9/25: The Near East and Beyond: New Discoveries and Approaches with Nathan Young

Theorizing Contemporary Turkey with Village-Life Nostalgia

by NELC Doctoral Candidate – Nathan Young

Tuesday, September 25, 2018 – 4:00pm
Hagerty 306


Turkey is often understood according to state-sponsored narratives of development, urbanization and secularization. However, persistent affinities forsmall-scale lifeways challenge the primacy and affective range of these “official” discourses. Instances of village-life nostalgia present in the Turkish imaginary thus provide analytical depth regarding a variety of social and cultural phenomena, including the failures of “modernity.” Based on recent ethnographic fieldwork, this presentation uses nostalgia as a theoretical lens for thinking about contemporary Turkey.


9/27: Turkish Film Classics Screening “Fetih 1453”

Turkish Film Classics

Thursday September 27, 5:00

Room 165, Thompson Library

(picture with courtesy from the OSU Libraries’ Middle East Center)

The OSU Libraries’ Middle East section and the Turkish Studies Working Group will present Faruk Aksoy’s  Turkish epic, Fetih 1453, about the Ottoman  Conquest of Constantinople.   This big budget ($17M), three hour film, was important with respect to the growing Turkish Film industry as well as its historical importance  both as history and as an expression of modern Turkish identity.  Due to its length, we will start this film earlier than usual at 5:15 with a brief introduction at 5:00.    Refreshments will be provided by the Middle East Studies Center and the Turkish Working Group.

In 1453, the Byzantine capital of Constantinople is surrounded by Ottoman Turks. The city is but a shadow of its former glory due to the empire’s ever receding coffers, while the Ottoman Empire continues to grow rich. After years of tolerating the existence of Byzantium, the ambitious sultan, Mehmet II launches his campaign to end the Byzantine Empire and take Constantinople for the Ottomans, resulting in arguably the greatest siege of that age.

New Course!: ASC 5194 THE GLOBAL MEDITERRANEAN with Dr. Danielle Schoon


TERM: Autumn 2018 CREDITS: 3
LEVEL: Undergrad; Honors; Grad

LOCATION: Hagerty Hall 42
INSTRUCTOR: Danielle V. Schoon

CLASS TIME: WF 2:20-3:40pm
EMAIL: SECTIONS: Undergrad #35563; Grad #35562

PREREQ: Jr. Sr., or Grad standing; or permission of instructor

The history of the Mediterranean region is one of co-existence and conflict. It has captured the imagination of writers, travelers, and scholars for centuries. In the past few decades, however, the Mediterranean region has been reconfigured extensively, not only in political, economic, and cultural terms, but also in the ways it is conceptualized. Is there or has there ever been a ‘Mediterranean culture’? Yet, the concept remains active in the popular imagination (consider the many books about the ‘Mediterranean diet’). Recently, the region has dominated the news with stories of the Arab Spring, the dramatic economic downturns in Greece, Italy and Spain, and the migration crisis. We must ask not only what connects the places and peoples of the Mediterranean, but also what divides them. This course examines the governments, societies, and cultures of the Mediterranean. We will pay attention to the ‘East/West’ paradigm as a prism through which to examine past and present events. As the region connects a global network that shapes local developments, we will consider the reach and relationship of the Mediterranean to other parts of the world.

This course is cross-listed in French and Italian, Film Studies, Near Eastern Languages and Cultures, Comparative Studies, and Germanic Languages and Literatures. Consult your home department for credit towards major or minor.


February 22nd, 2018: 2-4pm @ Thompson Library 150 A&B

Heritage preservation is conventionally understood as motivated by identity-based projects of collective memory or tourism. In this paper I argue that heritage preservation is increasingly being adopted as a pro-poor practice that works to re-regulate real estate markets and safeguard affordable housing in neoliberalizing cities. To make this argument I analyze a case study of a heritage preservation project implemented in Istanbul in the wake of the Habitat II conference. The paper then unpacks the contradictions and limitations inherent to adopting heritage preservation as a pro-poor practice and the ways in which that development reorders power dynamics within neighborhoods undergoing preservation as market re-regulation.

Sarah El-Kazaz is Assistant Professor of Politics at Oberlin College. Her current book project mobilizes a multi-sited ethnography in Cairo and Istanbul to examine the political economy of urban transformation in Middle Eastern cities. She is the author of “Building ‘Community’ and Markets in Contemporary Cairo” forthcoming with Comparative Studies in Society and History and co-guest editor of the special section, “The Un-Exceptional Middle Eastern City” in City and Society. El-Kazaz received a BA from the American University in Cairo, an MA from New York University and her PhD from Princeton University.