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2001 – 2010 Older Talks

Unwritten History or Unwriting History: On Armenians, Greeks and Jews in Turkish Literature

The contributions made by non-Muslim authors to Ottoman Turkish literature have largely been ignored by mainstream literary historians and critics. This papers aims to present Armeno-Turkish, Judeo-Turkish and Karamanli literatures and to explore the challenges it represents for Turkish literary historiography and criticism.
Date: 23 November 2010
Speaker: Dr. Laurent Mignon, Bilkent University, Department of Turkish Literature

The Irony of American Tragedy

We have heard, often, that in America, a country in which a belief in betterment, optimism and individual triumph reign supreme (at least, this is the narrative), tragedy is not possible. Most often, though, the criteria for tragic status stems from a single work of philosophy: Aristotle’s Poetics, rather than from attentive consideration of Aeschylus, Sophocles, and Euripides’ wildly divergent tragedies. I will argue that we have seen, in this last decade, an upswing in American tragedies rooted in, “the irony of American history,” (to borrow Reinhold Niebuhr’s famous title) and in the media of episodic television and film. To understand this upswing, though, we need to look carefully at the individual Athenian tragedies themselves.
Date: 9 November 2010
Speaker: Dr. Christopher Love, Bilkent University, Program in Cultures, Civilizations & Ideas

Family Worship for Dummies: Defoe’s Trusted Brand, the FamilyInstructor Conduct Books

The Crusoe sequels, The Farther Adventures of Robinson Crusoe(1719) and Serious Reflections on the life of Robinson Crusoe(1720), receive little critical attention, a neglect attributed to the increasing formal disparity between the later novels and Robinson Crusoe (1719). Reading Defoe’s Family Instructor series of conduct books (The Family Instructor [1715], The Family Instructor II [1718] and A New Family Instructor [1727]) alongside the Robinson Crusoe series reveals a larger scheme at work. Defoe reuses titles and characters to create unlikely partnerships between texts in order to bring a general readership to theologically sophisticated work. These formal disparities do not signal artistic lapses; they represent Defoe’s attempt to use earlier texts as brand-like entities.
Date: 26 October 2010
Speaker: Dr. Margaret France, Bilkent University, Program in Cultures, Civilizations & Ideas

Theodore Roosevelt and New York: The Future President’s Urban Roots 

Theodore Roosevelt has become an icon of the American West, frequently portrayed in history as a cowboy, hunter, and cattle rancher.  This image obscures the fact that Roosevelt was born and raised in New York City, the most throughly urbanized part of the United States.  Moreover, he made his early political career in New York, serving in the state assembly, running for mayor, and serving as police commissioner.  While many Roosevelt biographers seek to place Roosevelt and his future policies in a western context, it is really New York City that shaped his ideas about America and launched his political career.
Date: 19 October 2010
Speaker: Dr. Edward Kohn, Bilkent University Department of History, Chairman of Department of American Culture and Literature.

A talk presented by Prof. Olivier Abel, of The Protestant Institute of Theology, Paris.

There are certain things that cannot be forced. We cannot make someone believe any more than we can make them remember, make them love any more than we can make them forgive and forget. The danger facing every politics of memory is to declare a duty of remembering, if not of forgetting, and to build on that an official version of history.

To clarify the relationship between memory and history, without confusing them or dissociating them completely, we must turn to Paul Ricœur, whose work best guides us in this area. To untangle the two notions history and memory, he introduces a third, that of politics. Behind the conflict of memory and history there lies a horizon irreducible to that of the epistemological truth of history, namely that of the divided city. How to ensure that this difference does not lead to civil war? How do we ensure a minimum of historical confidence so that history is not reduced to a relationship of force? This necessary confidence presupposes credit given to a diversity of memories, and to a historical distance. It also supposes that today’s memory, when it reappropriates the past and makes it its own, does not do so as a revindication of identity, but rather through work and an ethical displacement that encompasses the past in its entirety. Finally this confidence requires that a difference be made between that part of the past that does not pass and is not finished, and what is past and can be buried. All these are questions where philosophy meets history.

To conclude I wish to address a philosophical question of some concern to me: the passage from a regime of imperial history (that of the Ottoman Empire), to a regime of national history (that of Kemalist Turkey), did not happen overnight. Similarly what we seek in Europe, and indeed the world, is the delicate passage from a regime of national history to a post-national, federal or pluri-national regime, that we do not know yet and which we must invent. This passage is a dangerous moment. How do we make place for a new regime of memory, which must also be a new regime for political agreement and disagreement. Is it not in this difficult remembering and reopening of the past to other historical possibilities that we are caught and at which we must work together?

Dr. Rachel Jones, Dept. of Philosophy, Dundee University:  “Time, Natality, and the Self: the relational ontologies of Cavarero and Battersby”; June 2nd, 2004


Dr. Rachel  Bowlby, Department of English, University of York:  “Fifty-fifty: Freud, Female Subjectivity and the Danaids”; May 10th, 2004


Dr. Robin Ostle, Faculty of Oriental Studies, University of Oxford: “Excellence in Modern Arabic Literature”; April 15th, 2004


Dr. Barry Stocker, Department of Philosophy, Yeditepe University: “Philosophy of Literary Form: Lukács and Benjamin”; April 1st, 2004


Dr. Richard Bourke, Department of History, Queen Mary College, University of London: “Sociability and Antagonism in Enlightenment Political Thought”; March 25th, 2004


Devrim Kiliçer, Ankara University: “9/11: New York City as Wasteland”; March 5th, 2004


Dr. Banu Helvacıoğlu, Bilkent University Department of Political Science: “The Turning Point in History from the Point of View of Rescue Dogs”; March 5th, 2004


Dr. Şerif Mardin, Sabancı University: “Turkish Exceptionalism”; March 5th, 2004


Dr. Mustafa Nakeeb, CCI Program, Bilkent University: “Anachronism and History in Plato’s Gorgias: On the philosophical timelessness and historical timeliness of the Platonic dialogue”; March 5th, 2004


Dr. Laurent Mignon, Dept. of Turkish Literature, Bilkent University: “History Beyond Prose and Poetry:  Ali Kemal and the Ottoman historiographical tradition”; March 5th, 2004


Fatih Bayram, Dept. of History, Bilkent University: “Perception of Alexander the Great in the Ottoman Empire”; March 5th, 2004


Dr. Yusuf Eradam, Dept. of American Culture and Literature, Ankara University: “Nylon Rupture Zone: The repository of notices for continuity to stand mortality”; March 6th, 2004


Dr. Dennis Bryson, Dept. of American Culture and Literature, Bilkent University:  “John Dewey and the Eclipse of the Public”; March 6th, 2004


Dr. Duncan Chesney, CCI Program, Bilkent University: “Proust and Persistence”; March 6th, 2004


Fulya Ertem, Dept. of Graphic Design, Bilkent University: “The Pose in Early Photography: Questioning the attempts of appropriating the past”; March 6th, 2004


Dilek Kaya Mutlu, Dept. of Graphic Design, Bilkent University: “(Re)constructing Ayastefanos: The origination of Turkish cinema”; March 6th, 2004


Dr. Trevor Hope, CCI Program, Bilkent University: “Mummies in the Archive: or, The National Imaginary Unwrapped”; March 6th, 2004


Dr. Meltem Ahıska, Dept. of Sociology, Boğaziçi University: “Occidentalism and Registers of Truth: Politics of Archives in Turkey”; March 6th, 2004


Dr. Thomas Zimmerman, Dept. of Archaeology, Bilkent University: “Time and the Phenomenon of Timekeeping Amongst Prehistoric and Early Historical Societies”; March 6th, 2004


Plamena Tsoneva, Varna Summer International Music Festival: “Festivals between Past and Modernity”;  March 6th, 2004


Dr. Anthony Lake, Dept. of English Language and Literature, Bilkent University: “Looking at Girls: Aesthetics and ethics in E.M. Forster’s Italian novels”; February 24th, 2004


Dr. Nicola Liscutin, School of Languages, Linguistics, and Culture, Birkeck College, University of London: “Forever After? Madame Butterfly and its Western and Japanese legacies”; February 12th, 2004


Dr. Sabry Hafez, School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London: “Occidentalism: Arab perceptions of the West”; February 11th, 2004


Dr. Don Randall, Dept. of English Language and Literature, Bilkent University: “Some Further Being: Postcoloniality and alterity in David Malouf’s fiction”; December 23rd, 2003


Dr. Andrea Rehberg, CCI Program, Bilkent University: “Towards a Life of Alterity”; December 10th, 2003


Dr. Duncan Chesney, CCI Program, Bilkent University: “Proust and Film, or Visconti’s Search”; October 14th, 2003


Dr. Trevor Hope, CCI Program, Bilkent University: “The Nation that Could Not Swallow: Dis-incorporated polities, unremembered alterities”; October 2nd, 2003


Dr. Murat Karamuftuoğlu, Dept. of Communication and Design, Bilkent University: “How Relevant is Critical Theory for Understanding Information Systems?”; April 24th, 2003


Dr. Zafer Aracagök, Dept. of Graphic Design, Bilkent University: “On Rhythm, Resonance and Distortion”; April 8th, 2003


Dr. Lewis Johnson, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, Sabancı University: “Re. locating vision: The art of Jenny Holzer and Hans Haacke”; March 27th, 2003


Dr. Jennifer Terni, CCI Program, Bilkent University: “Fashion: the fabric of a new social economy (Paris 1820-1848)”; March 11th, 2003


Drs. Zuhal Ulusoy and Asuman Türkün-Erendil, Dept. of Landscape Architecture and Urban Design, Bilkent University: “Ankara Citidel: encounter of the modernity project with the historical context”; February 21st, 2003


Şeyda Başlı, Dept. of Turkish Literature, Bilkent University: “Akabi Hikayisi and Felatun Bey ve Rakım Efendi: A comparative approach to the Ottoman modernization process”; February 21st, 2003


Dr. Laurent Mignon, Dept. of Turkish Literature, Bilkent University: “Lost Voices: Religious minorities and the lost canon”; February 21st, 2003


Dr. Mahmut Mutman, Department of Communication and Design, Bilkent University: “Re-writinh: The Canon and the Other”; February 21st, 2003


Dr. Asuman Suner, Department of Communication and Design, Bilkent University: “Home is Where the Heart Isn’t: (Dis)placing Turkish film studies”; February 21st, 2003


Çağlar Enneli, Ankara University: “Watching Television and Consuming Messages: Social anthropological study of the identity conflicts in the case of a television program, Turkish Big Brother”; Febrary 21, 2003


Mustafa Şahiner and Sinan Akıllı, Hacettepe University: “Redrawing the Boundaries of Native Cultural Territory through Border-Crossings in Classroom”; February 22, 2003


Dr. Don Randall, Dept. of English Language and Literature, Bilkent University: “David Malouf’s Australia: Placing and displacing subjectivity and nationhood”; February 22, 2003


Dr. Lawrence Raw, Department of British Language and Culture, Başkent University: “Turkish Departments of Foreign Literature and/or Cultures: What Now?”; February 22, 2003


Dr. Meyda Yeğenoğlu, Dept. of Sociology, Middle East Technical University: “Cosmopolitanism and Nationalism in a Globalized World”; February 22, 2003


Dr. Halil Nalçaoğlu, Faculty of Communication, Ankara University: “Apocalyptic Dreams of Modernity: Time Capsules”; February 22, 2003


Mustafa Gürbüz, Bilkent University: “Constructing a “Conversational Encounter” in a Globalized World”; February 22, 2003


Dr. Trevor Hope, CCI Program, Bilkent University: “Antigone: More (or less) than kinship, less (or more) than kind”; February 22, 2003


Dr. Phillipe Rosenberg, Dept. of History, Emory University: “A ‘Pythagorean’ in the seventeenth century: Thomas Tryon’s attack on slavery”; December 19th, 2002


Dr. C. Louise Barry, CCI Program, Bilkent University: “Versailles and the Production of Social Space”; November 12th, 2002


Dr. Geoff Bowe, CCI Program, Bilkent University: “The Platonic Metaphysical Heirarchy”; October 3rd, 2002


Dr. Sita Schutt, Dept. of English Literature, Bilkent University: “’Close-up from a distance’: London and Englishness in Ford Maddox Ford, Conan Doyle and Bram Stoker”; October 15th, 2002


Dr. Trevor Hope, CCI Program, Bilkent University: “Modernity’s Pockets: The Perverse polities of Radclyffe Hall”; May 16th, 2002


Dr. Ralph Shain, Stanford University: “Situating Derrida Between Kierkegaard and Hegel”; March 5th, 2002


Dr. Costantino Costantini, CCI Program, Bilkent University: “Waiting for Nothing: On Kant’s Laughter”; March 28th, 2002


Dr. Dror Abend-David, CCI Program, Bilkent University: “Shylock’s Mother- the translation of a silent film”; February 5th, 2002


Dr. Mustafa Nakeeb, CCI Program, Bilkent University: “Hellenistic Historiography and the Appropriation of Platonic Philosophy”; December 5th, 2001


Dr. Matthew Gumpert, CCI Program, Bilkent University: “Urban Bar as Sacred Precinct”; November 5th, 2001