“Coming to Terms” with Gendered Memories of Genocide, War, and Political Repression

September 17, 2014 - 1:00pm to 7:00pm

Within the framework of "Mobilizing Memory for Action" Workshop, Columbia Global Centers | Turkey Columbia Global Centers | Turkey is proud to host the public roundtables entitled: “Coming to Terms” with Gendered Memories of Genocide, War, and Political Repression. 

Date: September 17, Wednesday, 2014

Time: 13:00 - 19:00

Venue: DEPO Istanbul (Lüleci Hendek Cad., 12, Tophane - İstanbul)

Language: Turkish & English (Simultaneous translation will be provided / Simultane çeviri yapılacaktır)

Roundtable topics and speakers:

1:00pm-2:30pm - Creating Alternative Archives - Başka Arşivler Yaratmak
Moderator: Şemsa Özar
(Boğaziçi University and Diyarbakır Institute for Social and Political Research)

Leyla Neyzi (Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, Sabancı University) - “Young people Speak Out: The Contribution of Oral History to Facing the Past, Reconciliation and Democratization in Turkey” Project - “Türkiyeli Gençler Anlatıyor: Sözlü Tarihin Geçmişle Yüzleşme, Toplumsal Uzlaşma ve Demokratikleşmeye Katkısı” Projesi www.gencleranlatiyor.org

Özlem Kaya (Truth Justice Memory Center, Turkey) Creating an Alternative Archive through Video Testimonies / Video Tanıklıkları Üzerinden Başka Bir Arşiv Yaratmak

Susan Meiselas (Photographer, Magnum Photos, USA ) – Kurdistan / Kürdistan

Silvina Der Meguerditchian (Artist, Argentina/Germany) – Nereye? / Where to?


3:00pm-4:30pm - Art, Performance and Memory / Sanat, Performans ve Hafıza
Moderator: Ayşe Öncü
(Sociology, Sabancı University, Turkey)

Andreas Huyssen (German and Comparative Literature, Columbia University, USA) - The Metamorphosis of the Museum: From Exhibitionary to Experiential Complex / Müzenin Metamorfozu: Teşhirselden Deneyimsel Yapıya

Alisa Solomon (School of Journalism, Columbia University, USA) - Shoe Fetish / Ayakkabı Fetişi

Carol Becker (School of the Arts, Columbia University, USA) - The Memory of Sugar / Şekerin Hafızası

Diana Taylor (Performance Studies, Hemispheric Institute of Performance and Politics, NYU, USA) - Is Performing Testimony, Testimony? / Performans Tanıklık mıdır?

Maria José Contreras (School of Theatre, Catholic University, Chile) – The (Im)possible Performance of Forgetfulness / Unutkanlık Eyleminin Mümkün(süz)lüğü


5:00pm-6:30pm - Gender, Memory, Activism / Cinsiyet, Hafıza, Aktivism
Moderator: Yeşim Arat
(Political Science and International Relations, Boğaziçi University, Turkey)

Marita Sturken (Media, Culture, and Communication, NYU, USA) - Architectures of Memory, Architectures of Torture, Architectures of Conflict / Hafızanın Mimarları, İşkencenin Mimarları, İhtilafın Mimarları

Marianne Hirsch (Gender Studies and Comparative Literature, Columbia University, USA) – Mobile Memories / Seyyar Hafızalar

Nükhet Sirman (Sociology, Boğaziçi University, Turkey) – How to Gender Memories of Violence? / Şiddetin Hafızası Nasıl Cinslendirilir?

Meltem Ahıska (Sociology, Boğaziçi University, Turkey) - Counter-movement, space, and politics:  How the Saturday Mothers of Turkey make the enforced disappearances visible / Karşı-hareket, mekan ve politika: Cumartesi Anneleri zorla kaybetmeleri nasıl görünür kılıyor

Nancy Kricorian (Author and Activist USA) - Place Names and Objects: Pilgrimage as/or Resistance / Yer İsimleri ve Objeler: Direniş Olarak Hac



This series of roundtables occurs in the context of a five-day workshop on “Mobilizing Memory for Action” that brings together an international group of scholars, artists, and activists to analyze the activist work memory practices can enable. The workshop is part of Columbia University’s “Women Creating Change” initiative led by the Center for the Study of Social Difference and organized in collaboration with the Columbia Global Centers. “Mobilizing Memory for Action” began in December 2013 with a workshop at the Columbia Global Centers in Chile and continues in September 2014 with activities in Istanbul hosted by Columbia Global Centers | Turkey, Sabancı University Gender and Women’s Studies Forum and DEPO Istanbul. Support has also been provided by the Blinken European Institute, Sabancı University, Hemispheric Institute of Performance and Politics, the Truth Justice Memory Center and Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung Turkey Office. The Istanbul program consists of a workshop with 35 leading scholars, artists and activists from Turkey, the United States, Chile and other contexts; an art exhibition and catalogue; documentary screenings; theater performances and post-performance discussions; and a series of public roundtables.



Meltem Ahıska

Meltem Ahıska is Professor of Sociology at Boğaziçi University. She has written and edited a number of books among which Occidentalism in Turkey: Questions of Modernity and National Identity in Turkish Radio Broadcasting (2010) is the most recent. Her articles and essays on Occidentalism, social memory, national identity, and gender have appeared in various journals and edited volumes. She has been in the editorial collectives of Akıntıya Karşı, Zemin, Defter, Pazartesi journals. She is a member of the editorial board of the e-journal Red Thread.

Yeşim Arat

Yeşim Arat (Yale College, BA’78, Princeton University PhD.’83) is a Professor in the Department of Political Science and International Relations at Boğaziçi University, Istanbul, Turkey. She is the author of The Patriarchal Paradox: Women Politicians in Turkey (Fairleigh Dickinson University Press, 1989), Rethinking the Political: Gender, Resistance and the State, (co-edited with Barbara Laslett and Johanna Brenner, Chicago, University of Chicago Press, 1995), Rethinking Islam and Liberal Democracy: Islamist Women in Turkish Politics (SUNY Press, 2005), Violence against women in Turkey (with Ayse Gul Altinay-Punto, 2009-Turkish version, 2008 Pen Duygu Asena Award) and numerous articles on women as well as Turkish politics. Arat was the Provost of her university between 2008-2012 and is a founding member of KADER (Association for the Support and Training of Women Candidates), a member of the Women’s Library General Board and a member of the Science Academy, Turkey.

Carol Becker

Carol Becker is Dean of Faculty and Professor of the Arts at Columbia University School of the Arts. She was previously Dean of Faculty and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs as well as Professor of Liberal Arts at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She earned her B.A. in English literature from State University of New York at Buffalo and her PhD in English and American literature from the University of California, San Diego. With research interests that range from feminist theory, American cultural history, the education of artists, art and social responsibility, to South African art and politics, she has published numerous articles and books on cultural criticism including: The Invisible Drama: Women and the Anxiety of Change (translated into seven languages); The Subversive Imagination: Artists, Society and Social Responsibility; Zones of Contention: Essays on Art, Institutions, Gender, and Anxiety;Surpassing the Spectacle: Global Transformations and the Changing Politics of Art and Thinking in Place: Art, Action, and Cultural Production. She lectures extensively in the U.S. and abroad and is the recipient of numerous awards. She also is a member of the Global Agenda Council on the Role of Art in Society for the World Economic Forum.

Maria José Contreras

Dr. María José Contreras is an Assistant Professor in the School of Theatre at the Catholic University in Chile, as well as an actress and theatre director. Her creative work and her research focus on the relationship between the body, memory and performance. She has worked as a theatre director in both Chile and Europe, and in 2011 she created two performances: El Examen, enacted over a 24-hour period in Plaza Italia, Santiago, and Prefijos, which took place in the National Stadium.

Silvina Der-Meguerditchian

The artist is the granddaughter of Armenian immigrants to Argentina and was born in Buenos Aires in 1967. Since 1988 she has lived in Berlin. Her artistic work deals with issues related to the burden of national identity, memory, the role of minorities in the society and the potential of a space "in between". Her work uses a very heterogeneous language (installation, video, sound installation, rugs). She is the initiator of the platform for Armenian artists and curator of  “UnderConstruction”  (www.underconstructionhome.net), the first representation of the Armenian Diaspora at the 52nd Venice Biennial. Since 2010 she has worked as artistic director of Houshamadyan (www.houshamadyan.org), a project which reconstructs Ottoman Armenian town and village life. She works closely with the ballhausnaunynstrasse theater, the Gorki Theater (Berlin) and the Anadolu Kultur. She is currently a fellow at the Kulturakademie Tarabya in Istanbul, a residency program of the German Foreign Ministry.

Marianne Hirsch

Marianne Hirsch is William Peterfield Trent Professor of English and Comparative Literature at Columbia University and Professor in the Institute for Research on Women, Gender, and Sexuality. She is immediate past president of the Modern Language Association of America.  Hirsch's work combines feminist theory with memory studies, particularly the transmission of memories of violence across generations.  Her recent books include The Generation of Postmemory: Writing and Visual Culture After the Holocaust (Columbia University Press, 2012), Ghosts of Home: The Afterlife of Czernowitz in Jewish Memory, co-authored with Leo Spitzer (University of California Press, 2010), Rites of Return: Diaspora, Poetics and the Politics of Memory, co-edited with Nancy K. Miller (Columbia University Press, 2011). She is one of the founders of Columbia’s Center for the Study of Social Difference and of its global initiative “Women Creating Change.”

Andreas Huyssen

Andreas Huyssen is the Villard Professor of German and Comparative Literature at Columbia University, where he served as founding director of the Center for Comparative Literature and Society (1998-2003). He chaired the Department of Germanic Languages from 1986-1992 and again from 2005-2008. He is one of the founding editors of New German Critique (1974-), and he serves on the editorial boards of October, Constellations, Germanic Review, Transit, Key Words (UK), Critical Space (Tokyo), Memory Studies (UK), Lumina (Brazil), Comunicação & Cultura(Portugal). In 2005, he won Columbia's coveted Mark van Doren teaching award. His research and teaching focus on 18th-20th-century German literature and culture, international modernism, Frankfurt School critical theory, postmodernism, cultural memory of historical trauma in transnational contexts, and, most recently, urban culture and globalization.

Huyssen has published widely in German and English and his work has been translated into Spanish, Portuguese, French, Swedish, Danish, Slovenian, Hungarian, Polish, Turkish, Japanese, and Chinese. His books include Die frühromantische Konzeption von Übersetzung und Aneignung. Studien zur frühromantischen Utopie einer deutschen Weltliteratur (1969), Friedrich Schlegel. "Athenäums"-Fragmente und andere Schriften (1978, latest reprint 2005), Drama des Sturm und Drang (1980), The Technological Imagination: Theories and Fictions (ed. with Teresa de Lauretis and Kathleen Woodward, 1980), After the Great Divide: Modernism, Mass Culture, Postmodernism (1986), Postmoderne: Zeichen eines kulturellen Wandels (ed. with Klaus Scherpe, 1986), Modernity and the Text: Revisions of German Modernism (ed. with David Bathrick, 1989), Twilight Memories: Marking Time in a Culture of Amnesia (1995), Present Pasts: Urban Palimpsests and the Politics of Memory (2003), and the edited volume on the culture of non-Western cities entitled Other Cities, Other Worlds: Urban Imaginaries in a Globalizing World(2008). His most recent collection of essays, so far only published in Spanish, is Modernismo después de la posmodernidad(2010).

He currently continues work on two projects: a study of modernist miniatures, an experimental form of modernist writing, widespread in French and German modernism from Baudelaire to Rilke, Benn, Kafka, Kracauer, Jünger, Musil, Benjamin, and Adorno. And a consideration of the overlaps and tensions between the contemporary discourses of memory and human rights.

Özlem Kaya

Özlem Kaya finished her Master’s degree in Middle East Technical University Department of Sociology. She is currently a PhD candidate at Bosphorus University Atatürk Institute. Working as a translator for some time, she translated articles for the Truth Justice Memory Center website. She worked as a part time project coordinator at Friedrich Ebert Stiftung Turkey Office on the new constitution process. She has been working with the Truth Justice Memory Center Memory Program team since 2012. She is among the writers of Unspoken Truth: Enforced Disappearances and “Holding up the Photograph” Experiences of the Women Whose Husbands were Forcibly Disappeared.

Nancy Kricorian

Nancy Kricorian is the author of the novels Zabelle, Dreams of Bread and Fire, and All The Light There Was. She is a widely published poet and essayist, whose work has appeared in The Antioch Review,Parnassus, In These Times, The Minnesota Review, Women’s Studies Quarterly, and other journals. She has taught at Barnard, Rutgers, Queens and Yale, as well as for Teachers and Writers Collaborative in the New York City Public Schools. Kricorian serves on the Executive Committee of the Armenia Tree Project and is a member of the national staff of CODEPINK Women for Peace.

Susan Meiselas

Susan Meiselas received her B.A. from Sarah Lawrence College and her M.A. in visual education from Harvard University. She joined Magnum Photos in 1976.  She is the author of three books: Carnival Strippers, Nicaragua, and Pandora's Box and editor of five collections: Learn to See, El Salvador: The Work of 30 Photographers, Chile from Within., Kurdistan: In the Shadow of History and Encounters with the Dani.  She has co-directed two films: "Living at Risk" and "Pictures from a Revolution" with Richard P. Rogers and Alfred Guzzetti. In 1998 she developed akaKURDISTAN, an innovative online website for collective memory and cultural exchange. Her retrospective book and recent exhibition In History was produced with the International Center for Photography, New York.

Meiselas' coverage of human rights violations and the insurrections in Central America was widely published throughout the world. One-woman shows include: Whitney Museum for American Art; FOAM, Amsterdam; Hasselblad Center, Sweden; Art Institute of Chicago; and the Museum Folkwang, Germany. In 1992 she was made a MacArthur Fellow. Her work is included in American and international collections. Meiselas is presently serving as the President of the Magnum Foundation.

Leyla Neyzi

Professor Leyla Neyzi, an anthropologist and oral historian, teaches in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences at Sabanci University. Her research interests include minorities, nationalism, memory and youth culture in Turkey. Most recently, she completed a multimedia project on Kurdish and Turkish youth in Turkey and Germany. Her publications and project websites can be viewed on her website http://myweb.sabanciuniv.edu/neyzi/

Ayşe Öncü

Ayşe Öncü is a Professor of Sociology, formerly affiliated with Boğaziçi University and currently an Emeritus faculty member at Sabanci University.  Her main research interest centers on issues of cultural politics in contemporary Turkey.  She has published extensively in various international journals and co-edited various volumes, focusing on questions of space, culture and power in globalizing cities, with special emphasis on Istanbul.  She has also been involved in research networks in the Middle East, such as GURI, MEAwards, MERC, as well as engaging in collaborative research with partners in the Europe.  Her work is situated in the intersection of sociology and cultural theory.  

Şemsa Özar

Şemsa Özar graduated from Boğaziçi University in 1978 with an MA degree in Economics. She worked at the State Institute of Statistics (1978-1980) and Industrial Development Bank of Turkey (1980-1983) and went on to study at the Institute of Advanced Studies and Scientific Research in Vienna/Austria (1986-88). In 1990 she graduated from Wirtshaftsuniversitaet, Vienna with a PhD. Since 1990 she teaches at Boğaziçi University primarily development and gender courses. Her research and writing concentrates on forced migration, women’s labour and employment, social policy, informal labour and micro and small enterprises. She is a feminist activist and a founding member of KEIG (The Initiative for Women’s Labour and Employment). She is also a member DİSA (Diyarbakır Institute for Political and Social Research) and a board member of the IAFFE (International Association for Feminist Economics). Some of her recent publications are: From Past to Present A Paramilitary Organization in Turkey: Village Guard System (with Nesrin Uçarlar and Osman Aytar), DISA Publications, 2013; What Has Changed? Kurdish Women’s Experiences of Forced Migration (with Handan Çağlayan and Ayşe Tepe Doğan), Ayizi Kitap, 2011.

Nükhet Sirman

Nükhet Sirman is a professor of anthropology at Boğaziçi University.  Her academic publications include articles on the participation of women in agricultural production, the production of the "modern" Turkish woman in Turkey, and notions of honour and kinship.  Gender, nationalism, life stories, violence against women and forced migration are some of the issues she has been working on.  She has also been active in various feminist groups in Istanbul and has published articles in feminist journals such as Amargi, Feminist Politika and Feminist Yaklaşımlar.   Since 2009 she has been working on the genderization of war and peace within the Women's Initiative for Peace.

Alisa Solomon

Alisa Solomon directs the Arts & Culture concentration in the M.A. program at the Journalism School. She came to Columbia in 2005 after nearly 20 years as a professor of English/Journalism at Baruch College-CUNY and as a professor in the Ph.D. programs in Theater and in English at the CUNY Graduate Center. In addition to contributing occasionally to The Nation, The Forward, The New York Times, and other publications, she was on staff at The Village Voice for 21 years, where she was a regular theater critic and cultural and political reporter, winning awards for stories on reproductive rights, electoral politics, women's sports, and immigration policy. For radio, she has contributed theater commentaries to WNYC and has served for more than a decade as a contributor to the weekly program "Beyond the Pale: Radical Jewish Culture and Politics" (WBAI). Solomon's book, Re-Dressing the Canon: Essays on Theater and Gender, won the George Jean Nathan Award for Dramatic Criticism. She is the editor of three anthologies: Wrestling with Zion: Progressive Jewish-American Responses to the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict (with Tony Kushner); "Theater and Social Change" (Theater, 31:3); and The Queerest Art: Essays on Lesbian and Gay Theater (with Framji Minwalla). Most recently, she edited and wrote the Introduction to The Reverend Billy Project: From Rehearsal Hall to Super Mall with the Church of Life After Shopping, by Bill Talen and Savitri D. Solomon holds a doctorate in Dramaturgy and Dramatic Criticism from Yale. Her latest book is Wonder of Wonders: A Cultural History of Fiddler on the Roof (Metropolitan Books/Holt).

Marita Sturken

Marita Sturken is Professor in the Department of Media, Culture, and Communication at New York University, where she teaches courses in visual culture, cultural memory, and consumerism. She is the author of Tangled Memories: The Vietnam War, the AIDS Epidemic, and the Politics of Remembering(University of California Press, 1997), and Practices of Looking: An Introduction to Visual Culture (with Lisa Cartwright, Oxford University Press, second edition 2009), and Tourists of History: Memory, Kitsch, and Consumerism From Oklahoma City to Ground Zero (Duke University Press, 2007).

Diana Taylor

Diana Taylor is the author of Theatre of Crisis: Drama and Politics in Latin America (1991), which won the Best Book Award given by New England Council on Latin American Studies and Honorable Mention in the Joe E. Callaway Prize for the Best Book on Drama, of Disappearing Acts: Spectacles of Gender and Nationalism in Argentina's 'Dirty War', Duke U.P., 1997, and The Archive and the Repertoire: Performing Cultural Memory in the Americas (Duke U.P., 2003) which won the ATHE Research Award in Theatre Practice and Pedagogy and the Modern Language Association Katherine Singer Kovacs Prize for the best book in Latin American and Spanish Literatures and Culture (2004). She is editor of Stages of Conflict: A Reader in Latin American Theatre and Performance (forthcoming Michigan U. P.) and co-editor of Holy Terrors: Latin American Women Perform (Duke U.P., 2004), Defiant Acts/Actos Desafiantes: Four Plays by Diana Raznovich, Bucknell U. P., 2002, Negotiating Performance in Latin/o America: Gender, Sexuality and Theatricality, Duke U.P., 1994, and The Politics of Motherhood: Activists from Left to Right, University Press of New England, 1997. She has edited five volumes of critical essays on Latin American, Latino, and Spanish playwrights. Her articles on Latin American and Latino performance have appeared inThe Drama Review, Theatre Journal, Performing Arts Journal, Latin American Theatre Review, Estreno, Gestos, Signs, MLQ and other scholarly journals. She has also been invited to participate in discussions on the role of new technologies in the arts and humanities in important conferences and commissions in the Americas (i.e. ACLS Commission on Cyberinfrastructure). Diana Taylor is founding Director of the Hemispheric Institute of Performance and Politics, funded by the Ford and Rockefeller Foundations.


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