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Karakaya Discusses Populism and Nostalgia in Workshop


Yagmur Karakaya
Yagmur Karakaya

Postdoctoral Fellow in Sociology and Visiting Assistant Professor of Sociology Yagmur Karakaya recently participated in Claiming the People’s Past: Populist Engagements with History and the Challenges to Historical Thinking. The online workshop was sponsored by two University of Ghent organizations — Thinking about the Past and the International Network for Theory of History.

Karakaya presented “Perpetuum Mobile: Neo-Ottoman nostalgia as an impossible machine of conquest” in a session on “Populist Historicities and the Challenge to Historiographic Expertise.” Her talk explored the relationship between populism and nostalgia using the case of the reconversion of Hagia Sophia to a mosque 85 years after it was opened as a museum in 1935.

Karakaya examined the specific emotional complexion of nostalgia, because, she said, “nostalgia is not a singular emotion but an amalgamation of multiple emotions.

“What makes nostalgia an ideal type is the constant emotion of desire to bring back a lost state. In the case of Turkey, these emotions are dictated by the conquest,” she noted.

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