Turkish Studies

2017–18 Keyman Visiting Professor

Leyla Neyzi, fall 2017 Visiting Professor at the Keyman Modern Turkish Studies Program, is based in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences at Sabanci University in Istanbul. Neyzi received her BA from Stanford University and her PhD from Cornell University. For her dissertation research, she lived with nomadic goat herders in the mountains of ancient Caria, now in Turkey’s Mediterranean region.

As an anthropologist and oral historian, she listens to and archives the life stories of individuals from diverse backgrounds and communities. Her areas of interest include oral history, memory studies, European and Middle Eastern ethnography, nationalism and minorities, transnational youth and social movements.

In fall 2017, Leyla will teach at course at Northwestern called “Learning to Listen: An Introduction to Oral History.” Students will be trained in the methods of oral history interviewing, the ethics of doing qualitative research, how to write field notes and create a transcript, and how to write a reflexive, interpretative paper based on original research data. Students will also learn about theories in the fields of oral history and memory studies.

Learn more about her research, projects, and publications on her website: http://myweb.sabanciuniv.edu/neyzi/

Research Projects

“Young People Speak Out: The Contribution of Oral History to Facing the Past, Reconciliation and Democratization in Turkey”

Leyla and her team listened to and compared the life story narratives of Kurdish and Turkish youth in Diyarbakir (eastern Turkey), Mugla (western Turkey) and Berlin. The project’s products include a book, articles, a website and a film. 

“Adult Education and Oral History Contributing to Armenian-Turkish Reconciliation.”

Leyla and her team interviewed individuals in regions formerly inhabited by Armenians in Turkey about memories and postmemories of Armenians. The products of this project include books, a website and a film.

Upcoming Presentations

“National Education Encounters Critical Pedagogy: Teaching Oral History in Turkey” at the Oral History Association Annual Meeting in Minneapolis, October 4-7, 2017

Travma in Kurdistan: The Appropriation of Trauma as Discourse of Agency in Life Story Narratives of Kurdish Youth in Diyarbakir, Turkey” at the American Anthropology Association Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C., November 29–December 3, 2017