A copy of the Shahnama of Firdausi was one of the favorite gifts exchanged among the Ottoman and Persian courtly elites. The Ottoman poets often referred to the great male characters from the Shahnama in their eulogies that they presented to their elite patrons. Ozgen Felek will explore the ways in which particular 16th century Ottoman court poets appropriated the great Persian kings and heroic figures in the Shahnama narrative in order to position the Ottomans as the true embodiment of the world-conquering Shahnama rulers.
Ozgen Felek received her first Ph.D. from Firat University in Turkey (2007) and her second Ph.D. from the University of Michigan (2010). She is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. Previously, she was a Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Religious Studies at Stanford University.
Felek specializes in religion, gender, and visual representations of the Ottoman Empire. Currently, she is working on a book project, tentatively titled Imperial Men: Manhood and Masculinity in the Early Modern Ottoman Empire. Felek has published a diplomatic edition of Ottoman Sultan Murad III’s dream letters: Kitābü’l-Menāmāt Sultan III. Murad’ın Rüya Mektupları (“The Book of Dreams: The Dream Letters of Sultan Murad III”) (Tarih Vakfi Yurt Yayınları, 2014). She is also co-editor of Dreams and Visions in Islamic Societies (SUNY, 2012), and Victoria Rowe Holbrook’a Armağan (Kanat Kitap, 2006).