This talk will unravel how the Ottoman Empire projected authority and its claims of sovereignty in the contested and globally diverse cities of Mecca and Medina during the early modern era. Utilizing a database and GIS mapping built from imperial stipend records located in the Ottoman Archives, this talk will showcase the ways in which Ottoman networks of power in Islam’s holy cities were both tenuous in their connection to the Hijaz and also expansive in their global reach to a broader Muslim community. At its core, this talk will question our understanding of Ottoman sovereignty in Mecca and Medina, while also proposing a different seasonal perspective in which to understand early modern imperial power.
Tyler Kynn is an Assistant Professor of History at Central Connecticut State University. His research explores the hajj in the early modern world, examining both narrative and archival material related to questions of Ottoman sovereignty and power in the Hijaz. He is also one of the co-creators of The Hajj Trail, a classroom tool and digital simulation of the seventeenth-century hajj journey. He is interested in the history of early modern empires, sovereignty, mobility, identity formation, and the intersection of digital history and gaming.