To assess the level of interested MA students, they are urgently requested to contact the teacher, Dr. H.P.A. Theunissen well in advance.
Admission to the MA Middle Eastern Studies or to the MA Middle Eastern Studies (research). Proficient reading skills in modern Turkish (level B2 European Common Framework, i.e. having had approximately 80 EC = 2240 hrs of language training courses). Students who are interested in taking this course, but who are not admitted to one of the mentioned master programs and/or are not sure whether they meet the language requirement are requested to contact the convener Dr. H.P.A. Theunissen.
The course aims at introducing the student to the principles of Ottoman Turkish and to the texts written in this language. Ottoman Turkish as a written language was the direct predecessor of modern Turkish spoken today in Turkey and a large geography outside of Turkey that used to form a part of the Ottoman Empire. The word ‘Ottoman’ is derived from the name Osman, founder of the dynasty, which ruled the empire between c. 1300 and 1922. As all languages do, Ottoman Turkish underwent all kinds of changes during its 600 years of existence, and the grammatical forms and vocabulary of the older phases of the language eventually transformed or disappeared, and were replaced by more modern variants. Ottoman Turkish was written in the Arabo-Persian alphabet borrowed mainly from the Persian cultural sphere in the fourteenth century. This went together with the adoption of a great many loanwords from Arabic and Persian and incorporation of Arabic and Persian grammatical constructions into the language. From the nineteenth century onward, a policy of “language reform” started to gain ground that aimed to remove the non-Turkish grammar and loanwords from the language. Under the presidency of Atatürk, this process culminated whereby the old script was replaced in 1928 by the Latin alphabet.
The fundamental principles of Turkish grammar and syntax will be frequently reviewed. The students will also be introduced to the Arabic and Persian elements incorporated into Ottoman Turkish. Another important aspect of this course is to familiarize the students with the use of Lexiqamus to solve problems encountered in the assigned texts. There will be weekly assignments in the first part of the course when more attention will be paid upon grammatical structures. The second part will be more reading-intensive that will be concluded by a reading comprehension exam. This examination consists of transcribing and translating a set of printed and handwritten texts in Ottoman Turkish. Students will be asked to prepare a 4,000-word paper to discuss the historical context of these texts assigned for the final exam.
Students who have taken this course will:
- be able to read not too complicated Ottoman-Turkish texts
- to interpret them and
- to put them into historical and cultural perspective;
- have acquired the ability to use the relevant primary and secondary literature;
- have acquired various skills including independent academic thinking and acting, analyzing complex issues; and be able to report academically sound;
- be able to identify and formulate an original research question, to analyze primary and secondary sources, and to draw conclusions;
- have the ability to gauge scholarly publications in the field critically;
- be able to present the result of independent research not only in writing but also through oral presentations both for a general and professional public;
- be able to contribute to a public debate communicating the conclusions of their scholarly research, knowledge and understanding of the Middle East to an audience beyond traditional academia;
- have learned to academically contribute to the field of research;
- have knowledge and understanding of Ottoman history and culture.
Mode of instruction
Attendance and active participation are obligatory for seminars. Students are required to prepare for and attend all sessions. The convenors need to be informed without delay of any classes missed for a good reason (i.e. due to unforeseen circumstances such as illness, family issues, problems with residence permits, the Dutch railways in winter, etc.). In these cases it is up to the discretion of the convener(s) of the course whether or not the missed class will have to be made up with an extra assignment. The maximum of such absences during a semester is two. Being absent without notification and/or more than two times can result in exclusion from the term end exams and a failing grade for the course.
The course load is 10 ECTS equal to 280 hours.
- Hours spent on attending the seminar: 2 hours per week x 13 weeks = 26 hours
- Time spent preparing homework, including the written exam: 10 hours per week x 12 weeks = 120 hours
- Time spent preparing the presentation and writing the 4000-word term paper = 134 hours.
Presentation and paper deal with the same subject.
Students are expected to be familiar with Leiden University policies on plagiarism and academic integrity. Plagiarism will not be tolerated. If you submit any work with your name affixed to it, it is assumed to be your own work with all sources used properly indicated and documented in the text (with quotations and/or citations). It is also unacceptable for students to reuse portions of texts they had previously authored and have already received academic credit for on this or other courses. In such cases, students are welcome to self-cite so as to minimise overlap between prior and new work.
Students must submit their assignment(s) to the blackboard through turnitin, so they can be checked for plagiarism. Submission via email is not accepted.
Assessment and weighing
|Active participation and response during the reading of the material of the week, 5 weekly assignments and presentation||25%|
|Completion of homeworks (transliteration and translation of texts as well as grammar exercises)||25%|
|Final Take-Home Examination||50%|
Final Take-Home Examination
Transliteration and translation of a set of print/handwritten texts in Ottoman Turkish, a 4000-word paper discussing the significance and historical context of the materials assigned for the exam. (The paper deadline mentioned in uSis is a tentative date for administration purposes only. The actual date will be communicated by the convenor of the course.)
The final mark for this course is formed by the weighted average.
In order to pass the course, students must obtain an overall mark of 5.50 (=6) or higher.
The course is an integrated whole. All assessment parts must be completed in the same academic year. No partial marks can be carried over into following years.
Only if the total weighted average is insufficient (5.49 or lower) and the insufficient grade is the result of an insufficient paper, a resit of the paper is possible (50%). In that case the convener of the course may assign a (new) topic and give a new deadline.
A resit of the other partial assessments is not possible.
If a student requests a review within 30 days after publication of the exam results, an exam review will be organized.
Reading list and texts to be used in term paper
Will be chosen in consultation with the teacher.
Students are required to register through uSis. To avoid mistakes and problems, students are strongly advised to register in uSis through the activity number which can be found in the timetable in the column under the heading “USIS-Actnbr.”. More information on uSis is available in Dutch and English.
Not being registered, means no permission to attend this course. See also the webpage on course and exam enrolment for registration deadlines and more information on how to register.
Students with disabilities
The university is committed to supporting and accommodating students with disabilities as stated in the university protocol (especially pages 3-5). Students should contact Fenestra Disability Centre at least four weeks before the start of their courses to ensure that all necessary academic accommodations can be made in time conform the abovementioned protocol.