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Infrastructures and Society in (Post-)Ottoman Geographies: Call for Contributions to the Series

News vom 22.04.2021

TRAFO – Blog for Transregional Research

by Forum Transregionale Studien · Published25. February 2021 · Updated25. February 2021

We invite contributions to discuss and investigate how infrastructures shape and affect power relations and daily life; how they produce or organize inequalities, discrimination, or differentiated access to public goods and services; and how they may become part of state violence, or resistance, in Ottoman and post-Ottoman geographies.

In recent years, infrastructures as forms of development, progress, or carriers of optimistic promises of modernity have been questioned. For example, cultural anthropologists have been examining infrastructures as tools that give shape to daily life with effects on, or consequences such as, inequality, discrimination and violence. We further want to ask: Which aspects of infrastructures concern gender, race, colonialism, and class? Or, how do infrastructures relate to emotions, dreams, the exchange of ideas, and the production of culture?

We invite participants to consider, but also to depart from, existing work within Ottoman and post-Ottoman infrastructure studies and open a debate on infrastructures in these geographies, considering how they have shaped social relations and vice versa. An interdisciplinary discussion may include the use of different infrastructures, addressing numerous effects to open a discourse between anthropology, urban planning, political science, and history. Our focus falls not only on physical infrastructures, such as power grids, energy lines, and transportation networks. Rather, in this series, soft and/or informal infrastructures are also part of the discussion. These include institutions and policies of government, health, education, finance, and legal systems, or cultural and alternative institutions and networks. These types of infrastructures may in general overlap and need the others to function. The dynamic relationship between infrastructures and their spatial and temporal aspects in specific political contexts still need to be examined.

Contributions to the series should be between 9,000-12,000 characters with 2-3 images. Texts do not need to be polished and formulated in an objectively neutral way, but can be subjective, critical, and preliminary. The contributions can experiment with hypotheses, ask questions, and leave inquiries unanswered: They should invite further discussion. We are also open to debates on previously published material. Please send your contributions to İlkay Yılmaz, at


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