Sunday, May 17, 2015

Symposium: *Locating Turkey in Asia

This one-day inter-disciplinary research symposium brings together researchers working on Turkey-Asia connections.

Asian Studies as a discipline tends to be heavily slanted towards research on (and research from) East, Southeast, and South Asia. This is problematic, as it excludes entire regions and societies that also fall within the rubric of “Asia”. Indeed, we need to bear in mind that the term “Asia” was first applied with reference to a region (Anatolia, in Turkey) that in contemporary Asian Studies gets left out of the conversation.

Accordingly, this symposium, using Turkey as a fulcrum, aims to disrupt and destabilize fixed assumptions and understandings about “Asia” and Asian Studies. The presenters represent a range of disciplinary approaches and stand-points including international relations, history, and anthropology. However, the uniting framework of the symposium is on Turkey’s often overlooked historical and contemporary relationships and interactions with
Asia. Thus, through reconsidering these intersections between Turkey and “Asia” the panels aim to further contribute to conversations about what exactly constitutes “Asia” and Asian Studies.

*Welcome and Opening Remarks (10:15 - 10:30)*:

Meliha Altunışık, Director of Graduate School of Social Sciences, Middle East Technical University

Introduction: Why Turkey and Asia?
Ceren Ergenç, Middle East Technical University
Romit Dasgupta, University of Western Australia/Middle East Technical University

*PART A: Historical and Cultural Intertwinings (10:30 - 12.30)*:

Tracing the Turkish Footprint in North Indian Oral Traditions
Smita Tewari-Jassal, Middle East Technical University

The Pan-Asian Pathways of “Oriental Products”: Navigating the Prohibition of Narcotics in Turkey, China, and Japan, 1918-1937
Daniel-Joseph MacArthur Seal, The British Institute of rchaeology in Ankara

From the Edges of “Asia”: Japan & Turkey
Romit Dasgupta, University of Western Australia/Middle East Technical University

Religious Minorities in Two Muslim-majority Societies in Asia: Turkey and Indonesia (joint research)
Besim Can Zırh, Middle East Technical University
Chang Yau Hoon, Singapore Management University

*LUNCH BREAK: 12.30 - 14.00*

*PART B: Political and Diplomatic Intertwinings (14:00 - 15.45)*:

Citizen Participation in Recent Neoliberal Transitions: A Comparison between China and Turkey
Ceren Ergenç, Middle East Technical University

Middle Power and its Limits: Japan and Turkey as Traditional and Emerging Middle Powers
Bahadır Pehlivantürk, TOBB University/Middle East Technical University

Middle Power: A Comparison of South Korea and Turkey
Hatice Çelik, Middle East Technical University/Kırıkkale University

*CONCLUDING REMARKS (15:45 - 16:00)*