Gaining a public voice: Ottoman women's struggle to survive in the print life of early twentieth-century Ottoman society, and the example of Halide Edib (1884-1964)

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Abstract

After delving into the emergence of women in Ottoman print culture and the challenges associated with this process, this paper focuses on women's periodicals which provided a platform for women writers, education for a female audience and a means of communication between both parties. Analysing the social and technical challenges of establishing independently run and long-lived women's journals under the restrictive circumstances of the early twentieth century's gender-segregated Ottoman society, this article not only documents women's struggle for survival in the publishing world but also explains why women's periodicals and their female authors had an ephemeral print life. After acknowledging the role of print culture in the women's emancipation movement, the focus is on Halide Edib as an exceptional example in terms of her survival and transformation from unknown to world-renowned author. Her struggle to enter and become established in the print life of the late Ottoman society illustrates the potential and available positions for women in the publishing sphere and explains the failure of her female contemporaries to achieve success in this area.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)965-984
Number of pages20
JournalWomen's History Review
Volume24
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2015

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