2012-13 Events

  • Marie-Pierre Ulloa: "The Maghrebi Diaspora's Embrace of America"
    03 June 2013 at 15:30 in Encina Hall West, Room 208 (616 Serra Street)

    Focusing on the Maghrebi Diaspora located in the Bay Area/Silicon Valley, this presentation will explore conflicting and coexisting identities and the ways in which the Maghrebi migrants of first and second generations embrace their multiple identities. Through an analysis of the life history narratives of a group of ten first and second generations Maghrebi Californians, this research project aims to provide a more inclusive and complex perspective on the unique interplay between Francophone, North African and American identities, and also to better understand the integration mechanisms as well as the ease and difficulty encountered by the Maghrebi communities in California.

  • Film Screening: “Inside”
    21 May 2013 at 19:00 in Building 370, Room 370 (Serra Mall)

    Adapted from Dostoevsky's novel "Notes from Underground", director Zeki Demirkubuz’s latest film “Yeralti” [Underground] explores a man's life, thoughts, feelings and his very own darkness. More about the film is available here. Post-screening discussion session will be led by Dr. Burcu Karahan (Stanford University) and Dr. Tom Roberts (Stanford University).

  • Banu Bargu: "Fasting Unto Death"
    16 April 2013 at 03:30 in Encina Hall West, Room 208 (616 Serra Street)

    Banu Bargu is Assistant Professor of Politics in the Eugene Lang College for Liberal Arts at the New School. She received her Ph.D. and M.A. in Government from Cornell University. Her research interests include modern and late modern political theory, critical theory, and leftist politics with a special focus on the state, resistance, revolutionary breaks, human rights, and democracy. Her current research explores the ways in which contemporary forms of political self-sacrifice, such as hunger striking, suicide attack, and self-immolation, shed light on perennial concerns of modern political theory, particularly theories of sovereignty, order/disorder, agency, and violence.

  • Panel: "Challenges of Egypt's Transition"
    11 April 2013 at 04:00 in Encina Hall, E0008 (Ground Floor) (616 Serra Street)

    This special panel will feature Joel Beinin  (Stanford University), Robert Springborg (Naval Postgraduate School), Amr Adly (Stanford University), Maha Abdelrahman (University of Cambridge), Ahmed Salah (Activist), as they address the challenges facing Egypt's transition today.

  • Orhan Tekelioğlu: "Migrant Tastes & Formation of Popular Culture"
    10 April 2013 at 03:30 in Encina Hall West, Room 208 (616 Serra Street)

    In societies with continuous in-and-out migration in relatively short periods the formation of dominant culture comes into shape as "popular". Continental theories for defining people's culture mostly assume some permanent structures (cultural preferences of elites or classes) in modern societies, yet not so successful for explaining the rise of popular cultures in societies like the USA. Turkey, as a country of migratory waves from its birth, is a pristine example of such a process and unique for its elites' interventions into the cultural sphere. The talk is broadly concerns with three dynamics on the formation of Turkish popular culture - demographic transition, elitist cultural policies, and partly oppositional character of people's taste.

  • Nathalie Rothman: “Translating Empire"
    09 April 2013 at 12:00 in Lane History Corner, Room 307 (450 Serra Mall)

    Natalie Rothman is Associate Professor of History at the University of Toronto, specializing in the history of the Mediterranean in the early modern period. She received her Ph.D. in Anthropology and History from the University of Michigan, and her M.A. in Culture Research from Tel Aviv University.

  • Ozlem Altan-Olcay: “Tensions of Class & Development"
    02 April 2013 at 12:00 in Encina Hall West, Room 208

    Critically engaging with the global development paradigm, this lecture will focus on the activity of form filling and reporting as a mediator of the relationship between the civil society actors and the beneficiaries of the programs. It is based on fieldwork conducted in two civil society associations in Turkey, whose programs, run in collaboration with a network of private sector funders, international institutions and the government, encourage women to start their own businesses. I argue the following that the designs of the forms that various participants fill out, the networks in which the forms are transmitted, and the authority arrangements they assume are more than mechanisms of data collection. Class tensions that emerge between civil society actors who design the forms and the beneficiaries who are expected to fill them out reflect the difficulties in the diffusion of neoliberal subjectivities. However, when a third set of actors, the international funders, are introduced into the scene, the field workers’ relative vulnerability and proximity to the beneficiaries cause them to take on this activity with zeal and convince women to follow suit. The volume of the activity of reporting and form filling ends up being large enough to become the real thing, rather than a representation of what the actors actually do. The widespread practice contributes to the reproduction of particular logics and subjectivities, including calculative capacity, market success, and gendered familial roles among others.

  • Robert Morrison: Jewish Scholars Between Italy and the Eastern Mediterranean
    14 March 2013 at 15:30 in Encina Hall West, Room 208

    Robert Morrison is Associate Professor of Religion at Bowdoin College.  He received his M.Phil. and Ph.D. from Columbia University. His courses lie in the academic study of both Islam and Judaism, but address, in addition, comparative topics.  His research has focused on the role of science in Islamic and Jewish texts, as well as in the history of Islamic science. His book The Intellectual Career of Niẓām al-Dīn al-Nīsābūrī (Routledge, 2007) received the 2009 World Prize for the Book of the Year of the Islamic Republic of Iran in Islamic studies. Among his publications are An Astronomical Treatise by Mūsā Jālīnūs alias Moses Galeano,” (Aleph: Historical Studies in Science and Judaism X/2 2011), “Discussions of Astrology in Early Tafsīr,” (Journal of Qur’ānic Studies XI 2009), “Quṭb al-Dīn al-Shīrāzī’s Hypotheses for Celestial Motions” (Journal for the History of Arabic Science XIII, 2005),  "The Response of Ottoman Religious Scholars to European Science" (Archivum Ottomanicum XXI, 2003), "The Portrayal of Nature in a Medieval Qur’an Commentary" (Studia Islamica XCIV, 2002), "Conceptions of the Soul in Abraham Ibn Ezra's Poetry" (Edebiyat XI, 2000).

  • Baki Tezcan: Secularist Anxieties Meet Evangelical Ones
    25 February 2013 at 16:15 in Building 200 (450 Serra Mall), Room 307

    Ottoman/Byzantine Worlds WorkshopBaki Tezcan (University of California, Davis), “Secularist Anxieties Meet Evangelical ones in Modern Turkish Historiography: The Renegade Father of Muslim Printing, His Treatise on Islam (ca. 1710), and the Competing Arguments on his Christian Past” Baki Tezcan is Associate Professor of History, and Director of Middle East/South Asia Studies Program at the University of California, Davis. He received his Ph.D. in Near Eastern Studies from Princeton University. His research interests include pre-modern Middle Eastern history, Ottoman political history in the 16th-18th centuries, pre-modern ethnic and racial identities in the Islamic world, fiscal and monetary history, Islamic law, and the intellectual tradition of Islam with a special emphasis on the relationship between politics, on the one hand, and philosophy and science, on the other.  Among his publications are The Second Ottoman Empire: Political and Social Transformation in the Early Modern World (Cambridge University Press, 2010), Beyond Dominant Paradigms in Ottoman and Middle Eastern/North African Studies: A Tribute to Rifa'at Abou-El-Haj (ISAM, 2010), and  Identity and Identity Formation in the Ottoman World: A Volume of Essays in Honor of Norman Itzkowitz  (University of Wisconsin, 2007).  Currently, he is finishing an article entitled "The Many Lives of a Geographical Text: From the New Report to the History of the West Indies," preparing two other articles for publication ("The Memory of the Mongols in Early Ottoman Historiography" and “Law in China or Conquest in the Americas: Competing Constructions of Political Space in the Early Modern Ottoman Empire”), and writing a book on Ottoman historiography.

  • Walter Andrews: Ottoman Love Poetry
    15 February 2013 at 12:15 in Building 70, Rm. 72A1

    Religious Studies Colloquium: Walter Andrews (University of Washington), “Making Sense of Ottoman Love Poetry from Prairie Voles to Poiesis” Walter Andrews is Professor of Ottoman and Turkish Literature at the University of Washington, and co-director of the Ottoman Text Archive Project. He received his Ph.D. in Turkish Language and Literature from the University of Michigan, and has published extensively on Ottoman and Turkish poetry and literature. His outstanding contributions to Middle Eastern and Turkish Studies are recognized by various awards, including  the Middle East Studies Association (MESA) Mentoring Award, the Turkish Republic Order of Merit Medal, and Lighthouse Award. Among his most recent publications are “Turkish Literature on the World Stage” (Turkish Book Review, 2008), Seasons of the Word: Selected Poems of Hilmi Yavuz (Syracuse University Press, 2007), Uzaklardan Gelen Sevgili: Victoria R. Holbrook [Festschrift for Victoria R. Holbrook] (Kanat, 2006), and The Age of Beloveds: Love and the Beloved in Early-Modern Ottoman and European Culture and Society (Duke Unviersity Press, 2005). .

  • Joshua Landis: Syria: What's Next?
    14 February 2013 at 05:30 in Stanford Humanities Center, Levinthal Hall

    In thinking about possible outcomes of the Syrian revolution and civil war, it is helpful to place Syria in the broader context of the Levant states, all of which are deeply divided and weak. In this lecture, Prof. Joshua Landis (University of Oklahoma) will consider how the Turks, Iraqis, and Lebanese emerged from their efforts at revolution and civil war. These revolutions in Syria's direct neighborhood provide the surest guide to considering the possibilities for a unified Syrian national movement, the possibility of ethnic cleansing, and the possible future of the Alawite and Kurdish regions and how long war will last.

  • A Workshop with Capella Romana
    03 February 2013 at 01:00 in Bing Studio, Bing Concert Hall

    Please join us for a discussion session on the musical traditions of the Christian East and West with the Northwest-based vocal ensemble Capella Romana, Prof. Bissera Pentcheva (Department of Art and Art History), and researchers from Stanford’s Center for Computer Research in Music and Acoustics. The session is free and open to the public.

  • Merthan Dundar: From Panislamism to Greater Asianism
    14 January 2013 at 16:15 in Encina Hall West, Room 208

    After the Russian invasion of Kazan Khanate in 1552, Turko-Tatars of the Volga-Ural region became a part of the Russian Empire. Most of the Russian Muslim activists fighting for cultural and religious rights were also of Turko-Tatar origin. After the 1917 Russian revolution, some Turko-Tatars joined the Bolshevik groups, while others took part in Tsarist groups. Starting in 1919, many Tatar families immigrated to China and also to areas controlled by Japan, settling in Yokohama, Tokyo, Kobe, and Nagoya. With the support of Japanese nationalists and statesmen, Turko-Tatars of China, Korea, and Japan organized under the institutional framework of Mahalle-i Islamiye (Islamic District) and became active in cultural, religious and national matters. The support was connected to Japanese Islam policy. By giving permission to Turko-Tatars to settle in Tokyo, the Japanese government planned to make Tokyo a new center for the Muslim world. Matbaa-i Islamiye (Islamic printing-office) and Tokyo Camii (Tokyo Mosque) were founded with Japanese financial support. In 1933, Japan helped and supported the Muslim rebellion in China-East Turkestan and tried to establish a puppet government under the rule of Prince Abdulkerim Effendi, the grandson of ex-Ottoman Soultan Abdulhamid II. In this respect, Turko-Tatars constituted a very crucial population for the Japanese Army and ultra-nationalist groups for infiltration into the Muslim/Turkic world until 1938.

  • Ziya Onis: Turkey and the Arab Spring
    15 November 2012 at 03:30 in Encina Hall East, Goldman Conference Room

    Turkey redefined its geographical security environment over the last decade by deepening its engagement with neighboring regions, especially with the Middle East. The Arab spring, however, challenged not only the authoritarian regimes in the region but also Turkish foreign policy strategy. This strategy was based on cooperation with the existing regimes and did not prioritize the democracy promotion dimension of the issue. The upheavals in the Arab world, therefore, created a dilemma between ethics and self-interest in Turkish foreign policy. Amid the flux of geopolitical shifts in one of the world’s most unstable regions, Turkish foreign policy-making elites are attempting to reformulate their strategies to overcome this inherent dilemma. The central argument of the present paper is that Turkey could make a bigger and more constructive impact in the region by trying to take a more detached stand and through controlled activism. Thus, Turkey could take action through the formation of coalitions and in close alignments with the United States and Europe rather than basing its policies on a self-attributed unilateral pro-activism.

  • Ziya Onis: The Political Economy of the AKP Era
    13 November 2012 at 05:30 in Pigott Hall, Room 113

    The Adalet ve Kalkınma Partisi (AKP), following its third successive electoral victory appears to be far more entrenched than its earlier center-right counterparts in Turkish politics. This article highlights the key political economy fundamentals that have rendered the AKP experience unique within the Turkish context. Accordingly, strong economic performance in context of “regulatory neo-liberalism” helped by a favorable global liquidity environment in the early parts of the decade was a key contributor to the party’s continued electoral success. The party also made effective use of a variety of formal and informal redistributive mechanisms, which is referred as “controlled neo-populism” in this article, to enlarge its electoral coalition. Furthermore, the fact that Turkey did not suffer a typical old-style economic crisis in the context of the global turmoil of 2008–2009 was important for the AKP’s electoral fortunes. Concomitantly, the AKP government was quite effective in managing the global financial crisis politically and it took advantage of its assertive “new” foreign policy approach. Finally, this study argues that the AKP also benefited from the fragmented opposition.

  • Maghrebi Secularisms Roundtable
    08 November 2012 at 04:30 in Stanford Humanities Center,Levinthal Hall (424 Santa Teresa)

    Vincent Barletta (Stanford University), Ahmed Benchemsi (Stanford University), Susan Miller (UC Davis), and Marie-Pierre Ulloa (Stanford University) will reflect on the forms that secularism takes in Maghreb and also different models of secularism that influence Maghrebi political culture. [Co-sponsored by Stanford Humanities Center and Center for African Studies]

  • Democratization and Freedom of Speech
    30 October 2012 at 03:30 in Encina Hall East, Goldman Conference Room (E409)

    Nuray Mert (2012-13 FSI-Humanities Center International Visitor), Lina Khatib (Stanford University), and Lucan Way (University of Toronto) will discuss the issues of democratization, democratic regression and freedom of speech in the case of Turkey, the Arab World, and Ukraine. The session will be moderated by Ali Yaycıoğlu (Stanford University).

  • Nuray Mert ile Söyleşi
    16 October 2012 at 06:00 in Stanford Humanities Center, Levinthal Hall

    Join us for an evening of conversation in Turkish with the renowned Turkish academic and journalist Nuray Mert (2012-13 FSI-SHC International Visitor). The event will commence with a reception at 6:00 pm, and the discussion session, moderated by Ali Yaycioglu (Stanford University), will start at 18:30 pm. RSVP is requested. The event will be conducted in Turkish. Translation will not be provided. Non-Turkish speakers are cordially invited to attend the roundtable session to be conducted in English with the participation of Nuray Mert on October 30, 2012.

  • David Wasserstein: How Islam Saved the Jews
    12 October 2012 at 12:15 in Encina Hall West, Room 208

    By the early seventh century Judaism was in crisis. In the Mediterranean basin it was battered by legal, social, and religious pressure, weak in numbers and culturally almost non-existent. It was also largely cut off from the Jewry of the Persian empire, in Babylon, present-day Iraq. The future seemed clear: extinction in the west, decline to obscurity in the east. Salvation came from Arabia. Islam conquered the entire Persian empire and most of the Mediterranean world. Uniting virtually all the world’s Jews in a single state, it gave them legal and religious respectability, economic and social freedoms, and linguistic and cultural conditions that made possible a major renaissance of Judaism and the Jews. The significance of Islam for Jewry has been interpreted very variously since the middle ages and is a source of controversy to this day.