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Breaking the Stereotype 2009-2010 (The Conference 2010 - The Abstracts)









In Between the Images of “Istanbul 2010 – The European Capital of Culture” (Deniz Bayrakdar)


This panel contribution aims to discuss the "in-betweens" of the Istanbul images shown on January 16, 2010, on the occasion of the opening ceremony of Istanbul 2010, the European Capital of Culture. In-between these images where the symbols of Byzantine and Ottoman Empire and the Turkish Republic are "cut" into another evoked a feeling of "rupture". Istanbul was sent in sense to exile as the Byzantine and Ottoman Empire's capital after Ankara was chosen as the capital of the Modern Turkey. Istanbul has been left to the realm of representations in 50s and 60s films leaving the modernism project to the new capital Ankara. Referring to the surveys and researches of city planners and architects I will try to make a flash-forward between the 1960s and 2000s to find the moments and sites of this "rupture" between the images. I will work with the films on and about Istanbul I studied since 1993 to pay a repeated respect to them from "Today's Istanbul, The European Capital of Culture".



Perceptions and Misperception in Turkish-European Relations (Mustafa Aydın)





EC Policy on Culture for the Euro-Med Region (Renata Papsch)





Intercultural Education in a European Context (Kutlay Yağmur)





Political-historical Aspects (Dirk Rochtus)









Expected Conflicts? Intercultural Competence beyond Concepts of Otherness (Gernot Wolfram)




According to the works of Bruno Latour using terms as “cultural influences” or “social environments” are problematic approaches to describe human behaviour in special life situations such as intercultural encounters because of the huge field of possible associations which can be generated by these terms. Therefore the lecture suggests looking more precisely into the concrete “traces” of cultural and social backgrounds in intercultural situations without expecting conflicts too quickly as something that would belong naturally to such encounters. Traditional concepts of otherness very often lead straight to the expectation of conflicts or misunderstandings in intercultural debates. Intercultural competence is therefore very often focused on questions how to avoid potential conflicts. The lecture will discuss if this focus is helpful to gain intercultural competence, or if one should see this focus as part of special scientific concepts of intercultural interpretations of the western world. Authors like Julia Kristeva, James Clifford and Clifford Geertz are important influences for this scientific discussion.



Uses and abuses of Occidentalism (Robbert A.F.L. Woltering)




Over the past decade, the term 'Occidentalism' has been applied to various phenomena. What all uses have in common is that it refers to an 'image of the West'. What that image is, and how it should be analyzed, remains to be debated. One of the primary questions that need to be resolved is the question of how Occidentalism is related to Orientalism. This paper will propose a definition of Occidentalism that is based on findings from the author's recently finished PhD-thesis.



Europe and Turkey – Cultural positions (Hakan Yılmaz)





Orientalism in Turkey’s foreign policy (Dirk Rochtus)




Turkey is developing a new foreign policy called the ‘Strategic Depth’ through which she wants to deal not only with the West but also with the Muslim neighbouring states and to consolidate her position in her traditional influence sphere stemming from Ottoman times. It might be a fact that it is easier for the AKP-elites due to their more pious background to throw out their feelers in that broader region than the Kemalist elites.  

The enthusiasm for accession to the European Union seems to have cooled down. Does this in combination with the criticism on Israel mean that Turkey is turning away from the West?

Opinions are divided: some analysts talk about a new 'Orientalism', whereas others say that Turkey is just conducting a policy of 'complementarity', that relations with Israël will not suffer as there are too many military and technological interests at stake between the two states, and that EU-accession still remains state goal.



Freud’s Turkey. Psychoanalysis and the Vicissitudes of Orientalism (Frank F. Scherer)




The textual founding of psychoanalysis is marked by recurrent references to the “Orient.” Freud’s Orient is stereotypically split into good/bad opposites played out, for example, by Egypt and Turkey, These narcissistic inroads into a series of ambivalent Orients regularly lead back to an earlier, traumatic East made of Jewishness and anti-Semitism. Dreading the figure of the “Ostjude”, or Eastern Jew, who is concealed behind many of his exotic excursions, Freud develops and deploys his particular brand of Orientalism as a mode of resistance against anti-Semitic Orientalist discourse. Yet, overburdened by contradiction, his attempts to resist anti-Semitic Orientalism by way of strategic reversal cannot succeed as he is unable to extricate himself from the historical assumptions of that discourse. In spite of these difficulties, it is the revolutionary concept of the unstable subject posited by Freudian psychoanalytic theory which, ultimately, deconstructs all Orientalist discourse – that of others or his own.



Globalization is change and its effects in culture (Tuğba Kalafatoğlu; co-author: Vedat Akman)





Globalization is a process of interaction and integration among the people, companies, and governments of different nations, and this process is aided by information technology.  It has effects on the environment, on culture, on political systems, on economic development and prosperity, and on human physical well-being in societies around the world. Globalization is an on-going process dated back to the 1700s. Globalization is change. But change has always been an integral feature of life. New forms of technology are one of the hallmarks of contemporary globalization. Indeed, technological progress of the magnitude seen in the last three decades is a good indicator for the occurrence of profound social and cultural transformations.
The world we live in thrives on change. With new possibilities with globalization of technology, people are interacted to each other. Most importantly, cultural unawareness or language difficulties accentuated by local dialects and accents are overcome by innovative use of technology. With the change of technology, the globalization is shaping our culture in a new direction and affecting it more than we can imagine.



“Identity” And The “Self” In The Process Of Creating And Breaking The Stereotypes (Vahide Ersü)




The hardest thing is to care for a person for whatever he or she is. It is much easier to care for others for what we think they are or wish they were, even feel they should be!! We are afraid that if we let ourselves freely experience these positive feelings towards others we may be hurt or trapped by them. We prefer to build up distance between ourselves and others if we feel insecure.

The more secure the “self” concept is the less threat would be perceived in relation to the “other”.. One who feels secure can feel congruent with his/her experience in encounters with the “other”. There  will be less need to create defenses.

However, inadequate, repressive, cold and distant child raising styles and upper systems leaves the child feeling insecure and anxious. Which in return creates higher defensiveness as a result of experiencing the “other” as a threat.  As an adult, insecure “self” needs stronger “identities” to defend him/her self. With identity one feels  secure by belonging, and at the same time differentiates him/her self from the “other” which lays perfect conditions to create stereotypes.
Here, I would like to discuss the psychological dynamics of creating and breaking the stereotypes.



“Who am I, and how can I be me?” – A Desired (Stereotypical) Europeaness as the Turkish Other in Orhan Pamuk’s Novels (Veronika Bernard)




In talking about mediating between cultures within a context of creating and breaking stereotypes it is essential to also discuss fictional approaches to cultural identities. It is also vital to change perspectives on the issue of cultural identities by analyzing the view on the own culture from the outside. What makes Europe, and what makes Europeans?

As Turkish writers are in a particular situation of defining their literary and personal identities in a context of living in a state which has a history of defining its cultural identity in an effort to be seen as a part of Europe the paper will analyze novels by Orhan Pamuk because the search of identity is one of the leading themes in his texts. The paper will focus on the ideas of Europeaness present in Pamuk’s texts and on their impact on the (Turkish) characters‘ attempts at defining and shaping their identities.



Altering Perceptions: Exploring How Images Contribute To Stereotyping Of Arabs (Tina Sleiman)




Arabs tend to be victims of stereotypical representations in American popular media. Those representations can encourage discriminatory behaviors, which result in material, psychological and social costs for the perceiver, the target and society. This research is designed to help prevent incidents of oppression that are rooted in prejudice by raising awareness. Furthermore, the project is an attempt to help viewers see how vulnerable they are to the stereotypical messages portrayed in popular media. Through experimental surveys, this research applies scholarly theories to a visual project and evaluates the efficacy of some proposed methods for deconstructing stereotyping against Arabs. The instruments of evaluation (visual surveys) as well as results will be displayed in the presentation and open for discussion.



Mutual stereotypes between Locals and Expatriates in the UAE (Mohammad Masad)




Mutual stereotyping is an unfortunate part of the reality of relations between local Emiratis and Western expatriates living and working in the UAE. Though not quite visible in everyday experience, it is actually widespread, complex, and damaging; and it is rarely openly addressed or discussed in public. While this phenomenon can be viewed from the prism of the familiar Orient-Occident divide, it is rather more meaningful as an outcome of the peculiar socio-economic and population structures of the country. Indeed, given the hyper ethnic, national and religious diversity of the UAE, the stereotyping seems to transcend the East-West cultural and geographical schisms to encompass a wider and deeper set of perceptions, relations and contradictions. The paper will focus on primary manifestations of the local-expatriate stereotypes, found in print and electronic media and in daily attitudes, and attempt to analyze and contextualize them to help understand the problem and explore effective strategies of dealing with it.



Producing of Stereotypes in Schools (A. Faruk Yaylacı)





Migrants’ stereotypes about Other Migrants: Belgium Case (Filiz Yaylacı-Göktuna)



Ways of promoting or blocking intercultural understanding in the media (Kutlay Yağmur)





On Terrorists, Artists and Top Athletes or The Substitution of Everyday Life by the Extraordinary – A Frame-Analysis of Stereotypical Evaluations of Muslims by East German Regional Newspapers (Stephan Sielschott)




Within the coverage of two German regional newspapers in October 2008, two so-called stereotype-frames about Muslims were identified using content analysis and latent class analysis. Inside the Cold- and Harm-Frame which includes 70 % of all articles, Muslims were mostly thematized in the context of terrorism, violence and crime. Muslims were evaluated as cold or rather immoral, negative effects for other people were attributed to their behaviour, they were made fully responsible for these consequences, and a harmful behaviour of other protagonists against them was thematized. In contrast, about 30 % of the articles belonged to the Competence- and Cooperation-Frame. Competence was frequently ascribed to Muslim sportsmen and artists. Almost exclusively positive behavioural effects and cooperative associations with Muslims were mentioned. The coverage about Muslims occurred merely in sections and contexts of action which are rather far away from everyday life, whereas it took place neither in the regional section nor in the local section of the newspapers.



Breaking the Stereotype or Reinforcing the Stereotype? Muslim women in German Media Discourse (Petra Feldmann)




A critical glance at the German media shows that the current discussion on the situation of migrants from Muslim cultures lacks constructiveness. This particularly affects female Muslims, who are assigned a double disadvantaged social status: as women and as members of a religious and cultural minority. This lecture will present different axes of the stereotype of Muslim women emerging in the market-leading newspaper “Sueddeutsche Zeitung” which has been analysed by means of qualitative content analysis. The focus will be on gender-specific mechanisms of group focused enmity and seeks to establish an insight into subtle as well as virulent forms of ideologies of inequality towards Muslim women in Germany. That gets us closer to the role of mass media in creating boundaries and in fostering hegemonic readings of the national debate.



(In)visibility of Islam in public sphere in Europe (Fatih Okumuş)



Dress codes are the most visible indicators of Islamic identity of Muslim women in public domain. Covering, veiling, headscarf, tesettur or hijab of modern Muslim women is not similar with traditional Muslim women.

Handshaking became a polemical issue in the Netherlands when an imam refused to shake hands with a minister Rita Verdonk responsible for integration in 20th of November 2004. However, most of imams shake hands of opposite sex when the benefits (maslahat) of handshaking are more than the damages (mafsadat) of refusing hand of others. At the same time they did not accept normalization of handshaking as a cultural code among Muslim community itself.

I will re-read some visible cultural codes of Islam like dresscodes and physical contacts.  Refusing shaking hands of opposite sex or headscarf can be seen easily as political or religious symbols. I suppose that these are also cultural codes (ādāb) referring to other value system.



Censorship and Westernization in Beirut: al-Nahla's downfall – Beirut (1870) (Rogier Visser)




‘Nahda’, the 19th and 20th century Arabic cultural revival, is a rather vague and multifaceted umbrella term which signifies various simultaneous cultural developments; as an analytical concept it is therefore unsuitable. Instead, process-oriented studies of the cultural dynamics of the nahda-era are a promising field. This paper illustrates this point.

By combining transfer studies with discourse analysis it is found that, in Beirut in 1870, the meaning that is attached to the ‘East’ and the ‘West’ results in a very sensitized atmosphere surrounding cultural issues, where conservative and progressive voices (both integral parts of the nahla) easily collide. The analysis also shows that the ‘nahda’ discourse on East-West relations problematizes Arab subjectivity. This is demonstrated by a case study on the conflict between Louis Sabunji and Butrus al-Bustani; their conflict resulted in the first ban of a periodical publication by the Ottoman authorities, in December 1870.



Depicting the Prophet Muhammad - Visual traditions in Western European books (Alberto Saviello)




Starting with the conflict about the Muhammad caricatures published by a Danish newspaper in 2005 and the recent comments on Islam by Pope Benedict XVI the talk examines the long tradition of western European representations of the Prophet Muhammad. Referring to Qur’an translations and biographies of the Prophet published from the Middle Ages up to the 20th century the talk tries to demonstrate the shifting perception of the Muslim religion and its founder in the West. On the one hand, it will be shown how the visualizations of the Prophet have been exploited as arguments within intra-European religious and social conflicts, on the other hand, it shall be discussed how the artistic productions itself coined the reception of Islam in a very essential way.



The Power of Non-Identity (Nicolien Zuijdgeest and Herbert Minderhoud)





In this unconventional and interactive workshop you will experience themes of identity and non-identity, with a special focus on diversity. We might break stereotype thinking, but then the question remains: Is the concept of diversity in Turkey the same as it is in Europe?

Having an identity is one thing, but growing to an awareness of non-identity is another thing. We will invite you to experience how a shift in thinking can create a totally different view of looking at your ‘self’ and to world issues. Surprise yourself with this out-of-the-box thinking workshop; it might bring you things that you would never have dreamed of.

The workshop is open to conference speakers, conference participants, and the general public.


Pre-registration on h.minderhoud@xs4all.nl (and cc to nicolien.zuijdgeest@planet.nl) is required.

Deadline of pre-registration for conference speakers is March 31, 2010.

Deadline of pre-registration for conference participants is October 24, 2010, noon.

Deadline of pre-registration for the general public is October 15, 2010. 


Maximum participants: 50


Between north and south: overcoming the barriers (Aldo Morrone)




Migration has been going on throughout the history of mankind, from the moment of man’s first appearance on this earth to the present days. In particular, during the colonization period, migration has transformed the world, and still the growing poverty is pushing people to move in search of a better life. The widening disparities in wealth between North and South and the growing need for young and relatively cheap labour in the North suggest this migration trend will continue, under the form of both voluntary and involuntary migration (which includes the slave trade, trafficking in human beings and ethnic cleansing).

This interpretation of migration movements and of their increase leads to admit that what is now happening in Italy, and in particular in Lampedusa is “an appointment with history”, a chance to rethink the dynamics and mechanisms causing these biblical mass migrations, and to overcome the barriers, also considering the past of Italian migrants looking for a better future.



Istanbul Crossroads: Establishing Mutual Understanding and Intercultural Dialogue through Immigration Themed Short Films (Vedat Akman; co-author: Uğur Özgöker)





Our Slogan is “Young Entrepreneurs Hand by Hand with Young Film Directors”. Our goal in “JCI Istanbul Crossroads” project with Junior Chamber International Istanbul is to celebrate our social, religious and cultural diversities rather than using them as a reason for conflict. We aim to help analyse short films made by young filmmakers around the world with the help of “JCI Istanbul Crossroads International Short Film Festival and Competition” in order to understand how they articulate the issues surrounding identities and diversity. Together with the festival organizers, we all will have the opportunity to examine the cross-cultural fertilisation that is taking place through immigration themed international short films. We hope our “JCI Istanbul International Short Film Project” will be the greatest meeting of cultures and minds to find creative and lasting solutions to some of the most pressing concerns of the international and local communities around the world. The international element of the Film Festival allows participants to be part of a truly global community and helps foster greater understanding among people of all races, cultures and backgrounds.  We believe it is progressive thinking that has changed the world and will continue to change the world. We need to see progress in this area. Thus contributing to the meeting of amateur short film producers from all around the world, “Istanbul Crossroads” project is aiming to create global awareness in favour of intercultural communication, and therefore to mediate the meeting of the cultures.



Broken Mirrors - European Muslims, Middle Eastern Christians. Scattered Identities between the Balkans and the Middle East (paper presentation) and film clip: A Visual Travel from Sarajevo to Jerusalem (Mesut Yaşar Tufan)




Purpose of the speech is to present the audience a different way of looking at “others” with a different perception. By developing perception, it is possible to look from above at the other’s restricting beliefs adopted in clashes. To remind the responsibility of questioning “proposed as true”. Furthermore, religious messages remind to provide peace, unity, togetherness, which should not be used as political tools. This helps us understanding the “other”, seeing fundamental similarities and teaches us to live together in harmony although there are dissimilarities.

Even if the topics seem different, they appear similar when examined closely. Learning and understanding of the values in-depth can help with a better perception as a prize of diversity. Help to enhance an open approach to minority rights and cultural values in concordance with the concept of human rights. The notion of minority is relative; majority definition is a numeric criteria, members of the majority may feel as minority in a territory.



EUROMED – the Euro-Mediterranean Foundation for the Dialogue between Cultures within the context of Culture politics and intercultural dialogue (Renata Papsch)




Cultural bridges must be built to ensure that Music, Cinema, Literature and Arts become a tool of better knowledge and cultural dialogue. This was one of the main conclusion of the Euro-Med Ministerial Meeting of Culture which took place in Athens (May 2008) and produced a Declaration which defines a comprehensive cultural approach for the European cultural policy in the region, and underlines the role of the Anna Lindh Foundation (ALF) as the main tool for cultural dialogue in the area.

Since its establishment, the ALF has organized cultural events of local or regional significance. Thanks to the Sea of Words literary contest, the Foundation has awarded young writers writing on intercultural issues and has involved them in workshops in different countries. Through its Call for Proposals, the Foundation has supported dozens of projects on artistic exchange, joint cultural productions and festivals in the EuroMed region. The future ALF programmes will tackle cross-cutting issues such as mobility, translation, and networking.



The First Victim of War – Comparing Orientalism in the War Reporting of Richard A. Bermann and John Reed (Eugene Sensenig-Dabbous)




Publishing between the K.u.K. fin de siècle and the outbreak of WW II, Richard A. Bermann’s now largely unknown writing is an important manifestation of the Austrian gaze on the Orient, dealing with regions as disparate as India, the Near East, the Balkans, and Turkey. In contrast to Bermann, John Reed’s report on the “War in Eastern Europe” is still studied as an important early example of anti-militarist war journalism by media scholars around the world.

This paper will deal with Bermann’s unpublished autobiographical portrayal of the three years (1914-1916) he spent as an embedded “pacifist” war reporter with the Austro-Hungarian “Kriegspressequartier” (K.P.Q.), highlighting his descriptions of the “Oriental Frontier” between the Habsburg and the Ottoman Empires. It will juxtapose these portrayals of the Balkans and Turkey with those by John Reed who traveled in the same region immediately prior to the US entry into the war as an enemy of the Central Powers. A comparative study of Reed’s and Bermann’s anti-imperialist and anti-war journalism will attempt to determine whether, nevertheless, they were captives of Orientalist cultural traditions.



Why do authors “make” imaginary journeys? (Olcay Akyıldız)




The term travel literature is used for travel writing of literary value –value of course being a problematical definition-. Most people who travel tend to record their itineraries even if they do not plan to publish them. And sometimes authors write about travels that never came true. This paper will focus on the latter: travel writings on imaginary journeys. Looking at various examples from world literature I will try to ask questions on the motivations of such texts and then narrow my focus on the Ottoman-Turkish literature. Through the classification and analysis of examples of fictitious travel accounts from the Ottoman-Turkish literature I plan to reach a systematic approach to such genre.



Literature as a stereotype-generating and feeding mechanism and the orient-occident imagery in 19th century ottoman novels (H. Hümeyra Sahin)




Orient and Occident are two stereotypes used for expressing different thinking patterns. These stereotypes bring along a question like ‘East according to which perspective, and West according to which perspective?’ within the context of ‘spherical’ coordinates. It is fundamental to go back to the historical basics of Oriental and Occidental images, but study them with a contemporary approach. This paper elaborates on orient-occident imagery in 19th century Ottoman novel, where Westernization tendencies were discussed most vehemently, and deals with the function of literature as a mechanism generating the orient–occident stereotype and feeding it. This critical reading will allow us to decipher the positive or negative codes related to Orient and Occident. The study is also supported by representations in Ottoman ambassador itineraries from the same era which helped such perceptions to take root in Ottoman society.



Stereotyping and Constructions of the Other as “Strategies of Symbolic Containment and Risk” in Travel Writing (Atalay Gündüz)




As Michael Pickering rightly observes, nationalism tends to use ‘us’ against ‘them’ dichotomy, using “the other” to construct a sense of national identity and social cohesion. The politics of belonging and not belonging plays a crucial role in celebrating what is “culturally close and familiar above what is distant and dissimilar.” Another strategy used to maintain the cultural belonging is the “dissociation from what is contrasted with national mediations” (109). For deploying Islam as the “characteristic form of life” in Turkey, most travel writing divides Turkey from Europe. It is almost a convention to use “strategies of symbolic containment and risk” to depict Turkey as a threat to Europe. My paper investigates how travel accounts could use stereotypes to other Turkey so as to form a sense of European identity and unity.



Western Travelers and the Orientals (Naji Oueijan)




Trade, pilgrimage, scholarship, and adventure prompted Eastern and Western travelers’ exchange visits until the middle of the eighteenth century, when images of the Orientals were more accurately portrayed by travelers like the Sherley Brothers, Richard Chandler, and James Bruce, as well as by genuine Orientalists, such as Simon Ockley, George Sale, and Sir William Jones. These writers liberated themselves from the traditional beliefs and predominant political and religious prejudice against the East, prompted earlier by the Crusaders. Their travel literature and scholarly works challenged the Western public’s misconceptions toward the East. During the nineteenth-century, the Grand Tour of Europe was often replaced with the Oriental tour. By that time most of the Orient was part of the Ottoman Empire. In this work I discuss Western travelers’ portrayals of the Oriental peoples and discuss the factors that contributed to the generation of these representations. This work is intended to show the veracity behind a cross-cultural misconception rather than judging one or the other.



Jewish Community of İzmir in British Travel Writing (Orkun Kocabiyik)




From the early periods of history of Europe and Britain, travel literature has attracted a wide readership. This unique form of non-fiction includes journals, diaries, memoirs, and ships’ logs, as well as exploration, adventure and escape. Generally those texts aimed to seek between self and other. With its unique form, Britain was the leading country in those explorations, especially the Orient and “her” the Other.   

After the expulsion of all Jews from Spain in 1492 and Portugal soon thereafter, they came to Ottoman lands such as Istanbul, Salonika, Safed and elsewhere. As late as 1590, there were probably no Jews living in İzmir and that it was not until 1605 that an official Jewish community was organized. In the sixteenth and seventeenth century, Jews found vocations not only in the textile industry but also as tax collectors. But the most crucial role of Jews in those years was their negotiator role between the foreigners and local suppliers. As Britain and their famous Levant Company were one of the most known traders of İzmir, this nations traveler’s notes and accounts are valuable for us to see this multi cultural town’s inhabitants. How they perceived Jews of Izmir? How did they stress or not stress the importance of this community in their travel accounts will be the main questions for me to figure out in this study.



Occidental individualistic values and Turkish honour (Sophie Servais)




The economic forces induced by the European movement of “comfort migration” (Gesellschaft) on the Turkish Riviera seem to set the cultural exchange in terms of dominant and dominator. Ignorance may induce the Europeans to adopt behaviours that are offensive vis-à-vis the taboos and habits which can be at the basis of Turkish social cohesion and their non-compliance may raise a response beyond the importance of what they guarantee: ensuring the honour. The honour is then required as a resistance in a native context.
Whereas the double cultural background of the immigrants of Turkish origin to Europe (Gemeinschaft) is now an asset in the movement, a comfort factor in the migration, lack of cultural characteristics promoting a genuine social cohesion appears to be the main cause of the difficulty for the “comfort migrants” to integrate in the community.

Thus, the balance of power is potentially reversed.





Conference coordinators’ and editors’ note


The conference coordinators and editors of this leaflet would like to thank the conference speakers for their professional discipline in submitting abstracts of their papers.

Unfortunately, however, single speakers have not allowed us to make the editorial changes necessary to properly edit their abstracts as far as language, punctuation and number of words are concerned.

For the sake of providing unrestricted information on the papers to be presented in the conference we have decided not to delete these abstracts from the leaflet but simply print them un-edited.

We apologize to the readers for this inconvenience.