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The 15th session of the Voices of Emerging Scholars webinar series is titled “On the Margins of the Empire,” an umbrella phrase which alludes to geography, people and economy.

This session started with Mohamed Gamal-Eldin, who took us to Egypt and showed us that the town of Suez, although remembered in association with the construction of the Canal, actually had a long and bustling history. Following Gamal-Eldin, Tutku Akin took over to introduce us to tribal Kurdish community living in the southeastern Anatolia. She scrutinized their social and economic life in her presentation through power struggles and conflicts, to reveal a myriad of actors ranging from tribal leaders and their wives, to government officials and Sultan Abdulhamid himself.

Mitchell Bacci turned to the peripheries of the market, specifically to opium smuggling. His research traced the activities of minorities involved in this informal trade against the regulated market, arguing that their activities coalesce to a significant resistance to state control.