Abstract submissions
for the conference are now closed.


Topographies of ‘Turkish Cinema’
Hybrids, hyphens and borders


International Conference
Izmir University of Economics
Department of Media and Communication
Izmir / Turkey

21-22 April 2011



When is a cinema national?
Susan Hayward

Over the past few decades the concept of national cinema has become a hotly debated topic. The global circulation of cultures, finances, people and commodities has come to render impossible the delegation of fixed national affiliations to films, filmmakers and audiences. Furthermore, as a more recent development, the way films are being produced/co-produced, distributed and consumed are now raising new questions for, and requiring new vocabularies from film, scholars. When we look at the literature in this area the concept of national cinema is being contested increasingly. At the heart of these discussions we encounter notions such as transnationalism, globalization, diaspora, migration, post-nationalism, hybridity, exile, post-colonialism etc. Interestingly, with a few exceptions, the literature on Turkish cinema seems to have missed, or at best neglected, these discussions.

The Topographies of ‘Turkish Cinema’ conference is intended to be an intervention into these issues, aiming to shed light on Turkey-related films, filmmakers and audiences. There are approximately four million Turkey-related migrants living in western European countries, and many filmmakers with links to Turkey dispersed around the world, producing films that portray hybrid, diasporic subjectivities and experiences. These audiences, films and filmmakers are forging new transcultural fields, which scholars and critics of Turkish Cinema have yet to properly engage with. The Topographies of ‘Turkish Cinema’ conference will bring together filmmakers, researchers and academics to initiate a discussion that probletamises the concept of what ‘Turkish Cinema’ might be. Within this context the position of Turkey-related filmmakers, films and audiences will be reconsidered and the impact of its cinema on diasporic/transnational viewers will be scrutinized.

Below is a non exhaustive list of topics and themes around which interested film scholars, filmmakers and cinema professionals may give their presentations. The list is intended to be a guide; we are open to papers on topics other than the ones listed below as well.

  • Films and their nationalities
  • Hyphenated identities, belongings and films
  • Theorizing the concepts of nationality, transnationalism, migrant, exilic and diasporic within the scope of Turkish cinema
  • Rethinking conventional vocabulary used for stereotyping particular films, filmmakers and audiences (Türk asıllı/Turkish-origined, gurbetçi/expatriate etc.) – their contestations
  • Film as a bridge/breach between host/guest cultures and societies
  • Migratory filmmakers – their biographies, cinemas and films
  • Non-conventional migrants/migrations: exiles, sojourners, etc.
  • Films and audiences
  • Short and documentary films
  • Migratory Turkish filmmaking as a transnational industry. (Distribution, co-production, etc.)
  • Celebrities and spectacles of diasporic/transnational Turkish cinema
  • Screening of Turkish films abroad and their reception among audiences (theatres, premieres, festivals)

You may send abstracts of no more than 400 words by the 27th of December 2010 to gokcen.karanfil@ieu.edu.tr or serkan.savk@ieu.edu.tr . The abstracts should include the full name, institutional affiliation (if any) and the contact information of the author(s) along with an e-mail address. There will be a registration fee of 50 Euros for those presenting a paper. The language of the conference will be English. Each presenter will have 20 minutes to present her/his work.

As a parallel project to the Topographies of ‘Turkish Cinema’ conference, we are planning to publish an edited collection which will include selected papers from the conference presentations. Those who are interested in contributing to this collection with their articles will need to send in the drafts of their full papers by the 1st of April 2011.