MAPPING_GENDER_BANNER.jpg

Mapping Gender in the Near East

What’s New and What’s Ahead in Ottoman and Turkish Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies

An international and interdisciplinary workshop

 

December 9-10, 2020

 

Bringing together an interdisciplinary group of scholars in the humanities and social sciences, this workshop will establish, consolidate and sustain a network of academics who share an interest in women’s and gender studies with regard to the Ottoman world and modern Turkey. Leading scholars across several major fields – including history, literature, and interdisciplinary studies – will examine recent theoretical discourses and challenges in the area of women’s and gender studies and contribute to steering the field in innovative directions. 

 

This workshop is designed to address two problems in women’s and gender studies: the lack of transnational and comparative scholarship, as well as the dearth of interdisciplinary collaboration. This workshop responds to the fact that the scholarly literatures in women’s and gender studies in the Ottoman-Turkish milieu and in the Arab and Balkan world have been, on the whole, kept tightly segregated from each other. Consequently, the four panels of the workshop are centered around key approaches that would benefit from being in dialogue. By doing so, they will allow leading scholars in the field to appraise the current state of research across national boundaries and academic disciplines and to bring forth new conversations and inter-regional dialogue about improving our approaches in the future development of the field. These interactions will help stimulate and guide future research efforts by delineating critical paths for subsequent research. The presentations will address key aspects such as:

 

  • The development of scholarship in women’s and gender studies over the past decade, and the future directions the field might take.

  • The comparative state of the field of women’s and gender studies in Turkey and its neighboring countries.

  • The evolving position of women and gender in the contemporary societies of the region.

  • Policy changes, both past and present, that have shaped the status quo of women and gender. 

 

The conceptual framework of the event and its significance: 

This workshop will be groundbreaking in allowing scholars working on women’s and gender studies in the Ottoman world and modern Turkey to come together to discuss the state of the field. Despite the fact that many talented scholars work on issues related to women’s studies, gender and sexuality across the former Ottoman provinces (primarily Lebanon, Egypt, and the Balkans) as well as modern Turkey, there has rarely been academic platforms enabling scholars to focus specifically on their shared area(s) of research.  Resulting from a lack of communication among scholars working on these topics, the field has therefore become compartmentalized and the current discourses remain fragmented. By convening a small-scale, highly focused event with internationally renowned speakers, this workshop seeks to bridge the communication gap and inspire new academic approaches among scholars of different nationalities and from a variety of disciplinary backgrounds. The event is framed around three main academic disciplines that have informed women’s and gender studies: the humanities, the social sciences, and law.  By examining the most recent developments in the state of the field, each panel will contribute to a richer, more complex understanding of the field of women’s and gender studies in modern Turkey and its neighboring countries, while putting experts from each area into conversation with each other. In doing so, the workshop hopes to foster solidarities that connect common struggles beyond fixed geographic borders and academic disciplines. 

 

Additionally, this workshop will provide a platform to discuss how to compensate for the lack of an institutional infrastructure for women’s and gender studies in and around Turkey. Currently, only few major universities have established separate women’s and gender studies departments to facilitate research in this field. Instead of inaugurating a separate field of study, numerous universities have opened up centers for women’s studies by offering certificate programs for students in other academic disciplines. Women’s and gender history have only recently been recognized as a thematic subfield within history departments. Therefore, women’s and gender studies frequently lack the institutional support to tackle large-scale research questions. Hence, the workshop will conclude by discussing how to best use existing resources, such as collaboration among research centers, activist organizations, and other institutions more effectively as an attempt to facilitate future growth and forms of cooperation in the field of women’s, gender, and sexuality studies.

Four roundtable panels:

  1. Mapping the Field: Literary Approaches to Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies in Turkey and the Near East.

  2. Mapping the Field: Historicizing Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies in Turkey and the Near East.

  3. Mapping the Field: Interdisciplinary Approaches to Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies on the Region.

  4. New Directions: The Academy, Solidarity, and Public Outreach. 

 
 

Conveners:

 

 

 

Academic cooperation partners:

 

 

 

The workshop was made possible through the support of:

 

The Workshop Program

 

The workshop will be held online via Zoom on December 9-10, 2020. 

 

The workshop is organized by the Orient-Institut Istanbul (OII) and Sabancı University Gender and Women's Studies (SU Gender), in collaboration with Koç University's Research Center for Anatolian Civilizations (ANAMED), as well as the Swedish Research Institute in Istanbul (SRII). 

 

The duration of each roundtable panel will be 90 minutes. Each panelist will have 5 minutes to talk briefly about their own vision for the field based on their professional background and previous work, followed by an hour-long roundtable discussion. 

 

We will be live-streaming the panel discussions and will upload them later to this website.

 

The presentations will also be transcribed and published in English and Turkish as part of Pera-Blätter, a series of occasional papers of the Orient-Institut Istanbul.

 

*This event will be held in English.

FOUR ROUNDTABLE PANELS

I - December 9 Wednesday 14.00 - 15.30

Mapping the Field:

Literary Approaches to Women’s, Gender, and

Sexuality Studies in Turkey and the Near East.

Chair & Discussant:

Ayşe Lahur Kırtunç Ege University

 

Panelists:

Maha AbdelMegeed American University of Beirut

Ebru Akçasu Charles University

İpek Hüner Cora Boğaziçi University

Didem Havlioğlu Duke University

Sibel Irzık Sabancı University

Burcu Karahan Stanford University

Laurent Mignon University of Oxford

Irvin Cemil Schick École des hautes études en sciences sociales, EHESS

II - December 9 Wednesday 15.45 - 17.15

Mapping the Field:

Historicizing Women’s, Gender,

and Sexuality Studies in Turkey and the Near East.

 

 

Chairpersons & Discussants:

 

Hülya Adak SU Gender

Heike Pantelmann Margherita von Brentano Center

 

Panelists:

 

Marilyn Booth Magdalen College, University of Oxford

Lerna Ekmekçioğlu Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge

Elizabeth B. Frierson University of Cincinnati

Efi Kanner National and Kapodistrian University of Athens

Nicole van Os Leiden University

A. Holly Shissler University of Chicago

Gülşah Torunoğlu Orient-Institut Istanbul & Swedish Research Institute in Istanbul

Seçil Yılmaz Franklin & Marshall College

 

 

III - December 10 Thursday 14.00 - 15.30

Mapping the Field:

Interdisciplinary Approaches to Women’s, Gender,

and Sexuality Studies on the Region.

 

 

Chair & Discussant:

 

Gülşah Torunoğlu Orient-Institut Istanbul & Swedish Research Institute in Istanbul

 

Panelists:

 

Janet Afary UC Santa Barbara

Yeşim Arat Boğaziçi University

Fatmagül Berktay Istanbul University

Sevgi Uçan Çubukçu Istanbul University

Deniz Kandiyoti SOAS, University of London

Evren Savcı Yale University

Ayşecan Terzioğlu SU Gender

 

  

IV - December 10 Thursday 15.45 - 17.15

New Directions:

The Academy, Solidarity, and Public Outreach.

 

Chair & Discussant:

 

Kristen Biehl SU Gender

 

Panelists:

 

Hülya Adak SU Gender

Aslı Davaz Women’s Library and Information Center

Martin Lücke Margherita von Brentano Center

Ingela Nilsson Swedish Research Institute in Istanbul

Bertil Emrah Oder Koç University

 

Mary Lou O’Neil Kadir Has University

Richard Wittmann Orient-Institut Istanbul

Concluding Remarks: 17:15 – 17:30

 

Registration for the conference has been closed because we have reached the maximum number of registrations for the event. Thank you for your interest!