University of Washington/Getty Foundation
Summer Institute

Constructing the Past in the Middle East
Summer Institute to be held in Istanbul, Turkey and Thessaloniki, Greece in July 2006.
Funded by the Getty Foundation , in partnership with the University of Washington’s Department of History, with the cooperation of Istanbul Bilgi University.

Constructing the Past in the Middle East

Monuments, religion, understanding the past, nation states, global vs. local: today, these topics are more than just academic.

This intensive month-long program offers an in-depth examination of how objects, buildings, and institutions conserve, preserve, and recreate the past for diverse communities—now and for the future. Participants and invited lecturers discuss recent critical approaches to national patrimony, cultural memory, reception history, and the power of images, buildings, and museums to mold communities. The program features a one-week field trip to Thessaloniki, Greece and three weeks in Istanbul, Turkey with a field trip to the Gallipoli Peninsula.

Topics include:

  • Representing and Appropriating the Past: Theory and Interpretation  [Monuments and Layering]
  • Seeing the Past in Selected Sites in Turkey and Greece  [Layering, Memorializing, and Displaying]
  • Constructing the Pasts of the Middle East and Greece [Monuments and Memorializing]
  • Museums and the Photographic Record [Displaying and Photographing]

Criteria for Participation:

  • Applications are invited from scholars with a PhD or equivalent professional experience in art history, archaeology, antiquities organizations, museums, conservation and monument commissions, cultural anthropology, cultural geography, history, comparative literature, and urban planning
  • The Summer Institute seeks participants from diverse backgrounds and national identities.
  • Full program residency and participation in day and evening seminar activities are required as detailed below
  • Fluency in spoken and written English is required since all program activities will be conducted in English

Fellowship Benefits
All successful applicants will be awarded a fellowship, which features:

  1. Round trip airfare
  2. Lodging and meals for the duration of the Institute
  3. Site admissions
  4. Institute materials

Fellowship Requirements:

  • Attendance and participation in all Institute activities
  • Attendance at common meals - breakfast through dinner Monday through Friday noon
  •  Participation in and presentation of assigned readings and group activities
  •  Expectation of familiarity with web resources

For more information send an email to

Apply Now

How To Apply to the University of Washington 2006 Summer Institute
The online application for the 2006 program is now available. The application process also requires that five copies of your curriculum vitae be sent via mail to:

Istanbul Summer Institute
c/o History Department
Box 353560
The University of Washington
Seattle, WA. USA  98195 - 3560

Application deadline is January 16, 2006.

2004 Program Report

The first Summer Institute was held in July 2004.  A report describing the program is available.

  • Jere L. Bacharach
    • History, University of Washington
  • Irene A. Bierman
    • Art History, UCLA
Lecturers include:
  • Nurhan Atasoy, Professor Emerita, Art History, Istanbul UniversityCharalambos Bakirtzis, Director, Ephorate of Byzantine Antiquities, Thessloniki
  • Demetra Papanicola-Bakirzi, Director, Archaeological Institute for Macedonian and Thracian Studies, Thessaloniki
  • Filiz Cagman, Director Emerita, Topkapi Palace Museum, Istanbul
  • Edhem Eldem, History, Bogazici University, Istanbul
  • Sharon Gerstel, Art History, UCLA
  • Nairy Hampikian, Architect and Conservation Management, Cairo
  • Cigdem Kafescioglu, History, Bogazici University, Istanbul
  • Robert S. Nelson, Art History, Yale University
  • Nazan Olcer, Director, Sabanci Museum, Istanbul
  • Nuray Ozaslan, History of Architecture, Anadolu University, Eskisehir
  • Wendy Shaw, Art History, Kadir Has University
  • H.R. H. Princess Wijdan Ali, President, Royal Society of Fine Arts, Jordan

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