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May 16, 2024, 7:30 PM

Join us for an exploration of Istanbul's diverse history!

In this talk, Melike will guide us through the fascinating story of İstanbul’s making from its imperial past shaped by being the seat of power for two succeeding world empires, to today’s vibrant but gigantic megapolis. She will feature images, clips from movies, and music that capture Istanbul’s vibrant, diverse cultural background and historical urban context, accompanied by scholarly inquiry into the city’s different layers reflected in its architectural and urban layout. Join us for an evening filled with a journey into the past and present of one of the most prominent city’s of the world.

Meet our Urban Historian:

Firuzan melike Sumertas


Firuzan Melike Sümertaş is an urban and architectural historian. She earned her degree in Architecture from METU, Ankara, and completed her Ph.D. in History at Boğaziçi University, Istanbul. Her research primarily delves into the urban context of Istanbul, focusing particularly on the history of the Greek Orthodox community within the city. Currently, she is exploring digital methods in historical research, such as data analysis and mapping.


Sümertaş contributes as a researcher within the collaborative, led by Christine Philliou at UC Berkeley, and as a co-curator for the Phanariot Materialities project hosted by ANAMED at Koç University, Istanbul. Additionally, she is a visiting lecturer at UC Berkeley's Department of History for the current academic year. Back in Turkey she has worked at a variety of universities including Anadolu University, Eskişehir, MEF, Kadir Has, Boğaziçi and Kent Universities of Istanbul.


Previously, Sümertaş was awarded the Fulbright Cultural Exchange Scholarship, through which she spent an academic year at Princeton University. She has also received multiple academic research and mobility grants from institutions such as TUBITAK, the American Research Institute in Turkey, AKMED, the French School at Athens, and the Modern Greek Studies Association. Her research has taken her to archives in Greece, the USA, and the UK, and she has actively participated in conferences and workshops across Europe, North America, North Africa, and South Asia. Sümertaş has contributed articles to various print and online, academic and popular publications. Her research languages are Ottoman Turkish and Modern Greek. 


In addition to her research pursuits, Sümertaş has played a role in numerous exhibition projects as a curator, consultant, and researcher, collaborating with institutions such as ANAMED, SALT Galata, and the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality, primarily within Istanbul.

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