Wednesday, April 8, 2015
McKinney Conference Room
Registration required. Register here.
In 1863, American missionary Cyrus Hamlin and New York-based philanthropist Christopher Robert collaborated to found Robert College in Istanbul. The school--which is still operative today--would go on to serve as a model for an entire network of American schools in the Ottoman world and functioned as a key node for American activity in the region throughout the late nineteenth and twentieth centuries. This presentation will use photographs from the Robert College archive to trace the material effects of the American educational enterprise in the late Ottoman Middle East, focusing on the production of the student body through the practice and performance of sports and athletic culture. By considering the student body as both an individual subject located at the nexus of diverse social and disciplinary forces, and as a social group embedded within a range of local and transnational communities, this paper seeks to shed light on the political work of American education within the context of late Ottoman society.