Dragoman Renaissance Research Project

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The Dragoman’s Renaissance explores the personal and professional trajectories and textual practices of dragomans (diplomatic interpreters) employed by the Venetian consulate in seventeenth-century Istanbul. It aims to offer new insights into the role of this important yet under-studied group in mediating sociopolitical and ethnolinguistic relations between the Ottoman and Venetian empires at a crucial point in their long entangled history, and, more broadly, in the genealogies of Orientalism in the early modern Mediterranean. Methodologically, the project seeks to model and facilitate (though the sharing of Open Access datasets and the development of Open Source code) new modalities of collaborative research on trans-imperial practices (such as diplomatic translation and interpreting) whose analysis calls for a range of linguistic competences and disciplinary and historiographical perspectives that often elude any individual researcher.

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