WORKING IN THE OTTOMAN EMPIRE AND TURKEY: OTTOMAN AND TURKISH LABOUR HISTORY WITHIN A GLOBAL PERSPECTIVE
November 18-20, 2011
Istanbul Bilgi University
Throughout the first decade of the 21st century history writing in Turkey has experienced a revival. Labour history is one of the growing subfields of this development. Progress can be seen in the increase of the quality and quantity of studies on Ottoman and Turkish labour history. Two recent publications of particular importance are the 2001 special edition (No. 60) of the journal International Labour and Working-Class History edited by the late Donald Quataert, ‘Labor History in the Ottoman Middle East,’ and the 2009 supplement (vol 54, supplement 17) of the journal International Review of Social History (IRSH) edited by Touraj Atabaki and Gavin Brockett, ‘Ottoman and Republican Turkish Labour History.’
These collections mark a new phase conceptually and methodologically in Ottoman and Turkish labour historiography as they look beyond the conventional focus on unionized, male wage-labourers. In doing so these studies broaden the field’s focus to include female workers, informal labour relations, and different forms of compensation. This conference seeks to build upon these developments as well as the important literature from the last quarter of the 20th century on the history of the labour movement in Turkey.
The planned conference has four aims. The first one is to facilitate critical dialogue among academics and independent scholars about new directions and possibilities for future research in the fields of Ottoman and Turkish labour history. Therefore, independent scholars and researchers without any academic affiliation are strongly encouraged to submit paper proposals.
Second, this conference seeks to situate Ottoman and Turkish labour history in a broader international context that includes Southeastern Europe and the Middle East. As Donald Quataert, who was a seminal figure in introducing recent developments in Ottoman and Turkish labour history to the international academy, stressed in his epilogue to International Review of Social History, ‘The Ottoman Empire was a rich multi-ethnic, multi-national entity until the day it disappeared from the earth. And so we professional historians must insist on retaining the broader perspective.’ An urgent need exists for dialogue and collaboration among labour historians regionally and internationally. Thus we welcome labour historians from Southeastern Europe and the Middle East or working on these regions to participate.
Third, this conference aims to raise awareness in Turkey about recent developments in labour historiography in other parts of the globe. One of the most decisive changes in the writing of labour history has been the concept of global labour history, which seeks to compare developments in different parts of the world and highlight intercontinental connections and interactions. The planned conference seeks to facilitate cooperation within this framework for research on a global level. Therefore we also invite paper proposals from scholars of the field from Africa, the Americas, Asia, and Europe that focus on developments in global labour historiography.
Finally, the conference aims to encourage and support the use of new and varied sources, such as private collections and archives of relevant institutions, for the study of labour history and the labour movement in Turkey and other places. We hope the conference will encourage research in archives beyond state archives.
In these different spheres of the conference we seek to bring together scholars working on topics ranging from free/unfree forms of labour including slavery, domestic service, agricultural labour, labour relations in the military to the daily life and lesisure activities of working people. We would also like to look at forms of labour resistance by women and men on the shop floor, such as strikes as well as different forms of organized political struggle.
Some of the scholars, who will be participating in the conference include:
Ravi Ahuja, Göttingen University
Touraj Atabaki, International Institute of Social History
Gareth Austin, The Graduate Institute, Geneva
Joel Beinin, Stanford University
Henrique Espada, Federal University of Santa Catarina
Suraiya Faroqhi, Istanbul Bilgi University
Bill Freund, University of KwaZulu-Natal
Chitra Joshi, University of Delhi
Gijs Kessler, International Institute of Social History
Alex Liechtenstein, Indiana University
Prabhu Mohapatra, University of Delhi
Samita Sen, Jadavpur University
Marcel van der Linden, International Institute of Social History
If you would like to join us, please send abstracts of no more than 500 words by September 19, 2011 to email@example.com. The working languages of the conference are English and Turkish. Simultaneous translation will be provided.
Conference organizers will work to provide travel costs for presenters coming from abroad; however, priority for funding will be given to graduate students, recent Ph.D. recipients, and independent scholars. Selected applicants will be informed by e-mail by the end of September 2011.
M. Erdem Kabadayı
Kate Elizabeth Creasey
Istanbul Bilgi University
M. Erdem Kabadayı and Kate Elizabeth Creasey
Istanbul Bilgi Universitesi
Tarih Bölümü / Department of History
Silahtaraga Mah. Kazim Karabekir Cad. No: 1
Phone: +90 212 311 76 42 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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