Past Event

Politics of Archaeology II

October 20, 2021
6:00 PM - 7:30 PM

Rising in Politics through Archaeology: The Case of Mark Sykes

Özge Aslanmirza graduated from the Department of Foreign Language Education at the Middle East Technical University in 2014. She fulfilled the requirements of her minor degree in the Department of History at the same university. In 2017, she submitted her master’s thesis on the scholarship of the Turkish Historical Foundation. She completed her first year in the doctorate program at Binghamton University with a Fulbright Scholarship. She is a Ph.D. student and a research assistant at the Department of History at Kocaeli University. Aslanmirza is a TUBITAK fellow and works on knowledge production in the Ottoman Middle East.

A Collection on Sale: The German-Ottoman Secret Museum Negotiations in Istanbul, 1912–1914

Sebastian Willert is Doctoral Fellow at Orient-Institut Istanbul and a Ph.D. candidate at TU Berlin. He earned a Master’s in History with a thesis on the German-Turkish Commando for Monument Protection. His dissertation analyses the role of antiquities as a matter of conflict within the German-Ottoman Art Policy between 1898 and 1918. He worked and published on the overlapping or rivaling aims and agendas of German and Ottoman archaeology, military, politics, and diplomacy. His research focuses on the valorization, instrumentalization, and translocation of cultural assets within the 19th and 20th centuries with a regional emphasis on the Ottoman Empire.

The Idiosyncratic Case of Archaeology in Istanbul under Occupation

Ceren Abi received her Ph.D. from History at UCLA in 2019, her M.A in European History at Leiden University with a special Europaeum Program with Sorbonne, Paris I and Oxford University). She is working on the cultural and social history of the Middle East and North Africa, the late Ottoman Empire, the First World War, and the cultural heritage especially in times of armed and social conflict. She is curenty a visiting scholar at Kadir Has University.

Local Communities and Labour in the History of Archaeology in Turkey Institution

Mustafa Kemal recently received his Ph.D. at the Archaeology and History of Art Department, Koç University, Istanbul. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Industrial Design and a master’s degree in Architectural History from the Middle East Technical University, Ankara. He completed another master’s degree in Classical Archaeology at the University of Oxford where he held the Ertegun Graduate Scholarship in the Humanities. His research focuses on the history of archaeological practice and heritage in Turkey with a particular interest in local communities and labor. 


Zainab Bahrani is the Edith Porada Professor of Art History and Archaeology at Columbia University. She specializes in Ancient Western Asian and East Mediterranean art and archaeology as well as art theory, historiography, and philosophies of representation. In addition to these subjects, professor Bahrani has also written on the destruction of Iraqi cultural heritage. Monument preservation and conservation is also a focus of her work. She currently directs the survey project Mapping Mesopotamian Monuments, as well as the restoration and conservation of the Amadiya gate and rock reliefs in Iraqi Kurdistan.

Organized by:
Zeynep Çelik, Sakıp Sabancı Visiting Professor of Turkish Studies, Columbia University and Distinguished Professor Emerita, New Jersey Institute of Technology
Merve İspahani, Ph.D., Academic Programs Coordinator, Columbia Global Centers | Istanbul