Unspoken memories, unwritten histories:Eastern Mediterranean pluralism in oral history and memory studies


Unspoken memories, unwritten histories:

Eastern Mediterranean pluralism in oral history and memory studies

A series of workshops devoted to theory and practice in academia and civil society

Less than a hundred years ago, most Eastern Mediterranean cities were marked by a high degree of cultural pluralism. Whereas the dissolution of the Ottoman Empire and the rise of modern nation-states heralded its end, some cities retained their cosmopolitan nature well until the Second World War. Oral histories and communicative memories of ethnoreligious groups that constituted vital parts of these cities are still living, often wound up with unhealed and suppressed historical. At the same time, simplified and nostalgic visions of a pluralist past are sometimes held up as role models for present-day. Eastern Mediterranean societies without questioning, or without regard for the challenges that they entail. Local academics and civil society organizations alike play vital roles in researching, highlighting and supporting pluralism and pluralist heritage, sometimes in defiance of nationalist historiographies and policies.

The series Unspoken memories, unwritten histories, arranged by the Swedish Research Institute in Istanbul (SRII), operates at a cross-section of academic research and civil society activism. It aims to bring together young scholars of history, minorities and human rights with representatives of academia and civil society in a number of Eastern Mediterranean cities outside of Turkey. The second workshop of the series is entitled The place of cultural pluralism in Thessaloniki and will take place via Zoom.

Speakers of the panel, March 26 at 18:00 (UTC+3):

Cengiz Şişman, Professor of History, University of Houston-Clear Lake

Leon Saltiel, Assistant Professor of History, University of Macedonia

Despina Syrri, Director of the Civic School of Political Studies

Eligible for participation are advanced students with a background in Turkish, Greek or Jewish culture and history, cultural and minority studies, or political, social and Human Rights studies. They should send their CV, together with a letter of interest outlining their interest in the topic and the ways in which it connects with their own research, no later than March 21, 2021, to murat.devres@sri.org.tr. Participants will be notified by March 23, 2021.

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