CfA - Unspoken Memories, Unwritten Histories: "The place of cultural pluralism in Aleppo"

Murat Sahir Devres's picture
May 28, 2021
Subject Fields: 
Arabic History / Studies, Holocaust, Genocide, and Memory Studies, Human Rights, Middle East History / Studies, Oral History


Unspoken memories, unwritten histories:

Eastern Mediterranean pluralism in oral history and memory studies

A series of workshops devoted to theory and practice in academia and civil society 


Less than a hundred years ago, most Eastern Mediterranean cities were marked by a high degree of cultural pluralism. Whereas the dissolution of the Ottoman Empire and the rise of modern nation-states heralded its end, some cities retained their cosmopolitan nature well until the Second World War. Oral histories and communicative memories of ethno-religious groups that constituted vital parts of these cities are still living, often wound up with unhealed and suppressed historical. At the same time, simplified and nostalgic visions of a pluralist past are sometimes held up as role models for present-day Eastern Mediterranean societies without questioning, or without regard for the challenges that they entail. Local academics and civil society organizations alike play vital roles in researching, highlighting and supporting pluralism and pluralist heritage, sometimes in defiance of nationalist historiographies and policies.


The series Unspoken memories, unwritten histories, arranged by the Swedish Research Institute in Istanbul (SRII), operates at a cross-section of academic research and civil society activism. It aims to bring together young scholars of history, minorities and human rights with representatives of academia and civil society in a number of Eastern Mediterranean cities outside of Turkey. The third workshop of the series is entitled The place of cultural pluralism in Aleppo. 


Speakers of the panel, May 28 at 17:00 (UTC+3):


Seda Altuğ, Boğaziçi University

Philip Mansel, Levantine Heritage Foundation

Isber Sabrine, Archaeology of Social Dynamics

Uğur Ümit Üngör, University of Amsterdam


Eligible for participation are advanced students with a background in Syrian, or Ottoman culture and history, cultural and minority studies, or political, social and Human Rights studies. They should send their CV, together with a letter of interest outlining their interest in the topic and the ways in which it connects with their own research, no later than May 21, 2021, to Participants will be notified by May 23, 2021.

Contact Info: 

Murat Devres

Academic Coordinator

Contact Email: