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Lecture | LUCIS What's New?! Series

Streaming Piety: Religion in Turkish Television Drama

Thursday 15 December 2022
Please register below
What's New?! Fall Lecture Series 2022
Cleveringaplaats 1
2311 BD Leiden
Conversion of Hürrem Sultan as depicted in Magnificent Century

Television drama is the strongest narrative tool for popular culture to represent and comment on the socio-political context in which it is produced. The idea that television drama is a powerful tool in present days cultural production derives from Dominique Moïsi and R.A. Saunders theories on the power of television series.

Under Kemalism, religion was banned to the private domain and Turkey experienced a wave of measures promoting secularism. Since the 1950s religion, especially Islam, gradually returned to public life in Turkey. Since the ascendance of the AKP regime in 2002, religious expressions increased in number and became more explicit in all aspects of Turkish society; including television drama.

The lecture will shed light on how the depiction of religion in Turkish television dramas developed. It will explore Islam, secularity and other religions. After a chronological overview, it will concentrate on the most recent developments. With the emergence of streaming services, Turkish television dramas reached an even wider audience. Did this change religiosity in Turkish television series?

About Petra de Bruijn

Dr. Petra de Bruijn obtained her PhD at Leiden University (1997) and she works at the Leiden University Institute for Area Studies (LIAS) for the department of Middle Eastern Studies. She combines in her scholarly work research in the field of modern Turkish prose literature with research in the field of performing arts, especially modern Turkish theatre and Turkish film and television drama. Her current research concentrates primarily on the use of Islamic and nationalistic politics in Turkish television series. Between 2010 and 2021, she combined her scholarly work with a position as executive secretary of Leiden University Centre for the Study of Islam and Society (LUCIS). From 2010 to 2018 she has been involved in the Netherlands Interuniversity School for Islamic Studies (NISIS) as executive secretary and from 2015-2018 as director ad interim. She has published on topics as diverse as the plays and novels of the Turkish author Adalet Ağaoğlu, the use of miniature painting as a post-modern technique in My name is red  by Orhan Pamuk, the depiction of Islam in Turkish cinema and the use of politics in the television series of the Gülen Movement. In addition, she regularly contributes to the Encyclopaedia of Islam III, published by Brill. Moreover, she writes on topical issues for the Leiden Islam Blog and Wetenschap.nu.

This lecture is a hybrid event. We hope to welcome you at Lipsius 1.18, but also offer the possibility of attending the lecture online. Register to receive the livestream link.

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