About Us

Historical Background and Aims

 

The Cultural Studies Association of Turkey is a non-governmental organization that is the successor to the Group for Cultural Studies in Turkey formed in 1999 in Ankara by a group of Turkish and European academics. Coming from various disciplines in social sciences and the humanities, these scholars wanted to initiate and encourage cultural studies work utilizing the latest methodology. They were aware that the various cultures developed within Turkey and those generated by Turks in various continents for centuries make up an enormously rich and varied patrimony. Yet they also noticed that most of the studies done on these cultures did not go beyond mere descriptive work that was far from being critical and/or analytical, and failed to offer any synthesis, while proving unable to progress beyond an ossified conceptualization of culture and to tackle certain issues.

 

The Group became the Cultural Studies Association (of Turkey - KAD in Turkish) at the beginning of 2005 with its headquarters in Istanbul.

 

The objective of the association is to bring vitality and novelty to cultural studies, as well as to produce and help in the production of scholarly work that is free of both accepted truths and political agendas. Using an interdisciplinary approach, the members aim to generate theories and methods through historical and comparative studies, and support the realization of such studies. Their goal is manifold: to assess through modern lenses Turkish culture in the largest sense; to do unbiased, scholarly work on the various cultures existing in Turkey, a topic that has become a burning issue with Turkey's candidacy to the EU; to study residual Ottoman culture in the former Ottoman territories; and to study the various cultures of the Turks, a topic that has gained currency with the fall of the Soviet Union.

 

The work done so far includes discussion sessions on published articles or books, lectures, conferences, book and newsletter publication, maintaining a website, and moderating an electronic discussion group. Discussion sessions on books newly published on the cultures of Turks/Turkey have been held at Bilkent University, and lectures by prominent scholars have been organized at Bilkent and Middle East Technical Universities. The conferences that have been organized since 2003 have been de facto international in nature; thus, beginning in 2007, conferences will be preplanned as international in scope.

 

KAD maintains a website at www.kulturad.org, and has been publishing a newsletter since 2001. Its electronic discussion group http://lists.kulturad.org/

cgi-bin/ mailman/ listinfo/ bilimselhaber boasts at present a membership of 600.

 

Those interested in the activities of the association and wishing to join it may write to the address on the cover. To apply for membership, please fill in the membership form and send it to the same address. (Those who are not Turkish citizens need a residence permit and, if applicable, a work permit to apply.)

 

KAD would like to thank the following institutions for the assistance in kind or in finance they have provided since its foundational days in 1999:

 

Başkent Grafik A.Ş.

Bilkent University

Boğaziçi University

Calap Mali Müşavirlik A.Ş.

Işık University

The British Council

Koç University

Municipality of Kütahya

Middle East Technical University

Parkyeri İletişim A.Ş.

Ministry of Culture, Republic of Turkey

Tetragon Publishing Company

TÜBİTAK (Scientific and Technical Research Council of Turkey)

Yüzüncü Yıl University

+1 DRC Promotions Co.