Society, Politics, and Economy in Modern Turkey: Sociology of Turkey - Maintained by Tugrul Keskin
We are at a point in our work when we can no longer ignore empires and the imperial context in our studies. (p. 5)
― Edward W. Said, Culture and Imperialism

Friday, January 9, 2015

Call for participants: 'Turkey in Theory' workshop, U of Arizona, April 2-3, 2015

The new Arizona Center for Turkish Studies invites submissions from PhD students and postdocs for a workshop entitled 'Turkey in Theory'. This ACTS workshop (with domestic US travel, lodging and meals provided) will bring together a small, interdisciplinary group of UA and outside scholars and writers at various stages of their careers, and UA and outside PhD students in humanities, humanities-oriented social science, and art and criticism.

There is an increasing degree of mutual influence among humanities, interpretive social science disciplines, and literary and artistic worlds, and this workshop aims to explore and further these collaborations. A major aim of the workshop is to identify and elaborate emergent themes in scholarship related to Turkey and the Ottoman Empire, with a set of conversations and debates about what is on and over the horizon in Turkey- and Ottoman-related work.

The disciplines are open, however PhD students should be ABD (candidates for PhD), have completed the research for the dissertation and now be in the process of writing their dissertation.

Applicants should submit a paper abstract of 500 words.

Deadline for receipt of materials is February 7, 2015. Submissions should be sent to: bsilver (at)

The topics of presentations are open, but this list includes possible themes:

Affect and the political: What does attention to affective layers of analysis bring to our understanding of the nature of politics and pluralism?

Politics of nature: What is changing in how things are defined as ‘natural’ (a landscape feature, a quality of personhood, a species of plant), and in the stakes involved in doing so (e.g. for development).

Materiality and post-agentive analysis: What objects and relationships are rendered visible when we make few assumptions about what or who has agency, and rather pose it as an empirical question about force fields and effects?

Religion and secularism: How are recent developments in religiosity departures from or building on genealogies of secularism in Turkey? What is done explicitly in the name of religion, and what is increasingly done in the name of ‘the family’ in Turkey?

Migration and transnationality: How are transnational Turkish communities and institutions reframing the cultural politics of the country? What methodological and theoretical innovations do we need to develop in order to account for these dimensions?

Science and expertise: What realms of the natural and social worlds are subject to what kinds of scientific authority, and what political and juridical stakes does this have in Turkey?

Gendered identities and masculinites: What theories, vernacular practices, and folk knowledges about gender and masculinity in Turkey could broaden or critically reframe international and Anglophone conceptions?

Activism: How are LGBT, environmentalist, and social justice communities in Turkey mobilizing counternarratives to their Anglophone and West European counterparts?

Translation: Which major literary, documentary, historical, philosophical, and political texts from Turkish and Ottoman history remain untranslated into English and other languages, and what are the epistemological consequences of this gap?

Visual representation and social movements: Why were graffiti and humor such major features of the protests of 2013? What were their themes, with what implications for protest and social movements more broadly?

Trauma and political violence: What are the theoretical possibilities opened up by affect and trauma theory for our understanding of political violence in Turkey?

Embodiment and Sexuality: How do emergent bodily and sexual practices form new publics and intimacies that transcend the established borders and boundaries in Turkey?

Urban transformation and the politics of space: Why have urban transformation projects been at the heart of social movements and protest in recent years?

Media and the politics of history and identity: Why are historical dramas so popular in Turkey, and what cultural politics is this related to? How are ethnic/religious minority identities mediated through cultural production and consumption?

Brian Silverstein

Associate Professor, School of Anthropology
Director, Arizona Center for Turkish Studies
Box 210030
University of Arizona
Tucson, AZ 85721-0030

(520) 626-5047 Voice
(520) 621-2088 Fax

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