Sea Change: Ottoman Textiles Between the Mediterranean and Indian Oceans
Amanda Phillips, Associate Professor, Art History, UVA 2016-17 Mellon Fellow
Respondent: Nancy Micklewright
Andrew W. Mellon Fellow in the Department of Islamic Art, Metropolitan Museum of Art,
Head of Public and Scholarly Engagement, Freer | Sackler Galleries, Smithsonian
Friday, October 14, 2022 | 10:00 am - 11:30 am ET
Sea Change explores the history of Ottoman textiles from both a global and interdisciplinary perspective, uniting the eastern Mediterranean with the Indian Ocean on one hand, and social and economic history with art history, technical studies, and global history on the other. Phillips' study insists on a more comprehensive history of textiles, arguing that the plain, the non-canonical, the well-worn, and the downright mediocre are necessary parts of an expanded topography, and deserve treatment on their own terms. Artisans made decisions as the worked, and the book also returns agency to the men and women earning their livings in the textile sector. It shows how they coped with economic hardship and technological change, as well as how they resisted regulations imposed by the central authorities.