Nuray Mert ile Söyleşi
Tuesday, 16 October 2012 at 06:00 PM 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.

Democratization and Freedom of Speech
Tuesday, 30 October 2012 at 03:30 PM 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).

Ziya Onis: The Political Economy of the AKP Era
Tuesday, 13 November 2012 at 05:30 PM 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.

Ziya Onis: Turkey and the Arab Spring
Thursday, 15 November 2012 at 03:30 PM 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.

Merthan Dundar: From Panislamism to Greater Asianism
Monday, 14 January 2013 at 04:15 PM in Encina Hall West, Room 208

Merthan Dundar (Ankara University). 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.

[Co-sponsored by Mediterranean Studies Forum, the Abbasi Program in Islamic Studies, the Center for East Asian Studies, and the Center for Russian, East European and Eurasian Studies]


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

Walter Andrews (professor of Ottoman and Turkish Literature at the University of Washington) will talk about his own long struggles to make sense of Ottoman love and love poetry in a context where most of what most people–including most scholars– think they know is nonsense.  He will introduce the nonsense (myths about Ottoman Poetry), the reality (what we should know based on the evidence), the history of emotions and my notion of “emotional ecology” (how it all fits together from sex to the sacred), and several other things including prairie voles, bonding, and cultural neuroscience, ending (perhaps) with poises.

[Sponsored by the Abbasi Program in Islamic Studies and Religious Studies]

Baki Tezcan: Secularist Anxieties Meet Evangelical Ones
Monday, 25 February 2013 at 04:15 PM in Building 200 (450 Serra Mall), Room 307

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).

[Sponsored by the Abbasi Program in Islamic Studies, the Department of History, the Center for Russian, East European and Eurasian Studies, and the Mediterranean Studies Forum]

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.

[Co-sponsored by the Mediterranean Studies Forum, the Clayman Institute for Gender Research, and Stanford Turkish Student Association]

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.

[Co-sponsored by the Mediterranean Studies Forum, the Program on Urban Studies, the Europe Center, and Turkish Students Association]


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.

[Co-sponsored by the Mediterranean Studies Forum, the Department of Anthropology, and Turkish Students Association]


Turkish 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).

[Co-sponsored by CREEES, the Mediterranean Studies Forum, Turkish Students Association, and the Stanford Arts Institute]


Aron Rodrigue: Ladino, A Jewish Language of the Middle East

Thursday, 16 May 2013 at 12:00 PM , Bechtel International Center

Prof. Aron Rodrigue Professor Aron Rodrigue, the Charles Michael Professor in Jewish History and Culture, will be discussing the history and usage of the Ladino language during lunch at the Bechtel International Center. [Co-sponsored by JIMENA, Music at Stanford, Hillel at Stanford, Stanford University Language Center, Hamid and Christina Mogadam Program in Iranian Studies, the Jewish Student Association, and Stanford University Taube Center for Jewish Studies] Open only to Stanford students (RSVP to jturan@stanford.edu)