The Story of a Tree: Creativity, Humor and Protest in Turkey
Mon, 23 Sep 2013 7:00 PM
Room 405, Taylor Hall
Dr. Defne Demir, assistant professor of English literature at Haliç University in Istanbul, Turkey, will report on and analyze the nationwide protests that erupted in Turkey this past summer. In an extraordinary revolt initiated by the threatened eradication of a small park in historic Istanbul, millions of citizens expressed pent-up frustrations over Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan’s repression of free speech, the right to assemble, his increasingly authoritarian governing practices and his embedding of Islamism into the social fabric. Demir and her students represent the profile of many protestors: youth, professionals, secularists, and the middle class. She will report on the non-violent protest practices, her experiences in those protests and her interpretation of government repression over the past decade. She will explain her position as a committed intellectual and provide a discourse analysis of Erdogan’s combative and violent rhetoric. The talk will include images and videos from the protests and a discussion of the important role of social media in disseminating news, information, organizing and urban living. Finally, it will include a Skyped-in panel of Dr. Demir’s student-protestors and other activists.
Part of International Week at JMU; for information, check http://www.jmu.edu/international/iweek/highlights.shtml.