[MGSA-L] Greco-Turkish Contact Zones

Vassilios Lambropoulos vlambrop at umich.edu
Sun Nov 6 09:51:13 PST 2011


The Modern Greek Program at the University of Michigan welcomes back
Dr. Asli Igsiz, a Michigan Comparative Literature Ph.D., 
now an Assistant Professor of Turkish at the University of Arizona,
who will give a lecture entitled 

"The Ottoman Subject among Other (National) Subjects: Greco-Turkish Contact Zones and Larger Implications"

When: Friday Nov. 11th, 4pm
Where: 1015 D Tisch, Comp Lit Library

Co- sponsored by the Modern Greek Program, Mediterranean Topographies, Center for Middle Eastern and North African Studies, and Comparative Literature 
                                               
Summary:

	The talk will discuss how recent research on the 1923 Greco-Turkish compulsory religious minority exchange has been instrumental in engaging the previously "distant" Ottoman past and identifications, which had been less accessible and, to a certain extent, unfamiliar in Turkey through the policies of govermentality. In this light, revisiting the population exchange has been a means to question nation-state homogenization policies in contemporary Turkey and to address the multi-layered post-Ottoman identities that span the Mediterranean.
	These dynamics will be placed on the theoretical framework of Walter Benjamin, Peter Burke, and Michel Espagne, and will be explored through such examples as the French nobility Comte de Bonneval. A colorful persona of the 18th century, Vonneval was known to such figures as Casanova and Voltaire. He escaped Europe, went to the Ottoman Empire, "converted" to Islam, became an Ottoman Pasha and modernized the Ottoman army. His story will be paired with those who claim to be his descendants in Turkey as during the 1923 Greco-Turkish population exchange they were sent to Turkey by Greece, because they were now Muslims. Through this brief
example, along with others, the talk will address larger implications of the "Ottoman" identities in contemporary Turkey and revisit the Greco-Turkish contact zones in that context. 



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