Multidirectional Memory and Postcolonial Studies – Michael Rothberg

In this talk, Michael Rothberg introduces his book Multidirectional Memory: Remembering the Holocaust in the Age of Decolonization, which has just been translated into German.

The translation appears in a moment of intensive debate in the German public sphere about colonial legacies, postcolonial studies, the relation between antisemitism and racism, and the place of the Holocaust in Germany’s memorial landscape. In addition to providing an overview of the book’s central arguments, Rothberg reflects on how the concept of multidirectional memory can help illuminate and address the current climate.


Conférence Anna Théodoridès : Partir ou rester à Polis

A conference in French by Anna Théodoridès concerning Constantinopolitan Rums following the 6th and 7th of September 1955.

Anna Théodoridès s’est attelée à la préparation d’un doctorat en sociologie, à l’École de Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales (EHESS) à Paris, sous la direction de Hamit Bozarslan, sous un titre évocateur :
Survivre en contexte minoritaire : une étude sociologique des résistances des Grecs d’Istanbul (Rûms polites) au lendemain des émeutes de la nuit du 6 au 7 septembre 1955, à Istanbul.

Un tel sujet portant à Istanbul (Πόλις) sur « la survie en contexte minoritaire » impliquait de longues enquêtes auprès des populations concernées à la suite d’un événement tragique, c’est-à-dire une approche comparative des constructions mémorielles des Rûms d’Istanbul, principale cible du pogrom de la nuit du 6 au 7 septembre 1955, ce qui a conduit notre chercheuse à résider successivement à Istanbul, à Athènes et à Thessalonique.

Partir ou rester à Polis : La survie des Grecs d’Istanbul au lendemain des violences de la nuit du 6 au 7 septembre 1955.

Ces sinistres événements que nous appelons communément Τα Σεπτεμβριανά, eux-mêmes alimentés par l’épineuse question de fond chypriote (le sort de l’île se jouant, au même moment, à Londres), furieux pillages spoliations et massacres auraient été déclenchés par l’attentat, jamais vraiment élucidé, de la maison natale de Mustapha Kemal à Salonique. Leur déchaînement est surtout une illustration supplémentaire d’une politique d’ingénierie démographique qui porte un nom : la purification ethnique, périodiquement mise en œuvre par la Turquie.

Au lendemain de ces émeutes et des catastrophes qui s’ensuivirent, la population rum de Constantinople dut affronter un dilemme pour le moins cornélien : rester ou partir. Ceux qui choisirent de rester durent adopter des stratégies et des comportements de survie en milieu particulièrement hostile. C’est en s’appuyant sur de minutieuses recherches ethnographiques que A. Th. nous montre comment, au lendemain de cette nuit tragique, les Grecs d’Istanbul se sont mobilisés, quels comportements ont-ils dû adopter pour préserver leur unité, leur identité, leur singularité, bref leur ancrage dans l’histoire cosmopolite d’Istanbul.


Oral History and the Local Historian

The past has gone, so we can never experience even our own past again, much less anyone else’s. However, most historians believe that a sense of the past can be retrieved, and that contact with people who were involved adds an important extra dimension to research.  Oral History is the usual name given to the recorded reminiscences which allow this. Where it is unique is the fact that it is deliberately gathered by the historian, who can ask questions until satisfied that they have obtained all the meaningful information available.

It has strengths and weaknesses, but there are things it can achieve, particularly in relation to the detail of ordinary life, where nothing else can compare. It is, of course, just one of many sources, and should always be combined with as many others as possible, rather than used alone. We have to act like detectives: picking a topic to investigate, and using all the available evidence to reach reasonable conclusions about it.

I first used this method in 1973, and it formed the basis of my PhD. I have returned to it intermittently, where it was appropriate for projects I was interested in, but most of my work lay beyond its reach. It is important to recognise such limitations. I have also encouraged and sometimes offered training to community projects. I feel the opportunities are greater than ever as recording is so easy today with digital equipment.

Stephen Caunce


Istanbul’da Çoğulculuk

7 Mayıs’ta Saat 17:00’da YouTube live üzerinden Mahir Polat ve Laki Vingas’ı İstanbul’da Çoğuculuğu tartışmak üzere ağırlıyoruz.


Aleppo Workshop


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Unspoken memories, unwritten histories:

Eastern Mediterranean pluralism in oral history and memory studies

A series of workshops devoted to theory and practice in academia and civil society 

Less than a hundred years ago, most Eastern Mediterranean cities were marked by a high degree of cultural pluralism. Whereas the dissolution of the Ottoman Empire and the rise of modern nation-states heralded its end, some cities retained their cosmopolitan nature well until the Second World War. Oral histories and communicative memories of ethno-religious groups that constituted vital parts of these cities are still living, often wound up with unhealed and suppressed historical. At the same time, simplified and nostalgic visions of a pluralist past are sometimes held up as role models for present-day Eastern Mediterranean societies without questioning, or without regard for the challenges that they entail. Local academics and civil society organizations alike play vital roles in researching, highlighting and supporting pluralism and pluralist heritage, sometimes in defiance of nationalist historiographies and policies.

The series Unspoken memories, unwritten histories, arranged by the Swedish Research Institute in Istanbul (SRII), operates at a cross-section of academic research and civil society activism. It aims to bring together young scholars of history, minorities and human rights with representatives of academia and civil society in a number of Eastern Mediterranean cities outside of Turkey. The third workshop of the series is entitled The place of cultural pluralism in Aleppo

Speakers of the panel, May 28 at 17:00 (UTC+3):

Seda Altuğ, Boğaziçi University

Philip Mansel, Levantine Heritage Foundation

Isber Sabrine, Heritage For Peace

Uğur Ümit Üngör, University of Amsterdam

Eligible for participation are advanced students with a background in Syrian, or Ottoman culture and history, cultural and minority studies, or political, social and Human Rights studies. They should send their CV, together with a letter of interest outlining their interest in the topic and the ways in which it connects with their own research, no later than May 21, 2021, to Participants will be notified by May 23, 2021.


CfA – Summer School

Remembering and Coexisting in Turkey and the Eastern Mediterranean

DATE: 25.06.2021 – 11.07.2021

This summer school offers a unique opportunity for young scholars, advanced students and civil society activists to deepen their knowledge on pluralism, historical trauma and human rights in Turkey and the Eastern Mediterranean. The aim is to engage in conceptual discussions, to advance methodological skills, and to develop a network with leading scholars and civil society organizations active in these fields.

Participants and lecturers will discuss what cultural pluralism has meant in the past and what it means today and survey how Turkey and other Eastern Mediterranean countries have struggled to either sustain or suppress cultural pluralism and pluralist heritage and how these developments relate to the emergence of human rights discourses. Special attention is given to oral history as a methodology to approach these topics and to the dynamics between academia and civil society in the advancement of these themes in the public sphere.

The summer school is organized by the Swedish Research Institute in Istanbul (SRII), financially supported by the Swedish Institute (SI) and held in collaboration with civil society organizations in Turkey. It is a continuation of the earlier summer school Human Rights: A Recurrent History, which was held five times between 2013 and 2018.

The 12-day full-time online programme consists of seminars and workshops and other interactive activities held both in English and Turkish. Opportunities for one-on-one mentorship around individual research topics will also be provided.

Who can apply

Advanced students, young researchers and civil society activists working on history, cultural heritage, memory studies, human rights and related fields. Fluency in Turkish and English is required. Scholars and students who have limited access to pursue their research interests in these fields are strongly encouraged to apply.

How to apply

Please send your CV and letter of motivation including a short research proposal to by 3 May.

Participants will be notified by May 25, 2021.

We look forward to receiving your application!

Başvuru Çağrısı

Yaz Okulu: Türkiye ve Doğu Akdeniz’de Hatırlama ve Bir Arada Yaşama

TARİH: 25.06.2021 – 11.07.2021

Bu yaz okulu, genç akademisyenlerin ve sivil toplum aktivistlerinin; Türkiye ve Doğu Akdeniz’de çoğulculuk, tarihsel travma ve insan hakları konusundaki bilgilerini derinleştirmeleri için eşsiz bir fırsat sunmaktadır. Yaz okulunun amacı; kavramsal tartışmalar yapmak, metodolojik becerileri ilerletmek ve bu alanlarda önde gelen akademisyenler ve sivil toplum kuruluşlarıyla bir ağ oluşturmaktır.

Yaz okulu katılımcıları ve akademisyenler, kültürel çoğulculuğun geçmişte ve günümüzde ne anlama geldiğini tartışacak; Türkiye ve diğer Doğu Akdeniz ülkelerinin kültürel çoğulculuğu ve çoğulcu mirası sürdürmek veya baskılamak için nasıl mücadele ettiklerini ve bu gelişmelerin insan haklarının ortaya çıkışı ile nasıl ilişkili olduğunu inceleyeceklerdir. Sözlü tarih metodolojisine, bu temaların/başlıkların kamusal alanda gelişme göstermesinde akademi ile sivil toplum arasındaki dinamiklere dair yaklaşım geliştirebilmek için özel bir önem verilmektedir.

İstanbul İsveç Araştırma Enstitüsü (Swedish Research Institute in Istanbul – SRII) tarafından organize edilmekte olan yaz okulu, İsveç Enstitüsü (Swedish Institute – SI) tarafından finanse edilmekte ve Türkiye’deki sivil toplum kuruluşlarıyla işbirliği içinde gerçekleştirilmektedir. Bu program, 2013-2018 yılları arasında beş kez art arda düzenlenen “İnsan Hakları: Yinelenen Bir Tarih” isimli yaz okulunun devamı niteliğindedir.

12 günlük tam zamanlı çevrimiçi program, İngilizce ve Türkçe olarak düzenlenen seminerler, atölyeler ve diğer interaktif etkinliklerden oluşmaktadır. Yaz okulu programının sonunda, bireysel araştırma konuları etrafında bire bir mentorluk fırsatları da sağlanacaktır.

Kimler başvurabilir

Tarih, kültürel miras, hafıza çalışmaları, insan hakları ve ilgili alanlarda çalışma yürüten üniversite öğrencileri, genç araştırmacılar ve sivil toplum aktivistleri, yaz okulu programına başvurabilir. Adayların akıcı düzeyde Türkçe ve İngilizce bilmeleri gerekmektedir. Sayılan alanlardaki araştırmalarını sürdürmek için sınırlı erişimi olan öğrencilerin başvurmaları şiddetle tavsiye edilir.

Nasıl başvurulur

Özgeçmişinizi ve kısa bir araştırma önerisi içeren motivasyon mektubunuzu 3 Mayıs tarihine kadar adresine göndermenizi rica ederiz.

Katılımcılar, 25 Mayıs 2021 tarihine kadar bilgilendirilecektir.

Başvurularınızı sabırsızlıkla bekliyoruz!


A discussion on cultural activism and exchanges between neighbors – Osman Kavala

Speaker: Osman Kavala, President Anodolu Kultur, Istanbul

Session: Politics of Culture and Friendship

Seminar “Exploring Politics of Friendship”

A joint seminar investigating the possibilities of politics of friendship in 2014, co-organised by the Istanbul and Thessaloniki Schools of Political Studies, affiliated to the Council of Europe Network

27-30 December 2014, Thessaloniki


İzmir’de Çoğulculuk

Rememberings‘in ikinci Türkçe Sohbetine davetlisiniz…

Sabancı Üniversitesi öğretim üyesi Leyla Neyzi [“Remembering Smyrna/İzmir: Shared History, Shared Trauma”] ve The College of William & Mary öğretim üyesi Sibel Zandi-Sayek [Ottoman İzmir: The Rise of a Cosmopolitan Port (1840-1880)] kamera karşısında İzmir’de “Çoğulculuğu” masaya yatırıyor.

9 Nisan 2021, saat 17:00

Katılmak için formu doldurmayı unutmayın!


23.5 Webinar – Memory Sites

Memory Sites Workshop, one of the permanent workshops of 23.5 Hrant Dink Site of Memory, continues to be held online. The participants explore a range of memory sites, museums, and memorials that deal with difficult pasts in different geographies and discuss the role of the memory sites in dealing with difficult pasts and fostering peace.

• What is a memory site? What kind of functions does it have?
• Why is it important to remember?
• Can places where violent pasts occurred turn into places that can contribute to mutual understanding, peace and democracy?
• Is it possible to harness pain to action and hope for another future?

In this webinar, participants seek the answers to such questions by exploring memory sites and museums that deal with difficult pasts in different geographies. The presentation also features inspiring memorialization projects that are being conducted by a range of organizations. 

The duration of the webinar is 1 hour.
The participation will be available through Zoom meeting and is limited with 40 people for the sake of comfortable communication with each other.
The event is in Turkish.

Registration is only available in the Turkish version of this page. The information and link for Zoom meeting will be sent after the registration.


“Istanbul Hayali” Documentary

“İstanbul Hayali”, Türkiye’nin ilk şehir plancısı olarak anılan, Gezi Parkı’nın, Maçka Demokrasi Parkı’nın, Lütfi Kırdar Uluslararası Kongre ve Sergi Sarayı´nın, Bağdat Caddesi’nin mimarı Aron Angel´in (1916-2010) ilginç yaşamı çerçevesinde Türkiye´nin kentleşme tecrübesini gözler önüne seriyor.
Aron Angel, hükümetin Hilton Oteli inşaatına izin vermesinin ardından İstanbul’un yeşil alanına halel geldiği için görevinden gözünü kırpmadan istifa eden bir idealistti. Mesleğe ünlü şehir plancısı Henri Prost’un yardımcılığı ile başlamış, aynı zamanda mimarlık eğitimi almış, zamanının duayen bir mimarıydı.
Perihan Bayraktar’ın yönetmenliğini yaptığı, kurgusu Thomas Balkenhol’e ait belgesel filmde ünlü şehir plancıları ve mimarlar (İlhan Tekeli, Tarık Şengül, Cana Bilsel, David Harvey, Pierre Pinon) Türkiye’de kentlerde, özellikle de İstanbul’da olan biteni değerlendiriyorlar.
”İstanbul Hayali” belgesel filminin yayın bilgileri aşağıdaki gibidir:

– Zoom:

Meeting ID: 988 6323 4836
Passcode: 299571
Hesap adı: 500. Yıl Vakfı Türk Musevileri Müzesi