Absent Spheres, Silent Voices: Recovering Untold Histories


Announcement of the Third Istanbul Workshop on New Directions in Middle Eastern History: Absent Spheres, Silent Voices:  Recovering Untold Histories

Workshop Schedule, 28-31 May 2007, Minerva Han (Sabanci University, Karakoy) Istanbul

Like all history writing, Middle East history has consciously and unconsciously ignored particular peoples, institutions, places, events, and sources. Additionally, it has glossed over specific discourses, narratives, and practices. While scholarly investigation generally concentrates on topics previously unexplored, that after all, is the point of research, projects are often offshoots of well-rehearsed subjects or attempts to apply existing methodologies to new materials. Leaps into the great unknown are rarer, the motivations for them less obvious. It should be emphasized that this framework is not an attempt to reproduce the shifts in historical research of the late twentieth century to find silences and absences within the lower strata of societies and cultures. Without underestimating the importance of recovering subaltern voices, popular themes, and the histories of dissenters and the oppressed, absences and silences can also be found in other strata and other places in society, culture, and politics. Thus, the intention of this workshop is to recover voices and stories at all levels of culture and society. Papers cover topics ranging geographically across the Middle East, chronologically from the late nineteenth century, and topically to include intellectual, social, political, military, gender, memory, literature, and health.

Organizers:  Y. Hakan Erdem (Sabanci University), Israel Gershoni (Tel Aviv University), Christoph K. Neumann (Istanbul Bilgi University), Amy Singer (Tel Aviv University), S. Aksin Somel (Sabanci University)

This workshop is not intended to be open for general public. Those who would like to attend the workshop should contact Y.Hakan Erdem and S. Akşin Somel.


For details about the papers and the schedule, please contact:

Y. Hakan Erdem  <>

S. Akşin Somel <>