CfP: The Ottoman Past

posted by Katalin Teller on 2009/12/13 20:41

[ Konferenz | Conference ]

The Finnish Institute at Athens and the Department of Turkish and Modern Asian Studies, University of Athens are organizing the conference "The Ottoman Past in Balkan Present: Music and Mediation" in Athens from September 30 to October 2, 2010. Deadline for submissions: February 15, 2010.

Through the ages, the Balkans has experienced various political, cultural and social phases. The peninsula has been conceptualised in a number of different, often competing and contrasted, ways (Byzantine, Ottoman, Balkan, East, Eastern Europe) in academic and other discourses. However, in one way or another, the long period of Ottoman rule constitutes an integral aspect of all those perceptions.

In the aforementioned processes, music has often played a central role, either in a direct or an indirect way: music and its representations mediate national ideologies and various viewpoints, such as Orientalism, Balkanism and Occidentalism, which have a particular relationship with history in the Balkans. Simultaneously, music is mediated through space and time, through various means of documentation and transmission (orality, visual arts, photographs, written text, scores and recordings).

Against this background and in the light of the current political expansion of the EU in the Balkan area, the exploration of issues related to cultural identity and relations to the Ottoman past gains more prominence and requires a critical, interdisciplinary dialogue. In particular, the changes that the EU expansion will bring about to the existing structures of Balkan societies, cultures and cultural policies from a musical point of view remain to be addressed.

This conference welcomes innovative interdisciplinary (e.g. ethnomusicology, history, anthropology, cultural studies) papers addressing the following topics:

  • How are Orientalism, Balkanism and Occidentalism expressed and constituted through music and its representations in the Balkans
  • Nationalism mediated through music and vice versa
  • Music, propaganda and the media: radio, television, the press and the Internet
  • Beyond music: analysing Balkan soundscapes as products of the past

Abstracts (max 300 words) of papers and poster presentations should be submitted by February 15, 2010 to the following email address:

The languages of the conference are English and Greek. Please specify possible AV needs. All abstracts will be reviewed and authors will be notified about the results by April 14, 2010.

Keynote speakers:

Prof. Derek B. Scott (University of Leeds): Imagining the Balkans, Imagining Europe

Prof. Cem Behar (Boğaziçi University): Title to be announced.

Conference Committee: Dr. Martti Leiwo (Director of the Finnish Institute at Athens), Prof. Athanasios Markopoulos (Head of the Department of Turkish and Modern Asian Studies, University of Athens), Prof. Vesa Kurkela (Sibelius Academy & University of Tampere), Dr. Risto Pekka Pennanen (Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies), Prof. Aimilia Themopoulou (Department of Turkish and Modern Asian Studies, University of Athens), Dr. Panagiotis Poulos (Department of Turkish and Modern Asian Studies, University of Athens), Dr. Aspasia Theodosiou (Department of Popular and Traditional Music, TEI of Epirus & Department of Social Anthropology, University of Manchester).

Conference Secretary: Maria Martzoukou

Technical Support: Dimitris Charlaftis

For updates please visit


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