of the climatic, geographical, and environmental conditions conducive to a polycultural, water-demanding, labour-intensive, cash crop-oriented economy. Cyprus was large and productive enough to have a sizeable surplus; contained enough as an economic space to be controlled by particular networks; and distant enough from Istanbul to escape serious imperial attention.

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Antonis Hadjikyriacou is a Marie Curie Intra-European fellow at the Institute for Mediterranean Studies/ Foundation for Research and Technology, Hellas