The Turkish Experience of the Alliance of Civilizations –To what extent does Turkey offer an alternative perspective to the debate of the "Clash of Civilizations"? What are the practical and historical precedents in the Turkish experience for establishing an “Alliance of Civilizations." What does the “Turkish experience" (politically, socially, culturally, and historically) have to offer the post-September 11th world? What is the role of distinct Turkish identity (Muslim, secular, and democratic) for easing the tension in today’s world? How have the multicultural policies and practice of the Ottoman Empire influenced the present context, or the policies of Atatürk, or those of the present government?
The Media and Citizen Journalism - In a rapidly changing media environment, user-generated content and citizen journalism are playing an increasingly important role and transforming the way in which people get informed about the world around them. From blogs to citizen-produced articles, the media landscape is being increasingly populated by new forms of media content. What is the real impact of these new forms of media on public opinion and policy-making? In particular, to what extent can such citizen-generated content help improve intercultural relations and cross-cultural understanding? How might this new media better address and dispel stereotypes or combat Islamaphobia? Will such media go beyond dominant hot-topic issues such as the wearing of headscarves or entry into the European Union?
Migration – Historical and contemporary migrations from East to West have brought with them the attendant issues of Islamic values versus Western democratic or Christian values. How has Turkish Muslim migration to Western Christian countries raised questions about integration/assimilation, intercultural dialogue, clashes of modernity and tradition and so on in Europe’s efforts to wrestle with immigration policy? In addition, how is Turkey dealing with its own rapidly expanding immigrant communities and migration from rural areas to the urban centers? How are issues of mobility, identity and citizenship generating tensions but also creating new opportunities for creative energy and collaborative processes? How does Turkey collaborate and enter into constructive dialogue with its neighbors on such issues? How are different ethnic groups affected?
Youth – Sub-themes might address the youth population (aged 15-24) in Turkey of which an estimated 40% (about 5 million young people) are neither working nor going to school. We invite papers on topics related to street children, internally displaced, or victims of human trafficking. Such papers should also provide practical recommendations for how to strengthen the capabilities of youth to live lives of freedom and dignity, enlarging their knowledge and choices.
Education - Turkey offers an interesting case study of separation of mosque and state. How has Turkey approached the teaching of religion and belief in its schools? How is curricular content of teaching about religion and belief determined? What aspects of Turkish educational policy and practice promote the ideals of cooperation, tolerance and respect for cultural differences? How does Turkey educate its youths for national and global engagement? What do comparative studies say about the situation in schools in other Muslim and/or Christian countries?
Gender Issues - In Turkey, men and women generally constitute largely separate social spheres, each with its own values, attitudes, and perceptions of the other. Do gender relations in Turkish society reflect tension between traditional and modern values? In particular, do family loyalty, family obligations, and family honor constitute strong considerations that do not fit with modern ideals of equality between the sexes when it comes to making choices about dress, school, work, friendship, marriage, and children? Such choices are complex. What do researchers say about young women readopting headscarves? To demonstrate their commitment to Islam, or to resist the latest Western fashions in clothes and cosmetics? What proportion of Turkish women are working in major areas of the economy, such as manufacturing, teaching, health care, banking, law, and medicine? Although the Turkish government guarantees women equal work and pay opportunities, the traditional value system elevates gender segregation in the workplace and other public spaces as a social ideal. What are the implications of these practices? What are the trends? What role does government policy play in such issues?
CALL FOR PROPOSALS AND SUBMISSION OF ABSTRACTS
Submission of Abstracts
Interested participants are requested to send an abstract of less than 250 words describing the focus of their papers or panel, the central argument, and the methodology employed. If proposing a panel, please submit the title and abstract for each paper along with the names and institutional affiliation of panelists. Whether a paper or a panel, all proposals must have personal information such as name, institutional affiliation, position or title, contact phone numbers, and/or e-mail address.
Abstracts may be submitted in hard copy or electronically. If the latter, please save your document in Word or RTF format and send as an e-mail attachment. In the subject line, please type “Alliance of Civilizations Conference.” Abstracts may be sent to the conference organizer by post or e-mail at the addresses below.
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