Karen Barkey. Choreographies of Sharing: Sacred Sites in Ottoman and Contemporary Turkey

Tuesday, April 29, 2014 - 2:00pm to 3:30pm
Blumer Room - 402 Barrows Hall

Karen Barkey, Columbia University

Tue. April 29, 2014, 2:00-3:30pm, 402 Barrows Hall

Choreographies of Sharing:  Sacred Sites in Ottoman and Contemporary Turkey

 Shared sacred sites where people from different religious and ethnic backgrounds are able to live with difference, accommodate to each other’s religious needs and negotiate in public their otherness are positive examples of pluralism and tolerance on the ground.  The larger project will focus on the local, public practices inside and surrounding shared sacred sites to understand how communities that have shared sites for a long time reproduce their practices in light of forces of national and religious homogeneity or cross–communal conflict.  In the presentation I intend to accomplish two tasks:  First, I will focus on the narratives and practices of emergence to understand how different religious groups come to share one distinct space. Looking at various choreographies of sharing that emerged in imperial Seljuk and Ottoman times, I will sort the variation to apprehend how diversity was understood.  Second, employing my ethnographic research of Summer 2013, I will show how these practices continue, but the narratives of diversity and identity have been changing under national political circumstances.