Yektan Türkyilmaz received his PhD from Duke University Department of Cultural Anthropology. He taught at Sabancı, Bilgi, Duke, California State (Fresno) Universities and at the University of Cyprus. His research and teaching focus on notions of collective violence, memory making and reconciliation, and politics of music. Currently, Yektan Türkyilmaz is a visiting professor and research fellow at Central European University in Vienna.
Türkyilmaz’s current work is on three interrelated projects that have emerged out of his PhD dissertation: the first traces the genealogies of historiographical threads on the Armenian Genocide. This project is a critical reassessment of the representations of the Armenian Genocide in multiple languages, formats and genres, namely scholarly and popular histories, memoirs, music, visual arts as well as literature. The project argues that the Armenian Genocide, which was as a process, did not only end countless lives but also marks the beginnings of novel ideological formations redefining the boundaries of communities and citizenship, setting an exemplary case for many other instances of collective violence in the broader region of the Middle East up to the present.
The second project of Türkyılmaz addresses the emergence of the sound recording industry and its implications on the remaking of public space in the broader Ottoman and post-Ottoman world. Sound recording was a historical breakthrough on a par with the development of printing in the 15th century. This new commodity had bearings beyond its merchandise value; it reshaped politics and the economy of music production and consumption at local, national and global scales. The project analyzes various networks of production and consumption in the contexts of emerging nationalism and globalization.
Finally, Türkyilmaz’ third and most recent research topic addresses the ongoing political upheavals in Turkey. Putting the country’s turbulent history in relation with the recent radical transformations in capitalism and governmentality at the global scale this project tackles the making of popular authoritarianism, institutional disintegration and their implications in the realm of popular culture.
Türkyilmaz was nominated by the Abbasi Program in Islamic Studies.