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Christine Philliou and Firuzan Melike Sümertaş; Hiding in Plain Sight: The İstanΠόλις Collaborative, Reconstructing the Greek Community of 19th and early 20th century Istanbul

Tue February 7th 2023, 12:00 - 1:15pm
Wallenberg 433A

We founded the İstanΠόλις Collaborative in 2020 to serve as an online hub for studies on the spatial/physical and demographic aspects of the Rum/Greek Orthodox presence in Istanbul between 1821 and 1923 and have been developing a range of Digital Humanities projects that link up to it. We will speak about how the Collaborative came to be, the scholarly questions we are addressing, the need for such a project both for scholarly and public domains, and the Digital Humanities methodologies we are developing to realize the project. We will also discuss the range of archival sources we have been using and the ways we have been discussing and processing those sources together.

Cosponsored with the Department of History and the Abbasi Program in Islamic Studies.

The presentation will include lunch and take place at the Stanford Center for Spatial and Textual Analysis in Wallenberg 433A. A Zoom link is available upon request from Center Manager, Jonathan Clark (jclark93 [at] (jclark93[at]stanford[dot]edu)).

About the Speakers: 

Christine Philliou is Professor in the History Department, and Director of the Programs in Ottoman/Turkish and Modern Greek Studies there at UC Berkeley, both of which she recently founded. Her works include Biography of an Empire: Governing Ottomans in an Age of Revolution (2011) and Turkey: A Past Against History (2021), and articles in journals such as Comparative Studies in Society and History, Comparative Studies in South Asia, Africa and the Middle East, and New Perspectives on Turkey. She is currently working on a range of projects that connect to the İstanΠόλις Collaborative, and teaches courses on the Middle East, Balkans, and Eastern Mediterranean as well as comparative empires.


Firuzan Melike Sümertaş is currently a visiting scholar at UC Berkeley and Assist. Prof at İstanbul Kent University. Her research focuses on the urban/architectural/visual culture of the late Ottoman Empire and its capital, with a particular interest in the Greek-Orthodox community of İstanbul. She holds a PhD. in History from Boğaziçi University and M.Arch degree from METU. Her current project at UC Berkeley under the umbrella of Istanpolis collaboration focuses on utilizing digital humanities tools for urban/architectural historical research.