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20 June 2023 - 20 June 2023

5:30PM - 7:30PM

Bishop's Dining Room, Durham Castle

  • Free

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An exploration of the West's engagement with Syria, then a province of the Ottoman Empire in the 18th century. You are warmly invited to the Slater Fellow Lecture: Tuesday 20 June, 5:30pm in the Bishops’ Dining Room, Durham Castle. The lecture is free and is open to all.

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In this lecture, we will look at the West’s engagement with Syria, then a province of the Ottoman Empire in the 18th century through the writings of travellers and  through the history of the publications they brought back from their travels. Professor Alexis Tadie argues that these publications  changed the modes of describing the Levant, helping to define attitudes to ruins as well as providing a model for thinking about the customs of the inhabitants of that part of the world. It looks in particular at the place of Palmyra through the writings of Wood and Volney, and of Aleppo through the Natural History of Aleppo, written by the Russell brothers, who were both physicians and naturalists.

Alexis Tadié is a professor of English Literature at Sorbonne University. He specializes in 18th century literature, as well as in postcolonial literatures. He also has an interest in sports. He has published monographs on Laurence Sterne, on Francis Bacon, on John Locke, on Salman Rushdie, as well as on tennis. He has edited volumes on early modern intellectual history, including Fiction and the Frontiers of Knowledge, with Richard Scholar, as well as on sporting cultures. He is currently Slater Fellow at IMEMS and at University College, Durham.