From Oriental to the “Cool” City. Changing Imaginations of Istanbul, Cultural Production and the Production of Urban Space Emmy Noether Programm der DFG 2011 - 2016)
The Research Project undertakes a historical investigation of the changing imaginations of Istanbul from the 19th to the 21st century, by conducting an in-depth analysis of three major discursive regimes characterizing the production of urban culture in three historical periods:
(1) Orientalism as the discourse of colonialism / imperialism in the 19th century, and the imagination of Istanbul as an Oriental city.
(2) National developmentalism imagining Istanbul as a Third World city of “crude urbanization”.
(3) Neoliberal globalism and the imagination of Istanbul as a global city.
The main argument is that the most recent imagination of “Cool Istanbul” claims to embrace and contain the earlier imaginations of Istanbul as an Oriental city, as a Third World city and as a global city, and that this marks a paradigm change in the imagination of Istanbul in the era of neoliberal globalism and Postfordist capitalism. The analysis is then juxtaposed with an analysis of the political economy of urbanism in effect in the city in these three periods. Understanding the changing politics of urbanism guiding the material production of urban space provides a solid ground for the analysis of changing cultural discourses on the city.
The Research Project is funded by the Emmy Noether Program of the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG), hosted by the Institute of European Ethnology at Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich and run by a Research Group directed by the Emmy Noether Fellow Dr. Derya Özkan. Vildan Seçkiner (M.A.) worked from 2011 to 2014 as a Research Assistant and she is expected to defend her dissertation and receive her Ph.D. degree in early 2016. Aslı Duru (Ph.D.) worked as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow from 2012 to 2015. Yeliz Soytemel and Till Schmidt worked as Student Assistants respectively between 2012 and 2014. Irene Hilden worked as an intern for the exhibition project in 2014. Since November 2014 Claudia Stahl has been supporting the project as a Student Assistant.