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"Social Networking in South-Eastern Europe, 15th–19th Centuries"

CAS 08/10/2012

Thanks to the extensive popularity of on-line sites such as Facebook, Twitter, or Google+ in the twenty-first century and their increasing importance in the past decade, the term “Social Network” is gradually gaining an exclusively IT-connotation amongst a wider audience. Keeping in mind these recent developments, the Workshop in Sofia aims to discuss some of the historical dimensions of “Social Networks” and “Social Networking” within the broad boundaries of South-Eastern Europe in the course of an apparently long period, namely, the fifteenth to nineteenth centuries.

How can “Social Network/Networking” be defined in a historical context? Was it only about the information distributed through the “official” channels and media or was it more about the gossip (“Fama”) circulating from mouth to mouth? Was “Social Networking” the most commonly used means for furthering one’s career? Was there a clear-cut difference between espionage on the one hand and the building up of a necessary “Social Network” for a Venetian or a Habsburg diplomat in need of some inside information from the Sublime Porte on the other? Moreover, would the Ottoman envoys who were visiting Vienna or the Habsburg ambassadors en route to Constantinople rely solely on the might of their own sovereigns, using already established connections in order to fulfill their missions, or did they weave their own net of social contacts? What kind of a system of dependencies did an ambitious archbishop on his way to the Patriarch’s seat need to create? Would an artisan or a merchant who attempted to avoid taxation use the social system of his corporation or would he have to rely on his own abilities in finding the shortest way to a corrupted administrator? Was charity in the Ottoman realm solely an act of compassion towards the needy or was there a sophisticated network of dependencies behind it? The list of possible questions could certainly be longer by far …

Friday, October 26

9:50 – 10:00 Opening

Section 1: Charity and Patronage: Formal and Informal Networks of Dependencies in Ottoman Society
Moderator: Prof. Machiel Kiel

10:00 – 11:15
Amy SINGER (Tel Aviv University), Ottoman Charity: A Networked Perspective

Grigor BOYKOV (Sofia University/Bilkent University), Alliances of Patrons and Clients: Subduing the Unruly Ottoman Subjects in the Süleymanic Age

11:15 – 11:45 Coffee Break

Section 2: The Meaning of Donations: Social Dimensions of the Ottoman Gifting System

Moderator: Prof. Amy Singer

11:45 – 13:00
Hedda REINDL-KIEL (University of Bonn), Networks in Kind: The Ottoman Gifting System with Regards to the Balkan Provinces and Hungary

Michael URSINUS (University of Heidelberg), The Tekye as a Focus of Social Networking (according to the lists of 'donations' in Sheykh Shemsuddin el-Khalveti's Manastir family archive)


Section 3: In the Spider’s Web: Power Brokerage and Espionage
Moderator: Prof. Harald Heppner

14:30 –15:45
Günhan BÖREKÇİ (İstanbul Şehir University), On the Personal and Social Networks of Power Brokers in Istanbul in the Early Seventeenth Century

Ivan PARVEV (Sofia University), “There is no place where espionage cannot be used”. Habsburg Spy Networking in the Ottoman Empire, 1689–1714

19:30 Cocktail

Saturday, October 27

Section 4: Confessional Profiles and Political Needs: the ‘Habsburg Way’ of Networking
Moderator: Prof. Christo Matanov

10:00 – 11:15
Harald HEPPNER (University of Graz), The Inneraustrian Estates in the 16th–18th Centuries

Maria BARAMOVA (Sofia University), Social Networking “En passant”. The Habsburg Great Embassy of Count Damian Hugo von Virmont to Constantinople 1719–1720

11:15 – 11:45 Coffee Break

Section 5: The Value of News: Information Channels in Ottoman and Habsburg Realms
Moderator: Prof. Michael Ursinus

11:45 – 13:00
Christo MATANOV (Sofia University). The Monasteries as Centers of Informational Contacts, 15th –16th Centuries. Case Study: The Monastery of St. Joakim of Osogovo

Olga KATSIARDI-HERING (University of Athens). Friendship, Communal and Official Links in the Social-Information Networks among the Southeastern Merchants and Intellectuals (18th –19th Centuries)

Conclusive Remarks

Organizing committee:
Associate Professor Dr. habil. Ivan Parvev
Head of the Department for Byzantine and Balkan Studies, Faculty of History
Assistant Professor Dr. Maria Baramova
Visiting Teaching Fellow Grigor Boykov

Maria Baramova
Sofia University "Sv. Kliment Ohridski"
Tzar Osvoboditel 15 Blvd.
1504 Sofia
Visit the website at: http://see.uni-sofia.bg

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