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The Terrible Turk: Anti-Ottoman Representations in the 19th Century Swedish Rural Press
Linnaeus University, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, School of Social Sciences. (MKV)
Linnaeus University, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, School of Cultural Sciences.
2012 (English)Conference paper, Poster (with or without abstract) (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Islamophobia has been pack and parcel in the Western civilisation from the days of Charlemagne via the Crusades and the rise of Orientalism, as opposed to Occidentalism, to the modern day reporting of Islamic terrorist threat. The images have, however, not always been in negative perspective, as one might perceive today. Emperor Napoleon had in fact a great admiration for the Ottoman Empire and founded the study subject of Orientalism. Many were fascinated by the degree of civilisation and the exoticism of the Ottomans, especially the sexual virtues (or lack thereof) were of particular interest of the travellers into the Ottoman Empire and the defamation from the clergy who did not visit the Middle East. This image quickly came to change by the mid 19th century when clashes between the British Empire and the Ottomans were increasingly common, especially in India who were part of the British Empire with a large Muslim population whose loyalties were with the Sultan of Istamboul.

 

Sweden in the 19th century had no extraordinary dealings with the Ottoman Empire other than normal affairs of state. Instead, the dealing were a hundred years earlier when Charles XII sought refuge in Ottoman city of Bender whilst evading a pursuing Russian army.

 

We will use a theoretical framework with the foundation in Mary Douglas’ definition of dirt and Edward Saïd’s orientalism as well as modern Islamic frame theory as published by professor Stig-Arne Nohstedt of Örebro University and professor Jesper Strömbäck och University of Mid Sweden.

 

Research questions

The broader aim of this cross-disciplinary paper is, through the use of both theories used by media studies scholars as well as traditional historians to explore how the Swedish people represented Muslims through the eyes of the rural press in the 19th century. In particular, which frames were used depicting the Ottomans and did the coverage of the Ottoman Empire change during the 19th century?

 

Methodology

Textual analysis on historical material has been the subject of much debate during the latter part of the 19th century and onwards. Classical historicism states that a present day researcher should aim to understand the historical sources in the light of its context. In other words, we can never understand the anti-muslim publications in the 19th century rural Swedish press unless we understand 19th century rural Sweden itself. This, however, is not the within the scope of this paper. Rather, we will aim to interpret the source material cross-disciplinary in the light of the theoretical framework.

 

For this thesis, we will be using framing theory as a method of categorising the sample of article. The sample will then be subject of a near-reading, interpreting the images used to represent the Ottoman Empire.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2012.
Keyword [en]
islamophobia, media history, rural press, framing, critical discourse analysis, ottomans
National Category
History
Research subject
Humanities, History; Media Studies and Journalism, Media and Communication Science
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-22603OAI: oai:DiVA.org:lnu-22603DiVA: diva2:571871
Conference
Historical and contemporary representations of Islam and the West in media and culture, December 04, 2012, Brussels, Belgium
Available from: 2012-11-30 Created: 2012-11-24 Last updated: 2014-03-07Bibliographically approved

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Gjörloff, Per M.Gustafsson, Robert

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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
  • apa
  • harvard1
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
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Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
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Output format
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  • asciidoc
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