Stanford Summer Seminar - Istanbul City of Empires; History, Memory and Global Experience in Eastern Mediterranean


On summer 2012, Koç University welcomed Stanford Seminar for the first time and "International Special Projects Department" was in charge of planning and organizing every detail concerning the program. The seminar was a mix of lectures by Professor Ali Yaycioglu from Stanford University and several guest lecturers from historians, architects, intellectuals, religious figures, and activists from Istanbul. The seminars included several field trips within the city under the supervision of Dr. Patricia Blessing, in the Department of Art and Art History at Stanford. Several meetings took place in different indoor and outdoor spaces of the city, including the Blue Mosque, the Topkapı Palace, the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate, one of the Princes’ Islands, some neighborhoods and on a boat while navigating the Bosporus. The program concluded with a short trip to Çeşme, a historical resort town in the Aegean Sea, near Izmir.


The seminar was not a conventional history course, such as a history of Istanbul from Ancient to Modern times. It was rather a seminar on how the past of a historical and multi-cultural (multi-religious, multi-ethnic) city was experienced by its diverse population in an age of global expansion.


Office of International Programs is proud to be able to lead a successful program as a team, that even though the capacity of program was 15 students in total, 156 Stanford students applied to the program. This early success of the program let Stanford University to put a proposal to the Provost for the ten week program next year in Istanbul.


You can also check out the Stanford University’s link  below to read more about the details of the program.