Join us for a conversation with Dr Melis Hafez on how the concept of laziness and productivity took off in the 19th century Ottoman Empire.
Hafez is an Associate Professor at Virginia Commonwealth University. She received a PhD in History from UCLA. Her research is focused on the cultural history of the Ottomans during its last century when the empire experienced land losses, social and economic upheavals, wars and violence, along with extensive, transformative reforms. Her book ‘Inventing Laziness: The Culture of Productivity in Late Ottoman Society’ was published in 2021 and traces the development of a binary between work and laziness during the last century of the Ottoman Empire.
Correction: Dr. Hafez would like to offer a correction. After quoting the Arabic original of a hadith commonly attributed to the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), instead of translating it as “poverty is my pride” she missaid it as “laziness is my pride.”