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Mediating 'Culture'

"Mediating 'Culture' and Cultures of Mediation in the Early Modern Mediterranean" is Natalie Rothman's three-year project (2012-2015) funded by an Early Researcher Award ($150,000) from Ontario's Ministry of Economic Development and Innovation. The project explores the role of diplomatic interpreters as cultural intermediaries between the Ottoman Empire and Europe in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. Using new digital technologies for visualizing, analyzing, and presenting research data, the project illuminates how concepts like “Europe” and “Western Civilization” emerged in the context of political rivalry and commercial collaboration between the Ottoman Empire and its neighbours, particularly Venice.

It also sheds light on the lives and writings of diplomatic interpreters who have rarely been studied, but who vitally helped to shape enduring ideas about the Ottomans in Europe.