Sada Payir

Sada Payir

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Faculty of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies, Pembroke College

Sada Payir is a DPhil candidate in History at the Faculty of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies. In her doctoral thesis she wrote under the supervision of Prof Laurent Mignon titled “Entertainment, Propriety, Transgression: The ‘Unorthodox’ Greeks of Istanbul in the Late Ottoman Empire,” she examines transgressions related to the business of prostitution, alcohol consumption, live music venues, the Greek Orthodox carnival (of Tatavla, i.e. ApokriesBaklahoraniKoulouma), and printed goods in late Ottoman Istanbul from the 1850s to the 1910s. She tries to show the ways in which Greek Orthodox Christians transgressed legal, moral, political, and social limits – with their coreligionists as well as with their contemporaries of various ethnoreligious backgrounds – in the eyes of the Ottoman state, the Greek Orthodox community, and the larger society including short-term residents and travellers.

Sada is currently the Constantine and George Macricostas Fellow of the Gennadius Library at the American School of Classical Studies in Athens and is conducting research on transgressions that took place during Greek Orthodox Christian festivities in Asia Minor in the late Ottoman Empire. While this time period and area engage her current scholarly attention and artistic endeavour in Greek music, especially performing rebetiko, she is highly interested in the civilisations in the wider region comprising present Greece and Turkey from ancient to modern times.

Sada’s research has been supported by prominent fellowships and grants from Turkey, Greece, France, Austria and the United States, and she received the DRA Honourable Mention Award from the Association of British Turkish Academics.

Conferences & Seminars:

-The Consortium for European Symposia on Turkey (CEST) Summer School: Cultural Exchange and Heritage, University of Vienna, 2022 [“A Moveable Feast: Transgressions at the Greek Orthodox Carnival in Late Ottoman Istanbul”]

-The Eleventh International Graduate Student Conference, Princeton University Seeger Centre for Hellenic Studies, 2019 [“Entertainment, Propriety, Transgression: The ‘Unorthodox’ Greeks of Istanbul in the Late Ottoman Empire”]

-The Twentieth Annual Postgraduate Colloquium, University of Birmingham Centre for Byzantine, Ottoman and Modern Greek Studies, 2019 [“Privacy in Public: Transgressions at the Greek Orthodox Carnival in Late Ottoman Istanbul”]

-Hellenic College Holy Cross Asia Minor Travel Seminar: Greek Orthodox Christians of Asia Minor, Athens-Thessaloniki-Xanthi-Komotini, 2018

-The Tenth Annual ASMEA Conference, The Middle East and Africa: Assessing the Regions Ten Years On, Washington, D.C., 2017 ["The Black Sheep of the Family?: The 'Unorthodox' Greeks of Istanbul in the Late Ottoman Empire”]

-The Modern Greek Studies Graduate Colloquium, London, 2017 [“Mapping the Limits of Transgression: The ‘Unorthodox’ Greeks of Istanbul in the Late Ottoman Empire”]

-The Graduate Workshop in Ottoman Studies: Rethinking the Long Nineteenth Century in the Ottoman Empire, University of Oxford, 2013

Selected Publications: 

Payır, Sada, and Athanasios Nikolaidis. "Cappadocia Ottoman Construction Company (1912) by Arsenios Istanbolloglou and Partners." In Following the Traces of Turkish-speaking Christians of Anatolia, vol. II, edited by Evangelia Balta, 449-464. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University, 2021.

Payır, Sada. “Umumda Mahremiyet: Geç Osmanlı İstanbul’unda Tatavla Karnavalı.” [Privacy in Public: The Carnival of Tatavla in Late Ottoman Istanbul] Toplumsal Tarih 321 (September 2020): 32-38.

Kyriakides, Epameinondas. Beyoğlu Sırları [Βεϊογλου Σηρλαρὴ, 1888-1889]. Translated into Turkish by Evangelinos Misailidis. Transcribed, prepared and edited by Evangelia Balta and Sada Payır. İstanbul: Istos, 2020.

Payır, Sada. Selected Turkish literary works mentioning "chestnut". Yemek ve Kültür 55 (Spring 2019): 109-111.

Payır, Sada. Review of Les Grecs d’Istanbul au XIXe siècle: Histoire socioculturelle de la communauté de Péra, by Meropi Anastassiadou. Historein 12, Questions & Orientations in History, Part I, 124-127. Athens: Nefeli Publishers, 2012.