This panel brings together scholars and analysts to comment on the recent conversion of the Hagia Sophia from a museum into a mosque from the perspective of architectural history in geopolitical context. What is the building’s significance for Byzantine, early and late Ottoman, Republican and contemporary Turkish architecture? How will the Hagia Sophia’s conversion into a mosque in 2020 impact its use, global and local public meaning, place in the city and nearby monuments, physical attributes, Byzantine mosaics, Christian and Muslim symbols, marble floor, and acoustics, among other things? What effects did the building’s recent conversion make in different areas of historical studies? Are there comparable examples elsewhere in the world?
Speakers will make 8-minute presentations in the rough chronological order of their historical field of expertise and comment on the contemporary decision from the perspectives of their own scholarly work and study area. *Please note that a recording of the event may not be available.
Panelists in order of presentation:
Namık Erkal, TED University in Ankara
Bissera Pentcheva, Stanford University
Christina Maranci, Tufts University
Maria Georgopoulou, American School of Classical Studies at Athens
Sevil Enginsoy, Istanbul Bilgi University
Çiğdem Kafesçioğlu, Boğaziçi University
Belgin Turan, Middle East Technical University
Peter Christensen, Co-Moderator, University of Rochester
Nikos Magouliotis, ETH Zurich
Esra Akcan, Co-Moderator, Cornell University
Mesut Dinler, Politecnico di Torino
Mücahit Bilici, City University of New York
Bülent Batuman, Bilkent University
The panel is organized by the Institute for European Studies of Einaudi Center for International Studies at Cornell University. Funding is provided by the Central New York Humanities Corridor, as part of the multi-year event series "New Approaches to Scholarship and Pedagogy of Ottoman and Turkish Architecture" organized by Esra Akcan and Peter Christensen.