Winter Term Study Excursion - Continuity and Change in Aegean Turkey and Istanbul, 3- 22 January 2016, Turkey

Publish Date: Oct 05, 2015

Deadline: Oct 30, 2015

Event Dates: from Jan 03, 2016 12:00 to Jan 22, 2016 12:00

About The Excursion

 The Center for Middle Eastern Studies at Harvard is pleased to announce its first annual Winter Term Study Excursion in Cunda (pronounced JUNE-dah), Turkey for January 2016. The program’s three-week itinerary is centered on the island of Cunda, located on Turkey’s Aegean coast, with additional visits to Istanbul, Izmir, and Bergama (Pergamon). We begin with four days in Istanbul, visiting monuments such as the Sultanahmet and Suleymaniye mosques, the Hagia Sophia Museum, and other monuments from the city’s Byzantine and Ottoman past. Students will explore the deep layers of history found in the old city and along the Bosphorus, taking time to sample Turkey’s exquisite cuisine along the way.  The heart of the trip is an extended stay at the Ayışığı (Moonlight) Monastery, a recently restored Greek monastery on Cunda Island. Located directly on the sea and surrounded by olive groves, the monastery is a serene location for reading, reflection and conversation. Here, we will engage with region’s complex past via an array of literary, historical, and cinematic works. During our stay on the island we will enjoy a hands-on introduction to Aegean cuisine and also explore enduring local traditions such as olive oil production and shipbuilding. From our base in Cunda we will spend a day exploring the archaeological sites of ancient Bergama. Our Aegean exploration concludes with an overnight trip to the port city of Izmir (Smyrna), followed by a return to Istanbul with plenty of time for additional museum visits and shopping in the city’s famed bazaars.

This trip is ideal for Harvard students with history or literature interests as we explore Aegean Turkey and Istanbul.  Preference will be given to undergraduates and Masters students who concentrate in Near or Middle Eastern Studies.

Required Readings (provided by the Program):

Kafadar, Cemal. Between Two Worlds: the construction of the Ottoman State. Berkeley: Univ of CA Press, 1995.

Necipoğlu, Gülru, The Age of Sinan (selections). Princeton: Princeton Univ Press, 2005.

Zurcher, Erik. Turkey: a modern history, 3rd ed. New York: I.D. Tauris, 2004.

Tanpinar, Ahmet Hamdi. The Time Regulation Institute. New York: Penguin Books, 2013.

Pamuk, Orhan. Istanbul: memories and the city. New York. Knopf, 2005.

Recommended Readings

Fromkin, David. A Peace to End All Peace: creating the modern Middle East. New York: Holt, 1989.

King, Charles. Midnight at Pera Palace: the birth of modern Istanbul. New York: W.W. Norton Company, 2014.

Mazower, Mark. Salonika, City of Ghosts. London: HarperCollins, 2004

Pamuk, Orhan. My Name is Red. New York: Knopf, 2001.

Elif Shafak. The Bastard of Istanbul. New York: Viking, 2007.

Barry Unsworth. Pascali’s Island. London: M. Joseph, 1980.

Trip Leader

Jesse Howell is an advanced PdD student at CMES, currently completing his dissertation on overland travel networks in the Ottoman Balkans. After a first, unplanned visit to  Turkey in 1999, he has returned numerous times, travelling to all corners of the country and spending a year living in Istanbul as a research fellow. During the past two summers he has worked as the program coordinator for the Harvard-Sabanci University Summer Program.

Logistical Information

The excursion will take place from January 3-January 22, 2016. The first 4 days will take place in Istanbul, then at the Moonlight Monastery on the island of Cunda for 12 nights with a day trip to Bergama. After an overnight visit to Izmir, we return to Istanbul for 1 night as the program’s end.  This course is not for credit, and will have required readings. Nine students will be admitted to the program, which will be led by an advanced doctoral student in Turkish studies.  

There will be a $500 program fee.  Students will be provided accommodations, all travel costs, two meals per day, and reading materials.  Students are expected to cover additional meals and other personal incidental costs.  

To apply, please apply using CARAT (Centralized Application for Research and Travel) by 11:59 p.m. Friday, October 30, 2015.

Please search in the CARAT database for the funding source, "January 2016 Winter Term Study Excursion to Cunda Turkey." 

The application will ask for your Harvard transcript, resume, one letter of recommendation from a Harvard professor, and a statement of purpose. Your statement of purpose should address your interest and academic background in Middle Eastern Studies and should be between 300-500 words.

Questions about the program should be directed to Carol Ann Litster, Administrative and Academic Assistant, atl

Learn More

If you are interested in participating in this Winter Term Study Excursion, please attend our info session on October 15 at CMES, 38 Kirkland Street, Room 102 at 12 pm.

Important Dates

October 15 : Info Session : 38 Kirkland Street at CMES, 12 pm

October 30 : Deadline for application submission

December 4 : Receipt of program fee

January 3, Depart Boston Logan Airport

January 7, Istanbul to Cunda

January 19, Cunda to Izmir

January 20, Izmir to Istanbul

January 22 Depart Istanbul to Boston

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