Mark Your Calendars!

As part of the premier public university in the most diverse county in America, and affirming our commitment to global education, Queens College offers cultural and academic programming focusing on a different nation each year.

For the 2011-12 academic year, we will concentrate on Turkey, a country with a rich and diverse history, people, and environment. We will explore many facets of Turkey’s past, present, and future: its politics, society, economy, ethnicity, art, literature, music, and film. As a critical part of our programming, we will engage local ethnic communities with historic ties to this region, and include their perspectives in our survey. We will also feature the innovative work being done by Queens College students and faculty in Turkey: archaeological excavation, seismological research, studies of the region’s literature, and analysis of politics and religion.

The year will culminate in a trip in late spring that will help members of the QC community gain direct understanding of Turkey and lay the groundwork for possible future collaborations.


The Turks: From Empire to Nation-State—A Journey through History

Wednesday, November 9, 2011
Powdermaker Hall, Room 156

The lecture will explore the culture of the Turks and their exceptional and long journey through history. Frangakis-Syrett is a specialist on the history of the Ottoman Empire. Her publications include 18. Yuyilda Izmir'de Ticaret (Izmir, 2006) and Trade and Money: The Ottoman Economy in the 18th and Early 19th Centuries (Istanbul, 2007).


Will the 21st Century Belong to Turkey?

Monday, November 14, 2011, 12:15 pm
Campbell Dome

Free lecture.

Stephen Kinzer, author of the acclaimed book Crescent and Star: Turkey Between Two Worlds, will speak about the sudden emergence of Turkey as an ambitious and hyperactive regional power, how this happened, and what it may mean for the Middle East, the United States, and the global balance of power.
For a preview of what Mr. Kinzer will be discussing, see his recent article in the New York Review of Books.

Hosted by Joel Allen, QC History Department

Wednesday, November 16, 2011, 12:15 pm

The Role of Turkey in Today’s Political World.

Discussion of Stephen Kinzer’s talk led by Professor Joel Allen.

Powdermaker Hall, Room 156


October 5–December 16, 2011
In display cases throughout the Benjamin Rosenthal Library.

Free exhibit.
For more information, call 718-997-3770

Lord Byron described the location of Constantinople (now Istanbul) on the Bosporus as “the thwarted kiss of two continents.” His description is geographically accurate as well as poetic: The territory occupied by modern Turkey has been, for millennia, a stage where many cultures from east and west have met, resulting in a particularly rich and complex heritage in the arts. The exhibition, drawn from the holdings of the Art Library, displays a sampling of the abundant diversity of visual art to be found in this bridge of civilization.

Curated by Paul Remeczki, Suzanna Simor, and Stevie Kasparian, Queens College Art Library


Saturday, November 19, 2011–Thursday, January 19, 2012
Opening Saturday, November 19, 5-7 pm
Flushing Town Hall
137-35 Northern Boulevard
Queens, NY

Free exhibit.

Ceramics is not only a material for sculpture, pottery, and architecture, but is also a cultural material. Queens College’s Year of Turkey and the Flushing Council on Culture and the Arts co-present this exhibition of selected contemporary ceramic artists who draw inspiration from the culture and history of Turkey and its surroundings.

Curated by Sin-ying Ho


What is Sufism and Why is Rumi so Popular?

Wednesday, December 7, 2011, 12:15 pm

Powdermaker Hall, Room 156


The Prehistory of the Black Sea and the Interaction between Climate and Humans

Wednesday, February 8, 2012, 12:15 pm
Campbell Dome

Free lecture.

William B. F. Ryan of the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University will discuss the prehistory of the Black Sea and the interaction between climate and humans. He has investigated the connection between the Mediterranean and the Sea of Marmara to the Black Sea approximately 8,000 years ago, when the Black Sea was a freshwater lake isolated from the world’s oceans. The flooding of the Black Sea by marine waters through the Bosphorus Strait may have submerged coastal areas, driving farmers out and leading to the development of agriculture in other regions.

Hosted by Cecilia McHugh, QC School of Earth and Environmental Sciences

Wednesday, February 15, 2012, 12:15 pm

The Importance of the Black Sea

Discussion of William B. F. Ryan’s talk led by Professor Cecilia McHugh.

Powdermaker Hall 156

Cecilia McHugh is a professor of marine geology and geophysics in QC’s School of Earth and Environmental Sciences. McHugh and her students study earthquakes and faults along tectonically active margins—such as in Turkey, Haiti, Japan, and Bangladesh—to understand the long-term risk that earthquakes have on populated regions. McHugh also studies past climate, global sea level changes, and coastal and estuarine processes to understand anthropogenic impact on both the urban environment and future climate change. To achieve these goals, McHugh and her students explore the oceans worldwide.


Saturday, February 25, 2012, 8 pm
Goldstein Theatre

Free performance.

The Kupferberg Center and the QC Department of Drama, Theatre and Dance present a special performance for the Year of Turkey. Traveling from Istanbul, choreographers/dancers Mustafa Kaplan, Ayse Orhon, and Filiz Sizanli create compelling work that challenges perceptions of dance.

ÇOK: Conceived and performed by Ayse Orhon, COK is a meditation on the question, How many bodies can a body embody? The dance is narrated through personal reflections of dancers, choreographers, and visual artists from Istanbul. Like a contemporary novelist, Orhon physicalizes their voices, gestures, attitudes, and what is inexpressible about them.

SEK SEK: Choreographed and performed by Mustafa Kaplan and Filiz Sizanli, SEK SEK investigates the opposing forces and equilibrium that emerge when bodies interact. Their bodies become measuring units, measuring the space, the relation of bodies to that space as well as becoming surfaces to be acted upon.

The performance will be followed by a Q&A session moderated by Gurer Ertem, a specialist in contemporary dance culture and the artistic co-director of Bimeras Culture Foundation, which promotes international collaborations in contemporary dance and performance. She is also a founding member of iDANS Festival in Istanbul, the only international transdisciplinary festival encompassing visual and live arts in Turkey.

Turkish Shadow Puppet Performance
In Partnership with the Turkish Culture Center

Wednesday, February 29, 2012, 12:15 pm

Powdermaker Hall, Room 156


Friday, March 9–Monday, April 30, 2012
Opening Friday, March 9, 6-8 pm
Flushing Town Hall
137-35 Northern Boulevard
Queens, NY

Free exhibit.

Interlacing the rich aesthetics and significance of Turkic peoples across space and time, Interwoven Worlds highlights the carpets and textiles for which the Turks are celebrated. Pieces are displayed in both exotic and familiar interior tableaux, amid an array of ceramics, glassware, and metalware. These solutions for living reveal the influence of cultural and religious values and practices upon objects of everyday life.

Organized by Godwin-Ternbach Museum

Wednesday, March 7, 2012, 12:15 pm

Migration of Turkish Language

Discussion of Jacklin Kornfilt’s talk led by Professor Robert Vago, QC Linguistics and Communication Disorders Department

Powdermaker Hall, Room 156


Turkish: How a Language Migrated from Central Asia to the Mediterranean

Wednesday, March 14, 2012, 12:15 pm
Campbell Dome

Free lecture.

Jaklin Kornfilt is Professor of Linguistics at Syracuse University, specializing in syntactic theory and Turkish and Turkic linguistics. The author of numerous journal articles and the book Turkish Grammar, she will address how Turkish migrated from Central Asia to the Mediterranean.

Hosted by Bob Vago, QC Linguistics and Communications Disorders Department

City of Cities: Byzantium, Constantinople, Istanbul

Wednesday, March 21, 2012, 12:15 pm
Campbell Dome

Free lecture.

Talât S. Halman, who served as the first minister of culture of the Turkish Republic, will be making a presentation on “City of Cities: Byzantium–Constantinople–Istanbul.” Professor and chairman of the Department of Turkish Literature at Bilkent University, Halman has published more than 50 books (including 12 collections of his own poetry in Turkish and English) and 3,000 articles in Turkish and English. Currently he is president of the UNICEF Turkish National Committee.

Hosted by Alex Bauer, QC Anthropology Department

Wednesday, March 28, 2012, 12:15 pm

Byzantium, Constantinople, Istanbul

Discussion on Talat Halman’s talk led by Professor Alexander Bauer.

Powdermaker Hall, Room 156

Written by Ozen Yula; directed by Handan Ozbilgin

April 11–14 and 18–20, 2012
LaGuardia Performing Arts Center
33-10 Thompson Avenue
Long Island City, NY

Tickets: $10; $5 students with ID
To order tickets, call 718-482-5151.

In For Rent by acclaimed Turkish playwright Ozen Yula, poor, rural teenagers come to the big city to find prosperity. But in the dark, dangerous public parks of a cosmopolitan city, they are instead led into prostitution and violence. The play explores the criminal underworld of modern-day Istanbul through the desperate lives of the young people who flock there.

Presented by Kupferberg Center and the LaGuardia Performing Arts Center at LaGuardia Community College


Sunday, April 15, 2012, 2 pm
LeFrak Concert Hall

Tickets: $36, $34 for seniors and QC faculty, staff and alumni, $15 students with ID.
To order tickets, call 718-793-8080.

Praised for her “consummate mastery . . . an art of crystalline clarity” (Music & Vision), Turkish-born Zeynep Ucbasaran was a prizewinner in the 1996 and 2000 Los Angeles Liszt Competitions and was designated a "woman of distinction in the year 2003" by the Daughters of Ataturk organization in the United States. She has given many recitals and concerts throughout the world. “An agreeable elegance pervades pianist Zeynep Ucbasaran’s playing,” proclaims The Gramophone.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012, 12:15 pm

Armenia and Turkey

Discussion led by Professor Mark Rosenblum

Powdermaker Hall, Room 156


May 2–June 29, 2012
Queens College Art Center, Rosenthal Library

Free exhibit.
For more information, call 718-997-3770.

Opening Reception May 2, 5–8 pm; Artists’ Talk 6–7 pm

Many cultures believe an evil eye can cause injury or bad luck for the person at whom it is directed for reasons of envy or dislike. Attempts to ward off the curse of the evil eye have led to proliferation of talismans around the Mediterranean, especially in Turkey. Contemporary artists, writers, and musicians explore the Turkish evil eye and find commonality within their own culture.

Curated by Tara Mathison

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