Stories from the Newberry Center for Renaissance Studies tells the stories that come out of the research and scholarly activities of Center for Renaissance Studies consortium members at the Newberry. In their own words, consortium faculty and students share the valuable insights they have developed, the experience they have gained, and the new questions and opportunities they have found.
I attended the Center for Renaissance Studies’ 2020 Multidisciplinary Graduate Student Conference at the Newberry Library. The conference took place on January 23-25, 2020. I presented a paper, entitled “Regulating Taverns and Alcohol Consumption in Ottoman Galata,” on the second day of the conference. It was an excellent opportunity for me to present a piece of my dissertation project to a community of emerging scholars from diverse disciplines of humanities. With panels, coffee breaks, and lunchtimes, the conference provided its participants a venue for academic discussion, intellectual exchange, and network building.
I also had a chance to explore the library’s map and manuscript collections, which have remarkable sources for studying a great variety of themes across time and space. For example, I examined a ca.1600-copy of an anonymous manuscript, Tarih-i Yeni Dünya, el-musemma be hadis-i nev (A History of the Western Indies), which originally written around 1580. Through textual and visual depictions, it provides valuable insights about the Ottomans’ knowledge of the geographic explorations in the New World and the Islamic cosmology in the early modern period.
In addition to its academic and intellectual resources, the Newberry Library provides a friendly atmosphere to visitors with its prominent experts and staff who are always there to help you!
Sultan Toprak Oker
Department of History
University of Minnesota