Two-thousand eleven marks the fourth year PIIRS will offer a Global Seminar in Turkey. “Islam, Empire, and Modernity: Turkey from the Caliphs to the 21st Century” will be taught in Budapest, Hungary, at Central European University, and in Istanbul, Turkey, at Kadir Has University, from June 11 to July 23, 2011. Led by Chair of the Department of Near Eastern Studies M. Șükrü Hanioğlu and Senior Lecturer in Turkish Erika Gilson, the seminar introduces students to the rich history, culture, language, and literature of Turkey.
As the capital of the Eastern Roman and Ottoman empires, Istanbul was the seat of military might, ceremonial pomp, and official state policy for sixteen centuries. Like Turkey, the city is a bridge between two cultures, two continents, and two major religions. Recently Istanbul and Turkey have been undergoing a fresh cultural renaissance, powered in large part by the impetus to join Europe. Through the Global Seminar in Turkey, students expand their knowledge of a major culture's past and present. In addition to the classroom sessions that include discussions on different aspects of Turkish culture, students are encouraged to explore Istanbul—ultimately, Istanbul itself becomes the classroom
The seminar begins with ancient civilizations and ends with Turkey in the twenty-first century. It provides an analysis of change and continuity in Turkish society with a strong focus on history and on major cultural transformations. Students read at least one book on a major subject to be discussed in the course.
The seminar will meet in Budapest for the first week and then move to Istanbul. Classes meet four times a week and feature daily lectures by the Princeton faculty and guests, daily instruction in elementary Turkish, weekly community service, and weekend excursions.
This course fulfills the Historical Analysis (HA) general requirement and is open to freshman, sophomores, and juniors.