Keynote Speakers

Kimberly Hart, State University of New York (SUNY) Buffalo State


Kimberly Hart, Associate Professor, State University of New York (SUNY) Buffalo State is a social-cultural anthropologist. With over twenty-eight years of experience in Turkey, her work has ranged from issues of gender, rural life, marriage, love, labor, Sunni Islamic practice, and the lives of street animals. While a member at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, NJ, she wrote And Then We Work for God: Rural Sunni Islam in Western Turkey, published by Stanford University Press, 2013. Currently, she is a Senior Fulbright Scholar studying the intersection of humans and animals in Istanbul.

Considering Gender and Culture in Turkey Today 

Thinking about gender and culture requires a consideration of both the social construct of gender and the practical implementations of gendered social roles. In this talk, I will consider what we can learn about Turkey today by considering how gender is constructed and implemented through daily practice. Based on my research in rural Turkey and Istanbul, I will explore how people find meaning through gendered cultural constraints, work with, and at times resist social roles. While understanding that culture is a lens we use to make meaning of our lives, I will dwell on individuals and their experiences as male and female as they practice these social constructs.

Slobodan Dan Paich
, Artship FoundationSlobodan300dpi

Slobodan Dan Paich taught the History of Art and Ideas from 1969 through 1985 in London. Between 1986 and 1992, he taught at Univrsity of California at Berkeley. He is one of the founders and Executive Director of Artship Foundation since 1992. He served as a board member of the Society of Founders of the International Peace University in Berlin/Vienna from 1996 to 2002, and chaired the Committee on Arts and Culture. He graduated after three years of research at the Royal College of Art, London. He presented numerous papers at international conferences anchored in the history of art and ideas.

Lives and Text Oral Traditions, Text Fragments, Legible Poems and Personal Narratives

Parallel to historic records of the lives of women, the paper intends to contribute to this conference’s discourse by extending the boundaries of written texts to oral traditions and scant records of implied subtexts. This overlap is proposed as a means for the inclusion of ancient and historic people in contemporary gender discourse.

Tarantella Women – history written in songs

Traditions of healing dance Tarantella Pizzica and Egyptian Zar held by women for women for a thousand years is offered here as a point of reflection on rare traditional societal and community roles for independent women.

Hypatia of Alexandria

Almost forgotten, a women philosopher who attempted to hold plurality and inclusiveness of thought against fundamentalist theocratic expansion. Her relationship to written and orally transmitted text is explored.

Vittoria Colona

Poet, politically wise, adviser to many contemporaries and unfairly idealized by Michelangelo.


Russian born, Vienna and Paris educated, European intellectual and proto-feminist, later in life inspired and trained in a Hindu Sufi tradition that required no conversion. She became a role model of independence and freethinking for younger generations. Her writings are in English and German.

Closing reflection on the examples chosen which are exceptions that prove that conventional rules can be re-phrased existentially and in writing.