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Working in the Ottoman Empire and Turkey-Ottoman and Turkish labour history, Istanbul Biligi University, 19-20 November 2011‏


November 18-20, 2011
Istanbul Bilgi University Turkey

Throughout the first decade of the 21st century history writing in Turkey has experienced an upsurge. Labour history is one of the growing subfields of this development. This conference seeks to build upon these developments as well as the important literature from the last quarter of the 20th century on the history of the labour movement in Turkey.

The planned conference has four aims. The first one is to facilitate critical dialogue among academics and independent scholars about new directions and possibilities for future research in the fields of Ottoman and Turkish labour history. Therefore, independent scholars and researchers without any academic affiliation are strongly encouraged to submit paper proposals. Second, this conference seeks to situate Ottoman and Turkish labour history in a broader international context that includes Southeastern Europe and the Middle East. An urgent need exists for dialogue and collaboration among labour historians regionally and internationally. Thus we welcome labour historians from Southeastern Europe and the Middle East or working on these regions to participate. Third, this conference aims to raise awareness in Turkey about recent developments in labour historiography in other parts of the globe. One of the most decisive changes in the writing of labour history has been the concept of global labour history, which seeks to compare developments in different parts of the world and highlight intercontinental connections and interactions. The planned conference seeks to facilitate cooperation within this framework for research on a global level. Therefore we also invite paper proposals from scholars of the field from Africa, the Americas, Asia, and Europe that focus on developments in global labour historiography.

Finally, the conference also aims to encourage and support the use of new and varied sources, such as private collections and archives of relevant institutions, for the study of labour history and the labour movement in Turkey and other places. We hope the conference will encourage research in archives beyond state archives.

In these different spheres of the conference we seek to bring together scholars working on topics ranging from free/unfree forms of labour including slavery, domestic service, agricultural labour, labour relations in the military to the daily life and leisure activities of the working classes. We would also like to look at forms of labour resistance by women and men on the shop floor, such as strikes as well as different forms of organized political struggle.

Please send abstracts of no more than 500 words by September 19, 2011 to Selected applicants will be informed by e-mail by the end of September 2011. The working languages of the conference are English and Turkish. Simultaneous translation will be provided.

Conference organizers will work to provide travel costs for presenters coming from abroad; however, priority for funding will be given to graduate students, recent Ph.D. recipients, and independent scholars.