(Inter-)nationalism and the New Turkey. The Rise and Fall of International Education at Istanbul’s Robert College, 1913-1933
Professor Reşat Kasaba, University of Washington, will discuss Erik Sjöberg’s project “(Inter-)nationalism and the New Turkey. The Rise and Fall of International Education at Istanbul’s Robert College, 1913-1933."
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In this seminar, I will give a brief introduction to my project and the draft version of a monograph about education for peace and internationalism at Robert College, an American private school in Istanbul, during the interwar period, before proceeding to discuss the manuscript with Professor Kasaba.
In the aftermath of WW1 a movement for international education emerged among scholars and educators in Europe and North America. Its proponents pointed to the role played by nationalistic education in the making of the Great War. The duty of educators was to counter such harmful national bias by imbuing young students with a sense of ‘world-mindedness’. This effort, however, had to be reconciled with the nationalist projects of emerging nation-states, such as Kemal Atatürk’s Turkish Republic. Using the case of Robert College and the social studies instructor Edgar Fisher, I analyze the paradoxical relation between seemingly contradictory conceptions of modernity, as represented by American internationalism and Turkish nationalism, with attention to strategies for adjustment, as well as students’ understanding of internationalism, religious, ethnic and national identity.