Keyman Grant Recipients
Arif Çamoğlu was the recipient of a Keyman Modern Turkish Studies Research Grant in December 2017. The grant covered his expenses for his preliminary research in Istanbul, allowing him to access the print copies of some of his primary sources in the Ottoman Turkish and Turkish languages.
“The Everyday Life of Fatwas in Islamic Financial Institutions.” With the support of Keyman Modern Turkish Studies Program at The Buffett Institute, Seyma has conducted preliminary fieldwork for her dissertation research project at Islamic financial institutions in Istanbul, Turkey in the summer of 2018. Her research examines how multiple legal systems interact to create Islamic financial devices in the participation banking industry. Shifting the scholarly focus from the Shari’a board members to the mid-level employees, her research underlines the everyday negotiations of the hierarchies between international regulations, national banking laws, and fatwas in shaping the everyday financial transactions.
My dissertation project focuses on Turkish state's youth culturing agenda under AKP governments led by Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Between 2016 and 2018, I conducted two years of ethnographic research in Istanbul to explore how culture workers blended promises of upward class mobility and political certainty with notions of cultural authenticity and refinement in their attempts to appeal to variously-positioned young people. In the part of this research funded by Keyman Modern Turkish Studies Research Grant, I conducted fieldwork at a youth culture center in Esenler, a lower class district of Istanbul, to explore culture workers’ strategies to recruit youth, the role of informal education in the AKP’s wider youth culturing program, and how young people, with varying degrees of engagement with the center, imagined individual and collective futures.
“Sephardic Memory: Language, Citizenship, Migration.” My exploratory research in summer 2018 investigated the Turkish Sephardic Jews’ migration, legal experiences after recently obtaining Spanish nationality after 2015 Sephardic Citizenship Law. My preliminary research allowed me to delve into the bureaucratic process of acquiring Spanish citizenship for Jewish Turkish nationals, in Istanbul and in Barcelona. Regarding the 2015 Sephardic Citizenship Law of Spain, I have focused on Turkish Jews’ perceptions and bureaucratic experiences, migration patterns, and negotiations of identity. As preliminary to my future fieldwork, I aimed at locating the major cities where Turkish Sephardim migrate, the social circles that they build, and the social venues they integrate into. Summer 2018 preliminary research not only helped me establish further connections within the community I work with, but also allowed me to involve in academic meetings in Istanbul, Barcelona, and Madrid. Furthermore, I attended the conference “Turkish-Jewish Entanglements: Resilience, Migration, and New Diasporas” at the University of Graz, organized by Prof. Ipek Yosmaoglu, and presented my paper titled “Politics of Time and Affect: Tracing Narratives on Language Loss”.