20th New Directions in Turkish Film Studies Conference:
"Cinema and Migration"

May 9-11, 2019, Kadir Has University, Faculty of Communication

Migration is one of the most controversial and pressing issues of our times. Due to economic deprivation, violence, human rights violations, political uncertainty and environmental problems, being on the road to somewhere has become the new norm. Yet in most cases, it is a departure without a certain arrival. According to the figures of UNHCR, 68.5 million people across the world are forcibly displaced and Turkey ranks first among top refugee-hosting countries. Between 2011-2016, the number of migrants in Turkey has reached 3.5 million. In this landscape, the significant questions of integration and harmonization arise, as discussed in M. Murat Erdoğan’s (2015) work on Syrians in Turkey.

Research on migration in Film Studies has had an interdisciplinary outlook, using mainly the perspectives of sociology, psychology, cultural geography and anthropology, gender, media, migration and diaspora studies and law studies, whereas Turkish Film Studies has started to discuss migration through Hamid Naficy’s theories on “transnational cinemas”. Referring to Homi K. Bhabha’s theories, Deniz Göktürk’s article “Turkish Delight-German Fright: Unsettling Oppositions in Transnational Cinema” (2003) focused on a new way of communication: “speaking from the margins to the center”. Ella Shohat and Robert Stam (1994) contributed to the study of immigrant filmmakers in national cinemas. More recently, in the context of Turkish-German and European cinemas, Nilgün Bayraktar’s (2015) work discusses representations of migration and mobility in Europe since 1990s, along with Isolina Ballesteros’s Immigration Cinema in the New Europe (2015), Daniela Berghahn and Claudia Sternberg’s European Cinema in Motion (2010), and Sabine Hake and Barbara Mennel’s Turkish German Cinema in the New Millennium (2012).

Celebrating its 20th anniversary, this year’s New Directions in Turkish Film Studies Conference scrutinizes the socio-cultural, political and economic aspects of migration and its influence on contemporary film and TV production in Turkey and abroad. Focusing on migrant narratives across audiovisual media, we aim to explore broader topics such as social media, mobility, citizenship, identity, integration and harmonization, refugee crisis, irregular migration/trafficking, insecurity, multiculturalism, cosmopolitanism and migrant rights.

Within this perspective, the conference aims to bring together film scholars to discuss issues related to “cinema and migration”. Potential topics for presentations include but are not limited to:
• Transnational and diasporic cinemas
• Images of migration
• Histories of migration
• Language and communication in migrant cinema
• Production modes of migrant filmmakers
• Aesthetics, genres and styles in migrant film experience
• Globalization, national cinemas and migration
• Experimental film and video works on migration
• Spaces, times and landscapes of migration
• Migrant identities
• Gender, mobility and migration

Confirmed Keynote Speakers include Dudley Andrew (Yale University), John Hill (Royal Holloway, University of London), Deniz Göktürk (University of California, Berkeley), Robert Burgoyne (University of St Andrews), Nevena Dakovic (The University of Arts in Belgrade), and Nilgün Bayraktar (California College of the Arts).

Program Committee
Elif Akçalı
Deniz Bayrakdar
Levent Soysal
Defne Tüzün
Kaya Özkaracalar

Advisory Committee
Murat Erdoğan
Tevfik Başer
Daniela Berghahn

Organizing Committee
Deniz Bayrakdar
Melis Behlil
Hilmi Bengi
Ayşe Yörükoğlu
Ahmet Emin Bülbül