Harvard Worldwide Week Event: SHARIAsource Book Talk :: From Slaves to Prisoners of War

On October 22nd, Professor Will Smiley of the University of New Hampshire spoke to a group of twenty-three students, professors, and scholars on his new book From Slaves to Prisoners of War: The Ottoman Empire, Russia, and International Law (Oxford University Press, 2018). The book takes a look at the independent evolution of a recognizable code of international law in the Ottoman Empire, beginning with Russo-Ottoman compromises on how war captives should be treated. Professor Intisar Rabb (Harvard) moderated panelists Professor Cemal Kafadar (Harvard University) and Dr. Mariam Sheibani, 2018-2019 ILSP: SHARIAsource Fellow, who praised Smiley’s scholarship before starting a rich discussion with their questions in response to the book. Questions included “Where are the jurists [in the book]?”, “How did the evolution of law affect the sphere of normative law within the Ottoman Empire?”, “Regarding the tension between the domains of sharīʿa vs siyasa…is there a recognition of the sultan’s responsibility to promulgate law especially in issues of warfare and captivity?” The event was livetweeted and part of Harvard’s Worldwide Week. The book will be available to the American market on 6 November 2018 through Oxford University Press.