Koç University

International Summer School



2010 İstanbul


The European Capital of Culture is a city designated by the European Union for a period of one calendar year during which it is given a chance to showcase its cultural life and cultural development. A number of European cities have used the City of Culture year to transform their cultural base and, in doing so, the way in which they are viewed internationally. Conceding the view of European Parliament and approval by the Council of Cultural Ministers of the European Union Istanbul was finally announced to be the European Capital of Culture for 2010.

Istanbul maintains a distinguished position among the metropolis of the world with its unique geographical location and a cultural heritage of thousands of years. As one of the most energetic cities in the world Istanbul continually gets to be an attraction center.

Koç University College of Social Sciences and Humanities wants to take this opportunity and offer a series of courses on Istanbul to celebrate the cultural heritage of Istanbul.




LITR 103 : Introduction to Contemporary Lit: Istanbul of Orhan Pamuk/Orhan Pamuk of Istanbul
Instructor: Özlem Öğüt

Istanbul constitutes not only the setting of many of Orhan Pamuk's novels but also a major influence on Pamuk's imagination. The landscape, architecture, and history of the city that combines the old and the new, the East and the West, and a great variety of cultures, find expression in the dynamic complexity of the themes, characters, imagery, and the narrative structure of his novels. Istanbul, with its unique images, sounds, smells and tastes figures in the sensuous and emotional texture of Pamuk's works. Focusing mainly on Pamuk's The Black Book and Istanbul: Memories and the City, with occasional references to his The White Castle, My Name is Red and The Museum of Innocence, the course will present how Istanbul inspires and shapes the author as the author re-inscribes Istanbul.

LITR 101: Introduction to Genre: Women and Istanbul
Instructor: Işıl Baş

We will start from the Ottoman times and come to the present period examining the way women have experienced Istanbul. We will read texts written by both Turkish and foreign writers. We will peek into the harem life, pass through the early periods of The Turkish Republic, observe how the tension between the old and the new capital influenced the women's lives and making the present times our final stop, we will study what it means to be a woman and how women interact with the great city in the modern day Istanbul.

LITR 105:  Introduction to Contemporary Lit: American Writers in Istanbul: Melville, Twain, Hemingway, Baldwin.
Instructor: Kim Fortuny

This course will examine the literary response of four canonical American writers to the city of Istanbul.  Each of these writers visited Istanbul at different times in the 19th and 20th centuries and each writer responded in writing to the city within the context of their own historical moments.  The course will focus on three things in particular.  First we will examine the literary representation of Istanbul in the texts.  We will consider how the city seems to confirm, challenge or inspire the imagination and careers of each writer and how these responses function formally on the page.  Secondly we will study some of the social, cultural and intellectual conditions in the United States and Turkey at the time of these writings in an attempt to account for these responses.  The course will then conclude by assessing the international range of these acclaimed national writers. As a challenge to the excesses of literary regionalism, this assessment becomes an argument for a transnational approach to literary scholarship that reaches beyond the confines of national borders, in this case beyond the U.S., Europe and the west, to Istanbul and beyond.

MUSC 350:  Selected Topics: Listening to Istanbul: Music in Context
Instructor: Ozan Baysal

The aim of this course is to give a musico-sociological investigation of the musics of Istanbul as a window to have a deeper look at the city's cultural mosaic. Different styles and genres of music will be covered throughout history, all of which will be reflecting the expansion of a city's culture, its transformations, developments and influences. Overviews will be provided by the instructor and the students are expected to read scholarly and popular texts from across a variety of sources, and listen to a rich repertoire of recordings. They are also expected to participate in class discussion. Musical training or background in music is not necessary.

SOCI 350:  Space, Power, and Politics in Contemporary Istanbul
Instructor: Ayfer Bartu Candan

This course will focus on the urban dynamics in contemporary Istanbul drawing on sociological and anthropological literature. The social, spatial, cultural and political changes in the city will be examined focusing on the post-1980s period. The emphasis will be on the following issues: globalization; neoliberal urbanism; emerging forms of urban segregation; urban politics; gentrification; social exclusion; migration; urban social movements. Although the focus will be on Istanbul, there will be an attempt to analyze the contemporary urban dynamics in Istanbul through a comparative perspective.

HIST 245:  History of Istanbul
Instructor: Nina Ergin

This course will examine the multi-layered history of Istanbul, focusing primarily on the built environment. In a chronological fashion, the course will explore changes and continuities in the urban space in relation to the city's political, social and economic history, from the Byzantine imperial capital to its transformation into an Ottoman city, and from an Ottoman into a modern city in the Late Ottoman and Republican periods. Within the chronological framework, the course will give a thematic overview over fortifications, imperial palaces, mosques, churches, synagogues, modest neighborhoods, commercial centers, and spaces for civic ritual and entertainment.

ARHA/HIST 350:  History of Byzantium and Constantinople from Severus to the end of Heraclius' reign
Instructor: Kutlu Akalın

Focusing on the birth and development of Byzantium and Constantinople until the end of 1453 reign (641). Political and social history as well as art history. This is going to be an intensive historical survey of the city of Byzantium/Constantinople. The students will be introduced to the rich source-material through extended primary-source readings. At least two sight-seeing trips will be conducted. The political narration will be blended into the social and cultural history of the period.