NEHT 2019 Program

Friday, 6 September 2019

08:30 – 08:45     Registration
08:45 – 09:00     Opening and Welcome
09:00 – 10:00     Keynote

Environmental Struggles in Turkey: Looking Back, Looking Forward
Begüm Özkaynak (Boğaziçi University)

10:15 – 11:30 Water, Fisheries and Fluid Landscapes

Chair: Selçuk Dursun

Monasteries and Water
Molly Greene (Princeton University, USA)

Revitalizing the Steppe, Emancipating the Capital: An Envirotechnical History of Çubuk Dam
Onur İnal (University of Vienna, Austria)

New Actors of History: Fishes, Marshes and Engineering in Late 19th Century Yanya
Özkan Akpınar (Özyeğin University, Turkey)

11:30 – 12:00 Coffee Break

12:00 – 13:15 Water Management in Ottoman Crete

Organizer: Antonis Anastasopoulos (University of Crete & Institute for Mediterranean
Studies/FO.R.T.H., Greece)

Water in Crete (17th-19th Centuries): Waterscape and Infrastructures
Maria Vakondiou (Institute for Mediterranean Studies/FO.R.T.H., Greece)

Infrastructure Failures: The Water Supply System in Kandiye Under Ottoman Rule
Melina Manoura (University of Crete & Institute for Mediterranean Studies/FO.R.T.H., Greece)

State, Public, Private, Sacred, Secular: Categorizing the Uses of Water in  Ottoman Kandiye
Antonis Anastasopoulos (University of Crete & Institute for Mediterranean Studies/ FO.R.T.H., Greece)

13:15 – 14:30 Lunch Break

14:30 – 15:45 Managing Resource Use in Borderlands

Chair: Ethemcan Turhan

Sacred Strategies: The Franciscan Friars and the Management of the Mountain Resources in the Early Modern Bosnia
Ana Sekulic (Princeton University, USA)

When Borders Blurred: A Sample of Demarcation Process of the Common Forests in the Late Ottoman Empire
Zeynep Yetişir (Uludağ University, Turkey)

Forest Use Regulation in Bosnia and Herzegovina during the Inter-Imperial Transtion from Ottoman to Austro-Hungarian Empire, 1878-1918
Iva Lucic (Stockholm University, Sweden)

15:45 – 16:15 Coffee Break

16:15 – 17:30 Agronomy, Animals and Climate History

Chair: Mehmet Kentel

A Gift from “Earth”: Minerals of the Soil and the Soap Production in Early Modern Izmir
Mehmet Kuru (Sabancı University, Turkey)

The Political Economy of the Angora Goat: A Contribution Based on the Ottoman Archival Documents
Fatih Çalışır (Kırklareli University, Turkey)

Measuring, Imagining, Controlling the Nature: Meteorology and the First Ottoman Weather Forecasts (c. 1830-1860)                                                                          Semih Çelik (Koç University, Turkey)

19:00 – 22:00 Welcome Reception and Book Launch

*Seeds of Power: Explorations in Ottoman Environmental History
edited by Onur İnal and Yavuz Köse. (White Horse Press, 2019).

*Transforming Socio-natures in Turkey: Landscapes, State and Environmental Movements edited by Onur İnal and Ethemcan Turhan (Routledge, 2019).

Saturday, 7 September 2019

09:00 – 10:15 Forestry and Ecological History

Chair: Semih Çelik

Remnant Forests of Central Anatolia: What Do They Tell Us About the Past
Dursun Baş (Middle East Technical University, Turkey)

Forests and the Conception of ‘National Economy’: A Reversal of Trend from the Late Ottoman Empire to the Early Turkish Republic
Selçuk Dursun (Middle East Technical University, Turkey)
Eyüp Özveren (Middle East Technical University, Turkey)

Forests and Energy in the Ottoman Anatolia: Fuelling Copper Smelters in Ergani and Tokat, 1850-1914
Alaaddin Tok (Yıldız Technical University,Turkey)

10:15 – 10:45 Coffee Break

10:45 – 11:45 Plant Ecology, Scientific Knowledge and Environmental History

Chair: Iva Lucic

The Great Fire of Pera: An Experiment in Urban Environmental Microhistory
Mehmet Kentel (Istanbul Research Center, Turkey)

The Evolution of an Anatolian Natural History Museum: From Merzifon to Tarsus, 1886-2019
Gönenç Göçmengil (Istanbul Technical University, Turkey)

12:00-14:15 Lunch Break / Poster Session

Poster Session

Intermingling Dimensions: Changing Landscape of Constantinople and Its Reflections on Ottoman Art in the 18th century
Mertkan Karaca (Koç University, Turkey)

The Corpse Seeking the Grave: The Epidemic Disasters and Mapping the Transformation of Death in the 19th Century Istanbul
Gizem Kıygı (Boğaziçi University, Turkey)

Silkworm Production, Rice Cultivation and Marshlands: Agricultural Knowledge and Practices in the 19th Century Bursa
Zeynep Küçükceran (Boğaziçi University, Turkey)

The Dirt of Istanbul: 19th-Century Battle against Pollution
Deniz Özeren (Middle East Technical University, Turkey)

Foucauldian Approach to Animals in the Ottoman Empire
Sema Yılmaz (Istanbul University, Turkey)


14:15- 15:30 Environmental Contexts of Architectural Histories

Chair and Organizer: T. Elvan Altan (Middle East Technical University, Turkey)

Intertwined Relationships Between Land, Sea, Ecology and Urban Architecture of Bursa
Saliha Aslan (Middle East Technical University, Turkey)

Architectural and Environmental Encounters: Watermills of Yeşilırmak in Amasya
Duygu Kalkan Açıkkapı (Middle East Technical University, Turkey)

Environmental Approach to the Architectural History of “Local” Modernisms in Antalya
Esin Bölükbaş Dayı (Antalya Bilim University, Turkey)


15:30-16:00 Coffee Break


16:00-17:00 Political Ecologies of Contemporary Turkey

Chair: Begüm Özkaynak

Climate Justice Between and Within Countries: The Example of Turkey
Hasan Alper Almaz (Scuola Normale Superiore, Italy)
Defne Gönenç (Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, Switzerland)
Ethemcan Turhan (Royal Institute of Technology, Sweden)

Explaining the Anti-Small Hydropower Movement in Turkey: A Study on the Eastern Black Sea Region
Gizem Grünberg (University of Manchester, UK)

18:15-19:30 NEHT Meeting

19:30-23:00 Closing Reception

Venue: METU Faculty of Architecture Kubbealtı

Posted in Program | Leave a comment

Call for Papers

Call for Papers
The Second International NEHT Workshop
Environmental Histories of the Ottoman Empire and Turkey

Middle East Technical University
Ankara, Turkey
6-7 September 2019

Since its inception meeting hosted by Hamburg University in 2017, the Network for the Study of Environmental History of Turkey (NEHT) international workshop aims to be one of the main academic platforms for junior and senior scholars working on the broadly defined environmental histories of the Ottoman Empire and Turkey. The second iteration of this workshop series will take place in Ankara, taking the contemporary environmental history debates to one of the most prestigious academic institutions in the country. The conference will follow the format of the earlier conference held in Hamburg: a two-day workshop surveying new approaches to the environmental history of the Ottoman Empire and Turkey and delving into methodological and theoretical discussions while being open to a wide range of temporal and geographic coverage. Currently, two edited volumes (White Horse Press and Routledge Environmental Humanities series) are forthcoming from the contributions to the first workshop of the network.

Currently, environmental history is a small but dynamic field of research in Ottoman and Turkish studies. Particularly, the studies of historical and archival sources of the Ottoman and Republican eras enable new insights into the environmental history of the last five centuries. We also welcome research that focuses on more recent past using oral histories of socio-environmental change, life histories (ie. toxic autobiographies) and multi-method approaches benefitting from the neighboring fields of environmental humanities, STS (science and technology studies) and political ecology. The main aim of the 2nd NEHT workshop is to provide an interdisciplinary forum, and therefore, it is open to a wide range of subjects, topics, approaches, and methodologies.

The overarching theme of the 2019 workshop is Historicizing Nature: Water, Forest and Land.

For the second NEHT workshop, we invite submissions for individual paper and panel proposals (with 4 papers) engaging with, but not necessarily limited to the following:

  • Theories, methods, approaches, and sources
  • Urban and rural environmental history
  • History of commons and common-pool resources
  • History of climate and climate change
  • Mining, energy and environmental conflicts, past and present
  • History of technology and techno-environmental systems
  • Forest and water history
  • Agrarian history and history of agricultural ecology
  • History of resource use, consumption, waste, and dirt
  • History of conservation and nature protection
  • Industrial and agricultural impact on environment
  • Natural disasters and political responses
  • History of fisheries, marine history
  • Declensionist narratives and environmental determinism
  • Environmental conflicts, movements, and activism
  • Human and non-human entanglements
  • Environmental justice and migration
  • History of medicine, health and disease
  • War, armed conflict and environmental destruction

Proposals must include a title, an abstract (max 400 words), and one page CV with the name and affiliation of the presenter.

Submissions should be send to no later than 15 March 2019. All abstracts will be reviewed by established scholars in the field within three weeks after the deadline and once accepted, full draft papers will be due 15 August 2019.

More information will be available at the workshop website:

2019 NEHT Workshop will also feature:

  • A public outreach event with environmental activists on ‘environmental histories of the present
  • Optional field visit to a historical site of environmental contestation in Ankara

Practical Details

Organization and Conference Venue: The conference is organized by Dr. Selçuk Dursun (Middle East Technical University, Turkey), Dr. Onur İnal (Hamburg University, Germany) and Dr. Ethemcan Turhan (KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Sweden) and hosted by the Department of History of the Middle East Technical University at Ankara.

Virtual Presentations: We will be able to accommodate some exceptional virtual presenters who may be unable to attend in person due to time constraints or other reasons to present their papers. The session will feature in our Smart Class via web conference with the capability to interact with session participants during the event.

Accommodation: We will cover the accommodation costs for all of the participants coming from outside of Ankara. Please indicate if you need accommodation support when submitting your paper proposal.

Food and beverages: Lunch and coffee breaks will be provided free of charge. Workshop will also feature a dinner.

Travel expenses: We are currently looking for opportunities to finance some early-career researchers’ travel, depending on the availability of funds and need.

Language: The workshop language is English. No submissions in other languages will be accepted.

Post-conference publication: We aim to publish full academic length articles (8000-9000 words) derived from presentations in a journal special issue or as an edited volume from a prestigious academic publisher in 2020. Submission deadline for full papers will be 31 December 2019.

For additional information about the workshop and the venue, please contact the workshop organizers,

Posted in CfP | Leave a comment