The scholar, jurist, and author Mahmud Abdulbaki, composing under the pen-name Baki, is often considered the greatest poet of the sixteenth-century golden age of Ottoman Turkish literature. In the Ottoman Empire, as in the rest of the Islamic World, printing technology came late and publication meant creating a hand-written manuscript, which would be copied and re-copied from the sixteenth century through the late nineteenth century. A major poet like Baki might add poems to his divan, or collection, throughout his lifetime and issue revised versions, which would also be copied and recopied for hundreds of years. As a result, Baki’s collection exists in a haze of many manuscripts, most of which are undated and each of which has a different look, feel, and content from every other manuscript. Some are finely calligraphed and relatively easy to read, while others are not. We believe that there might be more than two hundred manuscripts of Baki’s divan but we don’t know how many more.
New digital technology offers an unprecedented ability to create a multi-dimensional visualization of the history of Baki’s texts, taking all its copies into account and constructing a truly modern manuscript edition. The workshop The Many Poems of Baki sets the groundwork for an innovative large-scale collaboration to transform the way Ottomanists and others approach a manuscript tradition.
5:30-5:45 pm | Opening Remarks
- Selim S. Kuru, Project Director, Principal Investigator (Chair and Associate Professor, Near Eastern Languages & Civilization, UW)
5:45-6:15 pm | The Many Poems of Baki
- Walter G. Andrews, Project Director (Professor, Near Eastern Languages & Civilization, UW)
6:15-6:45 pm | Digital Humanities and Textual Studies
- Jeffrey T. Knight (Associate Professor of English and co-director of Textual Studies, UW)
6:45-7 pm | Project and Workshop Introduction
- Gulsah Taskin, Project Manager (Lecturer, Koç University, Istanbul)
- Oscar Aguirre-Mandujano, Project Coordinator (Doctoral Student, Interdisciplinary PhD Program in Near & Middle Eastern Studies, UW)
The workshop The Many Poems of Baki is dedicated to Walter G. Andrews for his groundbreaking contributions to scholarship in Ottoman and Turkish literature as well as the digital humanities and in appreciation of his mentorship and friendship. Sponsored by Near Eastern Languages & Civilization and the Simpson Center for the Humanities.