Women and Slavery in the Late Ottoman Empire: The Design of Difference

Hardcover (Print)
Buy New
Buy New from BN.com
Used and New from Other Sellers
Used and New from Other Sellers
from $81.76
Usually ships in 1-2 business days
(Save 25%)
Other sellers (Hardcover)
  • All (9) from $81.76   
  • New (6) from $82.25   
  • Used (3) from $81.76   


Madeline Zilf's latest book examines gender politics through slavery and social regulation in the Ottoman Empire. In a challenge to prevailing, notions, her research shows that, throughout the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, females slavery was not only central to Ottoman practice but also a critical component of imperial governance and elite social reproduction. As Zilfi illustrates through her accounts of the particular vulnerabilities of slave women, the failures of abolitionism in the Ottoman Middle East were due in large part to the overwhelmingly female character of the slave institution in the later centuries. The book focuses on the experience of slavery in the Ottoman capital of Istanbul, also using comparative data from Egypt and North Africa to illustrate the regional diversity and local dynamics that were the hallmarks of slavery in the Middle East during the early modern era. This is an articulate and informed account that sets the Ottoman system in the context of more general debates on women, slavery, and the construction of social dependency.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
Review of the hardback: 'Madeline Zilfi's book examines gender politics through slavery and social regulation in the Ottoman Empire. Her research shows that, throughout the 18th and 19th centuries, female slavery was not only central to Ottoman practice but also a critical component of imperial governance and elite social reproduction.' The Middle East

Review of the hardback: '… all specialized libraries and historians of the Ottoman Empire, and those working in Enslavement Studies should definitely own it; and the author should be commended on her accomplished and valuable work.' Insight Turkey

'Zilfi's masterful new work creates space for debate on the topic of women, slavery and the gender hierarchy in the late Ottoman Empire … This contribution will undoubtedly shape the nature of research into slavery in the Ottoman Empire, and represents a major work in the burgeoning field of Ottoman slavery studies. Furthermore, to its great credit, this book contains an excellent bibliography which gathers the secondary studies on slavery in the Middle East and its immediate geographical proximity as well as the relevant methodological literature. It will be a boon for future scholars of slavery in the Ottoman Empire.' Nur Sobers-Khan, New Middle Eastern Studies

Read More Show Less

Product Details

Meet the Author

Madeline C. Zilfi is Associate Professor of History at the University of Maryland. Her previous publications include The Politics of Piety: The Ottoman Ulema in the Post-Classical Age (1988), and she was also the co-editor of Women in the Ottoman Empire: Middle Eastern Women in the Early Modern Middle East (1997).

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

List of illustrations vii

Preface and acknowledgments xi

Mote on transliteration xiii

Chronology xv

1 Empire and imperium 1

2 Currents of change 22

3 Women and the regulated society 45

4 Telling the Ottoman slave story 96

5 Meaning and practice 153

6 Feminizing slavery 189

7 Men are kanun, women are shari'ah 216

Abbreviations 237

Selected works 239

Index 271

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)