Animals in Anatolian and Turkish History Conference

Thursday, May 16, 2024
9:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.
Koç University’s Research Center for Anatolian Civilizations
Animals in Anatolian and Turkish History Conference

The modern industrial age has relegated most animals to the periphery of the daily human experience, confining them within farms, zoos, and protected areas. But for most of human history, animals were everywhere—both in the city and in the countryside. Animals, moreover, mattered far more than they do in today’s industrial economy. They performed vital roles as modes of transportation, as sources of food and fibers, as commodities, and as status and cultural symbols. Human history, in short, cannot be adequately understood without paying attention to animals.

The Department of History at Penn State and the Research Center for Anatolian Civilizations (ANAMED) at Koç University are happy to announce a conference exploring the role of animals in Anatolian and Turkish history. The conference’s goal is to explore how animals shaped the human experience in Anatolia and Turkey over time, and how Anatolian and Turkish societies (in turn) have altered the past and present of different animal groups.

The conference will take place at ANAMED on İstiklal Caddesi in Istanbul over two days, May 16–17, 2024.

The conference will be bilingual, in Turkish and English, and there will be a live English-Turkish and Turkish-English translation. Paper proposals in both English and Turkish are welcome.


  • Selçuk Dursun (Middle East Technical University)
  • Amy Greenberg (Penn State)
  • Nancy Jacobs (Brown University)
  • Yonca Köksal (Koç University)
  • Alan Mikhail (Yale University)
  • Can Nacar (Koç University)
  • Nina Safran (Penn State)
  • Faisal Husain (Penn State)

Additional Information

The conference seeks to feature papers from faculty, graduate students, and independent scholars studying animal history using diverse methods (e.g., economic, cultural, political), scales (e.g., local, regional, and global), themes (e.g., gender, class, and race), and disciplines (e.g., history, anthropology, and archaeology). Chronologically, the conference accepts submissions covering the timeline from the rise of sedentary society about 10,000 years ago to the present. Geographically, the conference defines Turkish history broadly and will consider submissions dealing with territories under Turkish rule during the Ottoman period.

Papers accepted will be grouped into moderated panels, each followed by a roundtable discussion between presenters, commentators, and the audience. The conference aims to serve as an intensive session where presenters can receive comprehensive feedback on their ongoing work, become familiar with the latest research projects carried out in animal history, and interact and network with people from different walks of life interested in the subject.

Application Process and Deadlines

Those interested in presenting a paper at the conference should submit an abstract (between 200 and 300 words) along with a brief curriculum vitae (maximum two pages) to Onur Çezik at by February 2, 2024. Successful applicants will be notified in mid February and will be asked to submit a full version of their papers (double-spaced, between fifteen and thirty pages) by April 22 for pre-circulation to conference attendees and commentators.

For any questions regarding the conference, contact Onur Çezik at

Koç University’s Research Center for Anatolian Civilizations


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