Divisions, Connections and Movement – Rethinking Regionality

Years: 2013-2015

Director: Lutgarde Vandeput

Reserach Fellow: Leonidas Karakatsanis


Turkey has often been studied regionally, focusing on its important geopolitical location or its position as a bridge between Europe and the Middle-East. However, this regional approach has rarely promoted a creative dialogue between the different disciplines, but has tended to facilitate ‘parallel monologues’. This has resulted in the further affirmation of disciplinary borders and has been an impediment to productive academic innovation. Specifically within the field of ‘Turkish studies’, much effort has been invested in constituting Turkey as a delimited terrain of study and interest and as a result, significant issues that cut across national and regional, as well as disciplinary borders, have not received proper attention.

This project engaged actively in the current theoretical debates, addressing these concerns by introducing a thematic approach to the research objectives of regionally-based research in a longue durée perspective. The thematic approach offered a better basis for the development of a culture of academic dialogue and cooperation that facilitated the exchange, counterpoint and cross-fertilisation of ideas between different disciplinary terrains.

The themes that have been chosen, ‘Divisions, Connections and Movement’, derive from the well-known regional concept of Turkey as a crossroads. The novelty of the project lies in bringing a theorised interdisciplinary approach to analyse these topics in a Turkish context. Several scholarly fields currently represented in BIAA research (including archaeology (prehistory, theoretical, classical), ancient history, history, sociology, social science, political science and anthropology) use similar conceptual tools to investigate historical phenomena at different time periods from prehistory to the contemporary world. By applying multi-layered interdisciplinary approaches in a diachronic perspective to the themes of divisions, connections and movement, the project aimed to establish strong links between these fields of study. The approach reflects the overall policy of the BIAA to promote research with a strong diachronic dimension across a wide disciplinary range.

Visit the websites of the conferences and workhops:

BORDERED PLACES | BOUNDED TIMES - Interdisciplinary perspectives on Turkey (Ankara, 4 & 5 June 2013 @ METU | Culture & Convention Centre)

PATHWAYS OF COMMUNICATION - Roads and Routes in Anatolia from Prehistory to Seljuk Times (Ankara, 20 – 22 March 2014 | Ankara University)

IN MOTION: Movements, Crossings & Transfers in Turkey. From Prehistoric Heartlands to the Modern Nation-State (26 & 27 September 2014, Ankara, NiHA Conference Hall) 

Resulting Publications:

BAYSAL, E. and KARAKATSANIS, L. (eds) 2017. Bordered places | bounded times, cross-disciplinary perspectives on Turkey. London. British Institute at Ankara monograph.

VANDEPUT, L, et al (eds). Forthcoming. Pathways of communiction

Belongs to;
Archaeology and Related Disciplines
History, Politics and Social Sciences

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