Grants Program

Summer Language Grant Award Winners 2014-2015

Dilyara Agisheva
Department of Arabic and Islamic Studies, Georgetown University

Dilyara Agisheva is a Ph.D. student at Georgetown University in the Department of Arabic and Islamic studies. Her research interests include Islamic law, theology and intellectual history in the Ottoman Empire. Her specific research topic focuses on the criminal law in the Ottoman Empire and legal reform in the 19th century. The generous Summer Language Grant of the Institute of Turkish Studies will support the Ottoman language study at the Yıldız Teknik Üniversitesi in İstanbul during the summer of 2014. The necessarily reading skills acquired through the Ottoman language course will assist in utilizing primary sources for her dissertation research. Relying on criminal court records, the primary objective of Dilyara's dissertation project is to understand how the subject of criminality transformed in the Ottoman Empire, by giving account of criminal actions as they were described in the Ottoman court registers and in the traditional Islamic legal literature. Second, her project also attempts to uncover how new legal institutions and courts that were established in the mid-nineteenth century began to shape the concept of the 'criminal' in relations to the state.
Kate Dannies
Department of History, Georgetown University

The grant I received will support my travel and residence in İstanbul during summer 2014. While in İstanbul I will be enrolled at the Ottoman Calligraphy and Paleography program and the TÖMER Modern Turkish program at Yıldız Technical University. While the primary purpose of my trip is language study, I will also be taking advantage of my presence in İstanbul to conduct preliminary dissertation research at local archives. My proposed dissertation research focuses on the critical role of the First World War in shaping modern Lebanese approaches to geopolitics, sectarianism and gender. I approach this topic from a local, regional and global perspective that incorporates the Arab, Ottoman and Great Power dimensions of the war years in the Eastern Mediterranean.
Daniel Fields
Department of Near Eastern Studies, Princeton University

Daniel Fields is a second year Ph.D. student in the Department of Near Eastern Studies at Princeton University. With the support of the Institute for Turkish Studies, he will be participating in an intensive Ottoman paleography course at İstanbul's Yıldız University during the summer of 2014. The ability to read Ottoman Turkish texts is a key component of his future research, which will deal with questions of community and belonging in the late Ottoman Empire and early Turkish Republic, specifically in the context of the 1920-1923 "Pontus Rum" revolts that occurred in the Black Sea region. While at Yıldız, he will be conducting preliminary research on this topic as well as expanding a section of his MA thesis which explored state imposed place name changes in the Turkish Republic.
Stefan Hock
Department of History, Georgetown University

Stefan Hock is a second-year Ph.D. student at Georgetown University. His research primarily concerns the history of sexuality in the late Ottoman Empire and early Turkish Republic. With the support of the Institute of Turkish Studies, he will be attending the Cunda Ottoman Turkish Summer School in 2014. He holds a BA from Quinnipiac University (2010) and an MA from George Washington University (2013).
Monica Katiboğlu
Comparative Literature, University of California, Irvine

I am currently a Ph.D. student in Comparative Literature at the University of California, Irvine, where I study Turkish literature, French literature and literary criticism and theory. With the Summer Language Grant from ITS, I will improve my reading skills in Ottoman Turkish this summer at Yıldız Teknik University. This course will enable me to carry out essential research for my dissertation, which will reread Turkish literary modernity by examining linguistic innovations and narrative techniques that do not always derive from the West.
Erol Koymen
Musicology, University of Texas

Erol Koymen is an MA candidate in musicology at the University of Texas, where he is currently co-president of the musicology graduate student association. His research interests are in the modernization of music culture in the Republic of Turkey, with particular emphases on the "Turkish Five" composers and interactions between European and Turkish music cultures. He has presented work at the Altenmarkt Fulbright Seminar in American Studies in Austria, the American Musicological Society Southwest Conference, the Southwest Graduate Conference in Middle Eastern and North African Studies in Arizona, and the MUSICULT conference at the İstanbul Technical University. With the ITS grant, he will take a summer Turkish course at TÖMER in Ankara. He graduated from Vanderbilt University in 2011 with majors in voice and philosophy, and has additionally pursued studies at the Free University of Berlin and the University of Vienna. After graduation, he held a two year Fulbright Teaching Assistantship in Austria prior to beginning his graduate studies.
Caroline McKusick
Anthropology, University of California, Davis

I am a Ph.D. candidate in Anthropology at University of California, Davis. I work with pro-Kurdish journalists in Turkey, asking how journalists endure violence and change the practice of journalism in response to shifts in the Kurdish movement and in state repression. I am interested in not just the texts of media, but also the practices of media-making and enduring as political interventions themselves. My dissertation is therefore ethnography of the practices of labor and community which make a certain kind of journalism possible under conditions of violence and exclusion. The ITS language grant will help me improve my knowledge of written Turkish so that I can analyze the writing of news in pro-Kurdish journalism.
Graham Auman Pitts
Department of History, Georgetown University

I am doctoral candidate in History at Georgetown University. With funding from the Institute for Turkish Studies, I was able to take Yıldız Technical University's summer Ottoman orthography course. The ability to use Ottoman will deepen my dissertation project, a study of Lebanon's environmental history. Only the late Imperial archive can allow a full reconstruction Mount Lebanon's ecology in the first decades of the twentieth century. For the period of the First World War, Ottoman documents are key to unpacking the causes of the famine that killed one in three Lebanese. Without a language study grant from ITS, I would have been unable to utilize the above essential sources for my project.
Kristen Stoeckeler
Theatre Historiography Program, University of Minnesota

Kristen Stoeckeler is a third-year Ph.D. student in the Theatre Historiography program at the University of Minnesota. Her work investigates the role of performance in processes of identity-formation and community-building, local and globalized LGBT rights movements, and international human rights discourse. Her work focuses on contemporary performance practices in LGBT community in İstanbul, as well as local and global performances of LGBT identity and community. Kristen will be using her grant to fund her Turkish language studies in İstanbul this summer.

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