JaNet investigates the economic and sociopolitical role of the Janissaries in the 18th and early 19th centuries through their examination as a complex of interconnected networks in the ‘extended Mediterranean’ (including major Black Sea and Danubian ports). By studying the Janissary corps, the project brings forward a radically new historical analysis concerning, on the one hand, the role of Muslims in the Ottoman and wider Mediterranean commercial economy – a role largely ignored by the bibliography – and, on the other, the processes that led to the creation of diasporas and the dissemination of people and ideas among various Muslim communities in the area.
The Russian religious artifacts (icons and ecclesiastical furnishings), held in museums, church or monastery collections in the Balkans and the Eastern Mediterranean, constitute a body of valuable monuments hitherto largely neglected by historians and historians of art. These objects acquire various interrelated religious, ideological, political and aesthetic meanings, value, and uses. Their transfer and reception constitutes a significant component of the wider process of transformation of the artistic language and visual culture in the region and its transition from medieval to modern idioms. It is at the same time a process reflecting the changing cultural and political relations between Russia and the Orthodox communities in the Ottoman Empire and its successor states in the Balkans over a long period of time (16th- early 20th century). In this dynamic transfer, piety, propaganda and visual culture appear intertwined in historically unexplored and theoretically provoking ways. Applying the cultural transfer approach in combination with the recent challenging openings of art history to visual studies and social anthropology, RICONTRANS aims: to map the phenomenon in its long history by identifying preserved objects in the region; to follow the paths and identify the mediums of this transfer; to analyze the moving factors of this process; to study and classify these objects according to their iconographic and artistic particularities; to inquire into the aesthetic, ideological, political and social factors which shaped the context of the reception of Russian religious art objects in various social and cultural environments; to investigate the influence of these transferred artifacts on the visual culture of the host societies.
The project will explore Ottoman concepts and beliefs about the supernatural. Its main objectives will be to examine the significance and content of the various perceptions of the "supernatural", to place them within the various Ottoman world images, to analyse the changes that have occurred over time and to relate them to the emergence of different cultural levels and social groups.
The program explores the transition from sail to steam navigation and the effects of this technological innovation on seafaring populations in the Mediterranean and the Black Sea, between the 1850s and the 1920s, whose lives were drastically changed by the advent of the steam.