A conference entitled “Memory and Culture” was held September 5-7 at Bilkent University. Jointly organized by the Turkish Cultural Studies Association and Bilkent’s Department of Architecture and Department of Political Science and Public Administration, the conference took place in the Faculty of Art, Design and Architecture’s FF Block. It was the seventh of the biennial International Cultural Studies Conferences instituted to contribute to cultural studies and bring together researchers who work in this area.
The symposium was well attended, both domestically and internationally; presenters came from a large number of universities throughout Turkey as well as countries including Austria, Germany, Great Britain, Greece, Iran, Ireland, the Netherlands, Poland, Serbia and the USA.
The conference was organized in a format of three or four parallel sessions, during which 110 papers were presented. In additional, two panel discussions (“Borders as the Space of Memory” and “Historical Events and Collective Memory”), four poster sessions and three exhibitions took place.
Four keynote speakers represented four disciplines concerned in various ways with memory: architecture, social anthropology, history and psychology. Prof. Zeynep Çelik from the New Jersey Institute of Technology delivered a talk entitled “The City, Ideology and Collective Memory,” while Prof. Michael Herzfeld from Harvard University spoke on the topic “Monumentality Against Memory: The Politics of Commemoration and Restoration.” Prof. Halil İnalcık could not be present at the symposium due to health reasons, so Prof. Oktay Özel from the Department of History presented one of Prof. İnalcık’s published articles in a summary format. Prof. Sami Gülgöz from Koç University discussed memory in relation to psychology.
The organizing committee for the symposium consisted of Gönül Pultar, the president of the Cultural Studies Association; Tahire Erman and Elisabeth Özdalga from Bilkent’s Department of Political Science and Public Administration; Serpil Özaloğlu from the Department of Interior Architecture and Environmental Design; and Meltem Gürel from the Department of Architecture.