Gül Şen’s study offers a reconsideration of the area covered by present-day Jordan under Ottoman rule during the sixteenth through the eighteenth century. Despite its political and strategic importance over the ages, the former Mamluk- and later Ottoman-ruled region has remained an understudied area eclipsed by other territories in the former Ottoman province of historical Syria (Bilād al-Shām). By applying a combination of approaches, putting an emphasis on ‘transition’ instead of dynastic division and considering the geographical reorientation as the ‘empire’s frontier’, the author reframes Jordan as a frontier during a transitional period and sets it into the larger picture of Ottoman provincial administration. Thus, she offers a fresh understanding of Ottoman rule beyond the conventional assessments. Further, she argues that in order to understand the multilayered experiences of the imperial administration in this frontier zone, various historical perceptions should be examined. Appealing to interdisciplinary approaches, the study is a contribution to the complex history of the Arabic-speaking provinces of the Ottoman Empire.
Gül Şen is currently a research associate at the Institute of Oriental and Asian Studies (IOA) at the University of Bonn where she obtained her PhD in 2012 in Middle Eastern Studies. Her main areas of research cover pre-modern Ottoman history, historiography in general and of the Syrian provinces, dependency structures, legitimacy of rule, and narratology in particular. Her recent publications include The Mamluk-Ottoman Transition: Continuity and Change in Egypt and Bilād al-Shām in the Sixteenth Century (ed. with Stephan Conermann, 2017). She is also co-editor of the series Ottoman Studies (Bonn University Press V&R unipress), and the Otto Spies Memorial Lecture Series (EB-Verlag Berlin). She is currently preparing a monograph in the framework of a German Research Foundation (DFG) grant project: “Naʿīmā’s (1655–1716) Court Chronicle: A Narratological Analysis of the Significative Function of Ottoman Historiography.”