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CANCELLED Guest Lecture | Perfection, Profit and Conscience: Notes from the nineteenth century New England arms trade to the Ottoman Empire (Keith Brown)

| Lecture

This event has been cancelled.

Please note - This event has been cancelled.


This paper focuses on a set of cultural encounters, frictions, and transformations that were triggered by a major arms contract between the Providence Tool Company and the Turkish military following the American Civil War. The contract sent 600,000 Peabody-Martini rifles to Constantinople to equip the Ottoman army and its auxiliaries during the Bulgarian Uprising of April-May 1876, the atrocities that followed, and the subsequent Russo-Turkish war of 1877-1878, where they played a critical and lethal role at the Siege of Plevna. The contract also brought Turkish officers and enlisted soldiers for an extended sojourn in Providence RI, as inspectors of the production process. Through the textual and material traces left by the production, dispatch and use of these rifles, the paper explores how industrial practices were perfected, transnational connections were monetized, and the moral dimensions of both were contested, at the North American frontier of the Ottoman Empire.

Keith Brown is professor of politics and global studies at Arizona State University, where he also serves as director of the Melikian Center for Russian, Eurasian and East European Studies. His research and teaching focus on the Western Balkans in global context, exploring in particular alternatives to violence, and the power of citizen activism. In 2021-22 he is a core fellow at the Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies. He is the author of The Past in Question: Modern Macedonia and the Uncertainties of Nation, and Loyal Unto Death: Trust and Terror in Revolutionary Macedonia.

When?  Wednesday, 8 June 2022, 14:15

Where?  SG 214, Sammelgebäude, UR Campus

This event is organized in cooperation with the Regensburg European American Forum (REAF).