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Cambridge Interfaith Programme

Portion of internal roof and the title of Wharton’s book

Ottoman-Armenian architects and interfaith relations in cities of the Ottoman East in the late 19th and early 20th century

Speaker: Dr Alyson Wharton (University of Lincoln)

Please note: The date of this event has changed due to unforeseen circumstances. 

About the speaker

Dr Alyson Wharton is Senior Lecturer in the School of Humanities and Heritage at the University of Lincoln, where she has been since 2015. She started her career in the field of Islamic Art and specifically Ottoman Art History, completing her at PhD at SOAS. Between MA and PhD she trained to teach English as a foreign language and learnt some Arabic in Cairo, before moving to Istanbul and learning Turkish.

Wharton spent three years as Assistant Professor in the Department of History of Art, at Mardin Artuklu University, in south-east Turkey. There she taught Armenian art, Orientalism, exchanges between Islamic world and 'the West' and carried out fieldwork on the Armenian heritage in the region. 

She has published mostly on the Balyan family, architects of Armenian ethnicity and amongst the earliest Ottoman architects to receive a Parisian Beaux-Arts education, and implement elements of mass production into Ottoman architectural practice. The Balyans were responsible for a stylistic revolution or ‘Ottoman Renaissance’ in the imperial architecture of the time. In Mardin, Wharton also worked on the Armenian communities in the east of Turkey and their not-insignificant role in the remaking of the urban environment. More recently, she has worked on Armenian craftsman migrants to Victorian Britain and colonial quarters in the Caucasus under imperial Russian and Soviet rule.


Part of the Inter-Religious Research seminar.

This seminar will be available to audit on Zoom (subject to advance registration).

Tuesday, 12 March, 2024 - 14:15 to 16:00
Event location: 
Lightfoot Room, Faculty of Divinity, Cambridge

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