LECTURE: Mapping Post-Ottoman Memory: Szigetvár, Banja Luka, Vrana, Thessaloniki, Istanbul

26 February 2020 19:00 to 21:00 | Ankara

The British Institute at Ankara, Wolfson Foundation Conference Room, Atatürk Bulvarı 154, first floor, 06690

A BIAA lecture by Jeremy F. Walton (Max Planck Institute for the Study of Religious and Ethnic Diversity)


Deniz Avcı Hosanlı (Bilkent University)

Summary of Event:

Across central and southeast Europe, Anatolia, and the Levant, architectural restorations increasingly constitute revenants of an Ottoman past and presence that had previously dwindled to obscurity. In this lecture, I examine five sites of post-Ottoman memory: the Hungarian-Turkish Friendship Park near the former fortress of Szigetvár, Hungary; Banja Luka's Ferhadija Mosque; Maškovičeva Han in Vrana; Croatia, the New Mosque in Thessaloniki, and Dolmabahçe Palace in Istanbul. My aim in doing so is double. First, I account for the emergent discourse of Neo-Ottomanism--a form of what Svetlana Boym describes as "reflective nostalgia"--that stitches these sites together as embodiments of a singular image of the empire. Secondly, I trace the divergent genealogies of each site in order to unsettle the homogenized image of the past that Neo-Ottomanism anoints.

Jeremy F. Walton is a cultural anthropologist whose work integrates memory studies, urban studies, and perspectives on material culture. His first book, Muslim Civil Society and the Politics of Religious Freedom in Turkey (Oxford, 2017), is an ethnography of Muslim NGOs and the state in Turkey. He leads the Max Planck Research Group, “Empires of Memory: The Cultural Politics of Historicity in Former Habsburg and Ottoman Cities,” an interdisciplinary project on post-imperial memory in central and southeast Europe and Anatolia.

Deniz Avci Hosanli holds a PhD in History of Architecture (METU, 2018) and her studies include the conservation of the eighteenth and nineteenth century traditional residential architectural heritage of Turkey and Early Republican housing production in the capital city, Ankara. Currently, she works on private restoration and interior design projects and part-time as instructor at I. D. Bilkent University.

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