Etem Erol Attends AATT Meeting in Washington, D.C.

I attended the December 1-2 meeting of AATT (American Association of Turkish Teachers) in Washington D.C.  as
one of the elected board members. We discussed the possibilities about a future host university of the AATT, since the present president is planning to retire. We also rewrote the job description for the new president, giving more authority and responsibility for the executive board members. In another meeting, which was held at Georgetown University, we discussed the papers presented by the graduate students of Turkish Studies in the U.S. This panel was organized to prepare the graduate students for future MESA (Middle East Studies Association) presentations.

In addition, I attended a presentation and a lively discussion on “Deep Approach” and collected some materials and links on the subject. During the following weeks, I will be studying these to gain a better critical understanding of the method. So far, their emphasis on listening caught my attention. For the last three years, I have been noticing the absence of prepared materials on the issue and I had been working on materials development by incorporating resources such as films, You Tube items, news broadcasts from Turkish TV channels, etc. At this point I am especially interested in their materials developed for the elementary level. Thus, the search continues.

Moreover, I worked with Alain Mikhail of our history department to arrange a conference on Ottoman history. My personal relationship with Prof. Cemal Kafadar of Harvard was helpful in convincing him to give a talk at Yale. The students of my Ottoman Turkish course have been requesting this talk for some time.

Furthermore, I got a chance to attend a few presentations on Ottoman and Modern Turkish identity issues. I held three private meetings with my graduate students, two from Columbia and one from the University of Washington, Seattle. All three were at different stages of writing their dissertations. To some I suggested a few new archival resources.

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