Intercultural Dialogue Workshop '09
June 21-27, 2009
Istanbul Okan University
Research Center For Intercultural Studies
The Workshop was held on June 21-27, 2009 at Istanbul Okan University, with events organized on the campus as well as at different locations in the city of Istanbul. In order to have a sense of what we did last year, you can find below the descriptions of the courses and activities.
Courses and Activities
Interrogating Cultural Identities - Disrupting Cultural Misconceptions
Following discussions on such basic concepts as identity, perception, gender, religion, and traditional values, which in different cultures play a key role in communication in intercultural environment, participants will be asked to make individual and/or group presentations about various aspects of their own cultural backgrounds, demonstrating a critical approach to their subjects and related misconceptions.
To enable a better understanding of the current political/social scene, participants will be introduced to the historical background of the modern Turkish State, focusing on continuities and differences between the late Ottoman modernization project and the Republic. Following a discussion on the transformation of the institutions that have shaped Turkish politics and society, current events and state-society relations will be highlighted. Istanbul in Focus as a Site of Urban Expansion: The Rural & the Urban & the In-Between The subject of discussion will be the past and present of Istanbul as a site of urban transformation and expansion. Blurring the borders between Europe and Asia, between western and eastern models of settlement, between urban and rural areas, Istanbul triggers different questions about the nature of the gigantic metropolis. The questions themselves and their possible answers can stimulate the discussion of conceptions/misconceptions to be explored during the course of the Workshop.
City tours to Istanbul are considered to be an integral part of this course. Participants will have a chance to visit different parts of Istanbul, museums or art galleries on organized city tours. There will also be screenings of Turkish films and a session on modern Turkish fiction, with readings (in English translation) from acclaimed writers.