Istanbul On-site Research Seminar

Lead Faculty: Professor Sibel Bozdogan
Supporting Faculty: Professor Eve Blau, Professor Max Hirsh
Students: Alice Xiang, Aliza Sovani, Andrew Watkins, Nora Lessersohn, Veronika Poier, Dana Shaikh, Alexandra Courcoulas (MIT-funded)
In June 2015 a group of Harvard faculty and student researchers traveled to Istanbul as an on-site complement to the GSD Istanbul Urban History Research Seminar in Fall 2014: a trip conceived both as a general introduction to the urban history of Istanbul, as well as a continuation and completion of Fall 2014 projects.
During the two weeks the group attended lectures, and undertook guided field trips and visits to exhibitions, research centers, and libraries. The students received academic and research help on an individual basis from the Istanbul Studies Center of Kadir Has University, an affiliate institution of the Harvard Mellon Urban Initiative. As part of the seminar, the students also participated in a mapping workshop in order to be introduced to the mapping techniques and the ongoing work at the ISC.
This year’s Istanbul Portal work has been an initial exploration of the possibilities of combining more conventional urban history research (archival, textual, visual and cartographic sources) with the newer techniques of digital mapping and data visualization. The intended outcome of the June trip is to produce an informative, sharable and visually appealing record/digital documentation of both the research of Fall 2014 seminar and the on-site explorations of the June trip. After returning to Cambridge, the seminar/trip participants are expected to feed this content into an online exhibition.