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2017 – Older Talks

2017

Colloquium series:  Associate Professor, Dr. İlker Aytürk of the Bilkent Political Science Department presents “Script Charisma in Hebrew and Turkish: a Comparative Framework for
Explaining the Success and Failure of Romanization.” Dr. İlker will speak in the Bilkent Main Campus Art Gallery from 12.40-13.20 on Thursday, November 30, before taking questions. Sandwiches and refreshments will be available.

An abstract for Dr. İlker’s talk is below.

Associate Professor Dr. İlker Aytürk

Script Charisma in Hebrew and Turkish: a Comparative Framework for
Explaining the Success and Failure of Romanization

Romanization refers to the process by which a Roman-based alphabet is
created for a language which used to be written with either a
non-alphabetic script or a non-Roman alphabet. Nearly half of the
world’s population today uses the Roman alphabet and since the late
nineteenth century it has become a charismatic script, to use Max
Weber’s term, expanding out of its traditional base in Western
Christendom. In addition to the success stories in Romania, Vietnam and
Turkey, there have been numerous attempts to romanize local scripts in
Japan, India, China and Greece, to cite a few examples, which ended as
failures. Here I aim to provide a theoretical framework for explaining
the success and failure of romanization through a comparative, in-depth
study of two speech communities, Hebrew and Turkish.

While the adoption of a Roman-based alphabet by the Turkish Republic in
1928 is habitually cited as the textbook example of a successful and
lasting case of romanization, similar attempts by Itamar Ben-Avi and
V.Z. Jabotinsky in the Yishuv and by the Canaanites in Israel failed to
create momentum in the same direction. I will discuss independent
variables such as harmony between language and script, level of
literacy, economic costs of change, past experiences of script
conversion, regime type, availability of canonical texts, and attitudes
toward the West as factors that influence the choice of script. Indeed,
a particular combination of those factors made the romanization of the
Turkish script possible in 1928, while another ruled it out in the
Yishuv and Israel.

 

 

2017

“On Display: Interactive Art as Ergodic Text”

Weekdays, November 1st to November 14th, from 11.30 to 13.30

Opening reception: Wednesday, November 1st at 16.30.

Bilkent University FADA Exhibition Hall

 

“On Display: Interactive Art as Ergodic Text” is at once a celebration of interactive art—art that requires the viewer to play an integral role in the piece itself—and a unique opportunity to experience such art through the framework of the ergodic. Introduced into textual studies by Espen J. Aarseth in 1997, the term ergodic derives from the Greek words ergon and hodos—“work” and “path”—and describes texts that are deliberately structured to demand a “nontrivial,” “extra-noematic” effort in order to “traverse” them. This effort involves interaction in various forms, compelling readers to shape their own unique engagement with the text.

 

The Bilkent University Program in Cultures, Civilizations and Ideas, the Department of Communication and Design, and the Faculty of Art, Design, and Architecture warmly invite you to join us in experiencing the following pieces: Bleeding Through: Layers of Los Angeles, 1920-1986 (Norman M. Klein & Marsha Kinder, 2003); Ceremony of Innocence (Peter Gabriel, 1997); Filmtext (Mark Amerika, 2002/2011); A is for Apple (David Clark, 2002); and Immemory (Chris Marker, 1997/2008).

 

 

2017

Dr. Joanne Paul of Sussex University will examine Thomas More’s “Utopia” in the broader context of its author’s philosophical and literary career. The talk will begin at 12:40 in the Art Gallery, Central Campus Library on Wednesday, November 1. Dr. Paul will take questions at the conclusion to her talk.

An abstract of Dr. Paul’s talk is below.

Dr. Joanne Paul
History Department and Centre for Early Modern and Medieval Studies
Sussex University

“Utopia” in the Context of More’s Thought

Wednesday, November 1, 12:40.

This talk seeks to shed light on the central message of More’s Utopia by examining it within the context of More’s central concerns as a thinker throughout his literary career. First, this requires rejecting a long-standing assumption within the literature on More (and the period in general) that draws a firm dividing line between work from the pre- and post-Reformation periods. Second, and more contentiously, it requires establishing that More held on to some central ideas and arguments from his earliest writings to his last. In particular, one such recurring argument for More is moral priority assigned to what is held in common, which he connects to concepts such as death, pride and politics in a variety of his works, both from the period before he wrote Utopia and after it. From this reading, we are able to see the same themes at work in Utopia, and understand More’s intentions in writing it more clearly: to remind readers of the true reality of our commonality, and the falsity of a world based on private interests.

 

2017

CCI Assistant Professor Mihaela Harper explores renowned Bulgarian writer Georgi
Gospodinov’s most recent volume of poetry, “There, Where We are Not.” Dr. Harper’s talk will take place in the Bilkent Main Campus Library Art Gallery from 12:40-14:40 on April 20, 2017.
A more detailed description of Dr. Harper’s talk is below.

Georgi Gospodinov’s There, Where We Are Not: Beyond, Between, Elsewhere, and Nowhere

After his last novel, The Physics of Sorrow, prompted Jean-Luc Nancy to urge everyone to read it “without delay,” a much-anticipated volume of poetry by Bulgarian writer Georgi Gospodinov appeared in print in April 2016. He writes “In Place of a Preface” that this is a book “Not about the cities, but about the absence /…/ Not geography, but beyond / a
geography of the beyond. / Of this here of the bodies and there of language.” Gathered over the course of a decade, Gospodinov’s poetic peregrinations traverse boundaries— geographical (between the local and the global), temporal (between past and present), philosophical (between events and non-events), and linguistic (between the trivial and the
profound). The poems sustain his endeavors to glimpse “elsewhere” in its many senses and the human being with all of its doubts, sorrows, and afternoon lonelinesses.

Date: November 1, 2017

Speaker: Joanne Paul (University of Sussex)
Title: Utopia in the Context of More’s Thought

Ekran Resmi 2017-10-30 18.36.56

Date: April 25, 2017

Speaker: Mihaela P. Harper
Academic Affiliation: CCI, Bilkent University
Title: Georgi Gospodinov’s There, Where We Are Not: Beyond, Between, Elsewhere, and Nowhere

Description: After his last novel, The Physics of Sorrow, prompted Jean-Luc Nancy to urge everyone to read it “sans délai,” a much-anticipated volume of poetry by Bulgarian writer Georgi Gospodinov appeared in print in April 2016. He writes “In Place of a Preface” that this is a book “Not about the cities, but about the absence /…/ Not geography, but beyond / a geography of the beyond. / Of this here of the bodies and there of language.” Gathered over the course of a decade, Gospodinov’s poetic peregrinations traverse boundaries— geographical (between local and global), temporal (between past and present), philosophical (between events and non-events), and linguistic (between the trivial and the profound). The poems sustain his endeavors to glimpse “elsewhere” in its many senses and the human being with all of its doubts, sorrows, [and] afternoon lonelinesses.

Date: March 28, 2017  

Speaker: Daniel Irizarry
Academic Affiliation: Department of Performing Arts, Bilkent University
Title: Kuden and Mask Work

Description: From ancient Greek theatre to Meyerhold’s etudes & biomechanics to my grandma: how mask and tempo have helped shape my training with actors.

Date: March 14, 2017

Speaker: Heather H. Yeung
Academic Affiliation: ELIT, Bilkent University
Title: To Catch a Worm: From the Early Bird to the Diet of Worms

Description: In this CCI colloquium talk, based on research for her forthcoming cultural history of the worm, Dr. Heather H. Yeung (ELIT) invites you to come along and, like the early bird, attempt to catch a worm! Analysing the proverbial ‘early bird’ and other well-known worm-eaten phrases, the talk will explore a series of very different habits of the worm, from the Kinabalu Giant Earthworm to the Carthusian Miscellany (BL MS Additional 37049); from the balololailai festival to Wallace Stevens’s worm-eaten Badroulbadour… Combining literary texts with cultural and scientific knowledge, the talk is broadly concerned with the manners in which we digest, process, and classify this creature, and seeks to provoke a reconsideration of what it is we react to when we encounter, in one of its many guises, the worm.