Boğaziçi University – originally founded as Robert College in 1863 by a missionary, Cyrus Hamlin, and a businessman, Christopher R Robert – is celebrating it's 150th birthday by hosting international academics, artists, writers, philosophers and historians as part of its ‘Boğaziçi Chronicles’ programme. The residency programme, says the programme's co-ordinator, Deniz Erbas, 'will provide the artists, thinkers and writers with the the time, space and context to gain a better understanding of Istanbul and Turkey.’
Each guest will be accommodated at the Tubini house on the Bebek Campus for two to four weeks. They will meet students and academics, become part of university life and keep a journal of their experiences, which will then be published as a compendium by Boğaziçi University Press. Meanwhile, the public will be treated to various activities, such as presentations, conferences, exhibitions, concerts and performances.
The university’s first guest, the American philosopher and historian Susan Buck-Morss – who lectures on political philosophy, literature, art history, architecture and urban studies at the New York City University Graduate Studies Center – stays on campus until November 11. This Thursday, October 31, she mediates a public colloquium on ‘trans-local’ formations at the Albert Long Hall. A diverse range of topics will be discussed, including ‘bulldozer neoliberalisation’ in Turkey and the state of politics beyond elections. Buck-Morss will end the day with a lecture entitled TransLocal Commons and the Global Crowd.
Future guests will include the Lebanese filmmaker and photographer Akram Zaatari (March 1 to 29, 2014); the English-born, Denmark-based composer Juliana Hodkinson (April 7 to May 3); the American literary theorist Michael Hardt (May 12 to 28); the Bengali novelist Amitav Ghosh (June 2 to 15) and the Argentine author Alberto Manguel (sometime in 2015), who is currently in town for the Istanbul Tanpınar Literature Festival and the International Book Fair.
For more on the programme, visit the programme’s website and watch this space.