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Public lecture series 2016-17: "Anthropology of Turkey and Beyond"

The LSE Chair for Contemporary Turkish Studies is delighted to announce the launch of a new public lecture series titled "Anthropology of Turkey and Beyond."

This interdisciplinary lecture series hosts academics invested in anthropological debates and/or ethnographic fieldwork on Turkey and connected geographies. The goal is to open up a critical space for deeper and critical analysis of culture, religion, and politics in Turkey, among Turkey's diasporic populations and across other relevant regions. Speakers are expected to address, through their research, different aspects of past, present and future complexities of contemporary Turkey and proximate contexts, revealing connections between different life practices and processes in multiple spaces and temporalities.

Unless otherwise stated, lectures in this series will take place throughout the 2016-17 academic year on the last Wednesday of every month between 6.30pm and 8pm at Room 1.11, Cowdray House, 6 Portugal Street, LSE.

Admission is free, open to all, and on a first-come-first-served basis.

Please find below a list of these events in reverse-chronological order:

***********POSTPONED to October 2017 (exact date TBC)***********

Lecture title: Turkey’s War on Terror: Between Extralegality and Hyperlegality

Speaker: Dr Başak Ertür (Birkbeck, University of London)

Dr Başak Ertür is Lecturer at the School of Law at Birkbeck. She completed her PhD at the same institution in January 2015 with a dissertation entitled ‘Spectacles and Spectres: Political Trials, Performativity and Scenes of Sovereignty’. Başak holds an MA in Liberal Studies from the New School for Social Research and a BA in Combined Honours in Arts from Durham University. She is currently a fellow at the Center for the Study of Social Difference at Columbia University. Başak has previously worked as an editor, translator and interpreter. She has also worked on several projects for Amnesty International and International PEN as campaigner and consultant. She is the co-producer and co-director of a 44-minute documentary, For the Record: The World Tribunal on Iraq (2007).

Time: 6.30-8pm

Venue: TBC

Chair: Associate Prof. Esra Özyürek, the LSE Chair for Contemporary Turkish Studies

Wednesday, 24 May 2017

Lecture title: The Sultan is Back: The Politics of Sacred Places and Remaking Muslim Lives in Postwar Bosnia-Herzegovina

Speaker: Dr David Henig (University of Kent)

David Henig is a social anthropologist trained as the Wenner Gren Foundation’s Wadsworth International Fellow in Social Anthropology at Durham University. Before joining the School at Kent as Lecturer in Social Anthropology, he taught at SOAS in London. His theoretical interests include the dynamics of global political economy, transnational religious movements, the social life of imperial formations, and religious, political and economic cosmologies. David has carried out extensive fieldwork in the post-Ottoman frontier regions of the Muslim Balkans and the Caucasus, and a shorter fieldwork along the Sino-Persian frontiers around the Pamirian knot. He engages with these frontier perspectives as a way to reassess dominating analytical and geopolitical discourses in order to formulate novel ethnographic, historical, political and theoretical insights for these regions, and for anthropological theory more generally. His most recent interest centres on linking anthropology with global transnational history and diplomacy, comparative imperialism, international relations, and geopolitics.

Time: 6.30-8pm

Venue: COW 1.11

Chair: Associate Prof. Esra Özyürek, the LSE Chair for Contemporary Turkish Studies

Wednesday, 10 May 2017

Event title: State and community communication networks in Turkey

Speakers: Dr Burçe Çelik (Loughborough University)  and Dr Ece Algan (Loughborough University)

This event will consist of two presentations followed by a panel discussion: "Communication Infrastructures as Mechanisms of Control and Colonialism in Turkey" by Burçe Çelik, and "An Ethnography of Affective Social Networks via Old and New Media in Şanlıurfa" by Dr Ece Algan

Burçe Çelik is Lecturer at the Institute for Media and Creative Industries at Loughborough University London. She received her doctoral degree in Art History and Communications from McGill University, and authored a number of publications on the history of communications, and media culture in Turkey.

Ece Algan is Senior Lecturer at the Institute of Media & Creative Industries at Loughborough University in London. Previously she worked as an Associate Professor of Communication Studies and the Director of the Center for Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies at California State University at San Bernardino. She has conducted longitudinal ethnographic fieldwork research on local media, mobile communication, youth and social change for over a decade in Southeast Turkey and published several journal articles and book chapters. She serves on editorial and advisory boards of Journal of International Communication, Global Media Journal's Mediterranean Edition, Open Cultural Studies  and Moment: Journal of Cultural Studies.

Time: 6.00-8pm

Venue: COW 1.11

Chair: Associate Prof. Esra Özyürek, the LSE Chair for Contemporary Turkish Studies 

Thursday, 4 May 2017

Lecture title: Politics of Culture in Turkey, Greece and Cyprus: Performing the Left since the Sixties

Speakers: Dr Leonidas Karakatsanis (The British Institute at Ankara), Dr Myrto Tsaktatika (Unviersity of Glasgow), and Dr Clemens Hoffmann (University of Stirling)

This event will consist of a presentation of the edited volume Politics of Culture in Turkey, Greece and Cyprus: Performing the Left since the Sixties (L. Karakatsanis & N. Papadogiannis, Eds.) by its co-editor,  and a panel discussion culminating in a Q&A session.

The event is supported by the British Institute at Ankara.

Leonidas Karakatsanis (PhD Essex) is the author of Turkish-Greek Relations: Rapprochement, Civil Society and the Politics of Friendship (Routledge, 2014). His current research focuses on the relation between contentious politics and affects in South-eastern Europe, the cultural politics of the Left in Turkey, Cyprus and Greece, and on a comparative approach to reconciliation and peace in the Caucasus, the Balkans & the Mediterranean. He is Assistant Director at the British Institute at Ankara.

Myrto Tsakatika (PhD Essex) is Senior Lecturer in Politics at the University of Glasgow. Myrto’s research has focused on European Union politics and public policy, namely on the question of the ‘democratic ‘deficit’, trends in public Euroscepticism and new governance modes. More recently she has worked on radical left parties in comparative perspective, particularly in Southern Europe.

Clemens Hoffmann (PhD University of Sussex) is Lecturer in International Politics at the University of Stirling. He has previously taught at the Department of International Relations, Bilkent University, Ankara. His research interests include Marxist Historical Sociology of International Relations, Political Ecology and Global Political Economy. Geographically his work focuses on the entire post-Ottoman world, especially Turkey, Northern Syria, Cyprus, the Balkans, as well as East Africa.

Time: 12-1.30pm

Venue: 32L.G.03

Chair: Associate Prof. Esra Özyürek, the LSE Chair for Contemporary Turkish Studies

Wednesday, 26 April 2017

Event title: Constitutional Referendum in Turkey: Now What?

Speakers: Dr Sinem Arslan (University of Essex), Dr Mehmet Kurt (Queen Mary University of London),  Steve Sweeney (Journalist for the Morning Star), and  Güney Yıldız (Special Adviser to the Foreign Affairs Committee of House of Commons)

This event will consist of short presentations followed by a panel discussion.

Time: 7.00-8.30pm

Venue: TW1.G.01

Chair: Associate Prof. Esra Özyürek, the LSE Chair for Contemporary Turkish Studies

Wednesday, 29 March 2017

Event title: Thinking through the Kurdish Issue: Reflections on Sovereigns and Citizens in Turkey

Speakers: Dr Mehmet Kurt (Queen Mary University of London)  and Dr Naif Bezwan (Independent)

This event will consist of two presentations followed by a panel discussion: "Islamist Civil Society, Kurdish Question and State of Exception in Turkey" by Dr Mehmet Kurt, and "The Exceptional State: Peace, Putsch and Plebiscite in Turkey" by Dr Naif Bezwan. 

Mehmet Kurt (PhD, Selçuk University) is Newton Advanced Fellow at the International State Crime Initiative (ISCI), Queen Mary University of London and writer of Kurdish Hizbullah in Turkey: Islamism, Violence and the State (Pluto Press, 2017).

Naif Bezwan (PhD, Universität Osnabrück) is an independent researcher currently based in London. Having emigrated in 1991 from Turkey to Germany, he obtained his undergraduate, master's and doctoral degrees in the latter country. He then moved back to Turkey to serve as Assistant Professor in the Department of Political Science and International Relations at Mardin Artuklu University, a post from which he was recently dismissed for political reasons as per an emergency decree. His research and teaching interests include the political and administrative system of Turkey in the context of the late Ottoman Empire and the early Republican era, the process of Turkey's accession to the European Union, Turkey's foreign policy, Turkey's policy towards Kurds as well as Kurdish quest for self-rule, and Kurdish political parties, modern history and society. Before taking up his post at Mardin Artuklu University in January 2014, Bezwan was a Visiting Scholar at King's Colllege London and at SOAS. He has regularly featured in press as an expert on Turkey's Kurdish conflict, its Middle East policy, Kurdish politics and intra-Kurdish relations.

Time: 6.00-8pm

Venue: COW 1.11

Chair: Associate Prof. Esra Özyürek, the LSE Chair for Contemporary Turkish Studies

Wednesday, 22 March 2017

*************************CANCELLED DUE TO VISA ISSUES*****************************

Lecture title: Water Futures: Temporality and Infrastructure in North Cyprus

Speaker: Dr Rebecca Bryant (Hellenic Observatory, LSE)

Rebecca Bryant (Ph.D., University of Chicago) is an anthropologist of politics and law whose work has focused on ethnic conflict and displacement, border practices, transitional justice, and contested sovereignty on both sides of the Cyprus Green Line, as well as in Greece and Turkey. She was previously Associate Professor of Anthropology at George Mason University in the U.S. and has taught at the American University in Cairo, Boğaziçi University in Istanbul, and Cornell University. She has been a postdoctoral fellow at Cornell University’s Society for the Humanities and a Member of the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton. Her current research uses ethnographic research in the unrecognized state in Cyprus’ north for a comparative project on everyday life in de facto states. She is the U.K. Principal Investigator of a 30-month collaborative research project, with Koç University in Istanbul, ‘Integration and Well-Being of Syrian Youth in Turkey’, funded by the Research Councils of the U.K. and the Turkish research council (TÜBİTAK). The project aims at assessing the needs of youth whose status has shifted from refugee to immigrant as a result of the prolonged conflict, and at developing concrete organisational and policy suggestions for social and economic integration.

Time: 6.30-8pm

Venue: COW 1.11

Chair: Associate Prof. Esra Özyürek, the LSE Chair for Contemporary Turkish Studies

Wednesday, 22 February 2017

Lecture title: Encrypted Arabic: Language and Subjectivity at the Turkish / Syrian Interface

Speaker: Dr Yael Navaro (University of Cambridge Division of Social Anthropology)

Born in Istanbul, Dr Yael Navaro completed her undergraduate education at Brandeis University (Sociology 1991) and her masters and PhD at Princeton University (Anthropology 1998). She was Lecturer in Social Anthropology at the University of Edinburgh (1997-1999) and has been teaching at the University of Cambridge since 1999. She is presently Reader in Social Anthropology in the Division of Social Anthropology at the University of Cambridge, and College Lecturer in Social Anthropology at Newnham College. Her research to date has explored affect and subjectivity in the domains of politics, the public sphere, law, and bureaucracy. Her first book Faces of the State: Secularism and Public Life in Turkey (Princeton University Press, 2002) studied the production of a state-revering culture in Turkey through ethnographic work on the interface between secularism and Islamism. This work then led her to study the unrecognized state in Northern Cyprus and its administration through questions about affect in a postwar environment, which materialized in her second book The Make-Believe Space: Affective Geography in a Postwar Polity (Duke University Press, 2012) based on ethnographic research on affect in zones of ruination and abandonment, in materialities left behind and expropriated in the aftermath of war, as well as in the documentary practices, administration, and economy of an unrecognized state. Between January 2012 and December 2016, she conducted full time research as Principal Investigator on a European Research Council (ERC) project titled "Living with Remnants: Politics, Materiality and Subjectivity in the Aftermath of Past Atrocities in Turkey."

Time: 6.30-8pm

Venue: COW 1.11

Chair: Associate Prof. Esra Özyürek, the LSE Chair for Contemporary Turkish Studies

Wednesday, 18 January 2017

*******************CANCELLED DUE TO THE SPEAKER'S ILLNESS*********************

Lecture title: Between Exposure and Erasure: Armenian Presence-Absence in Arapgir, Eastern Turkey

Speaker: Dr Laurent Dissard (Institute of Advanced Studies, UCL)

Dr Laurent Dissard is a Research Fellow at the Institute of Advanced Studies at University College London. After completing his PhD in Near Eastern Studies at UC Berkeley, he held a Mellon Postdoctoral Fellowship at the University of Pennsylvania Humanities Forum. He is currently working on two book manuscripts. Submerged Stories  (forthcoming at IB Tauris) discusses the politics of the past in Eastern Turkey and asks, Whose past is worth rescuing and whose history remains submerged? A Nation Under Construction  (under consideration with MIT Press) takes the mega-dam built at Keban in the 1960s to examine the politics and poetics of infrastructural development in Turkey. It tells the interconnected stories of US scientists and European engineers, newly trained Turkish politicians and technical experts, anti-dam activists and human-rights NGOs, Kurdish and Alevi internally displaced families, who together have constructed and contested Turkey as a nation during and after the Cold War.

Time: 6.30-8pm

Venue: COW 1.11

Chair: Associate Prof. Esra Özyürek, the LSE Chair for Contemporary Turkish Studies

Wednesday, 30 November 2016

Lecture title: Building Witnesses: Turkey’s Architecture of "Confronting the Past” in the Case of Sivas '93

Speaker: Dr Eray Çaylı (UCL Bartlett School of Architecture & LSE European Institute)

Dr Eray Çaylı is a researcher, educator and writer at the interface of architecture/art and anthropology. Eray’s PhD (University College London, 2015) studied the relationship between urban/architectural space and discourses of "confronting the past" (geçmişle yüzleşme) in Turkey, and is currently the subject of a book project he is working on. More broadly, in both his research and his teaching, Eray explores the ways in which the built environment shapes, and is shaped by, conflict, disaster and protest. He currently works as a researcher at the LSE European Institute, and teaches architectural history and theory at UCL's Bartlett School of Architecture and the Syracuse University School of Architecture (London programme).

Time: 6.30-8pm

Venue: COW 1.11

Chair: Associate Prof. Esra Özyürek, the LSE Chair for Contemporary Turkish Studies 

Wednesday, 28 September 2016

Lecture title: Remaking the Middle East through Violence and Magic: The Examples of ISIS and YPG 

Speaker: Dr Nazan Üstündağ (Boğaziçi University, Turkey)

Dr Nazan Üstündağ is Assistant Professor of Sociology at Boğaziçi University. She received her PhD from Indiana University. Her interests include theories of modernity and postcoloniality, feminist studies, ethnography of the state, state and violence and resistance. Currently, she is working on a book manuscript on how state violence has been inscribed on the things, spaces, bodies, as well as visual and written documents in and on Kurdistan. Besides her academic interests, she also writes for political journals and newspapers. She is a founding member of the Peace Parliament and Academics for Peace, as well as a member of Women for Peace.

Time: 6.30-8pm

Venue: COW 1.11

Chair: Associate Prof. Esra Özyürek, the LSE Chair for Contemporary Turkish Studies