FRESNO—Dr. Ümit Kurt will give a presentation on “The Young Turks: Racism and the Construction of National Identity” at California State University, Fresno. Co-sponsored by the Armenian Studies Program and the Center for Ethics, Character, and Civic Education at Fresno State, the presentation will take place on Friday, November 8 at 7:30 p.m. in the University Business Center, Alice Peters Auditorium, Room 191.
While there is an extensive body of literature addressing the foundations of Turkish nationalism, and its racist aspects, in the early Republican Era and contemporary Turkey, a significant gap persists in the critical period between 1911 to 1916, when the existence of the Ottoman Empire was at stake. This talk sets its goal as displaying the racist streak apparent in the construction of Turkish nationalism in this period. It offers an analysis of the fabric of Turkish nationalism and the racist patterns of this fabric through an examination of essays published in the first nine volumes of the journal of Türk Yurdu (Turkish Homeland), the most eminent of the Turkish journals of the time and the intellectual organ of the CUP. It aims to track down the premises and the origins of the historical evolution and the development of Turkish nationalism by analyzing the content of the journal’s writings. Critical scholars of nationalism have argued that race (ırk) and racism are indispensable elements in many forms of nationalism.
Dr. Ümit Kurt received his Ph.D. from the Department of History at Clark University in 2016 and is currently a Polonsky Fellow at the Van Leer Jerusalem Institute. He is the author of several monographs and numerous scholarly articles.
The lecture is free and open to the public. Fresno State is located at 5241 N Maple Ave, Fresno, CA 93740. Parking is available in Lots P6 and P5, near the University Business Center. Parking permits are not required for Friday night lectures.