CfP: The Problem of Sources in Women’s Memory (Event: Istanbul), Deadline: 01.07.2008

Based on requests from colleagues, the coverage for 20th Anniversary Symposium of the Women’s Library and Information Centre Foundation in Istanbul (Website), has now been extended as: „The Problem of Sources in Women’s Memory“.

Rather than limiting itself to the Turkish case from the Ottoman Era to the Present. There will now be two parallel sessions. One on Turkish issues and one Women’s Archives, in general. To couple this change, the deadline for submitting summaries is now postponed to 1 July 2008

From 17-19 April 2009, as part of our 20th anniversary celebrations, the Women’s Library and Information Centre [WLIC] will be holding an international symposium on „The Problem of Sources in Women’s Memory“

The symposium will offer, we believe, the broadest examination to date on „sources in women’s studies and women’s history.“ Our aim is to create a setting in which a broad range of international women researchers and women historians can come together and share their research findings.

We are addressing the issue of sources because in Turkey, as in many other parts of the world, women researchers and women historians find these sources at their disposal rarely include gender-based classifications. We hope that this symposium will provide an opportunity to share experiences about problems tackled and solved (or not, as the case may be) in using these sources. In addition, we plan to develop a common gender-based policy on the problem of sources in women’s memory and publish it at the end of the symposium in order to facilitate the development of a new policy by relevant organizations and institutions.

Through this symposium, we aim to raise and discuss a wide range of issues including, but not limited to, the policies of official state institutions concerning documents on issues relating to women, the evaluation of documents on women’s issues from a gender perspective, the process of preparing a national catalogue on women’s documents, as seen in a number of other countries, the problem of awareness in the conservation of these sources, the destruction or deletion of sources for political or other special reasons. During the symposium we expect to learn of new and enlightening approaches, and we hope that our discussions, and the resolutions at the end of the symposium, will provide guidance and leadership to official and private institutions on their handling of documents and archives relating to women’s studies and women’s history.

Possible subjects for discussion at the symposium

  • Policies of official and private organizations and institutions on archiving documents related to women (libraries and archive centers specialized on historical archives, as the Ottoman Archive Center; the Republic Archive Center; the National Library; the Ministry of Tourism and Culture; the Research Centre for Islamic History, Art and Culture (IRCICA); the Centre for Islamic Studies (ISAM) etc),
  • Evaluating documents by or about women from a gender perspective,
  • The use of Western sources in women’s studies; problems arising in theuse of Western sources,
  • Incorporating women’s archives in the curriculum of women’s studies programmes,
  • The process of preparing a national catalogue on women’s documents (from official and private sources),
  • The „awareness“ issue in protecting women’s documents,
  • Methodology in women’s studies and women’s history,
  • The destruction, disapperance of women’s documents and archives, orreluctance to offer access to the researchers for political reasons or privacy concerns,
  • The invisibility of women’s documents in private archives and the „hidden archives“ issue.
  • The accessibility or non-accessibility of women’s documents, sharing experiences
  • Conservation and evaluation of documents relating to the everyday life of women,
  • The internet as a basic source for women’s studies and women’s history,
  • The use of miscellaneous visual cinema sources, such as film, cinema magazines, and cinema-related cuttings, in women’s studies and women’s history,
  • Conservation of the documents of women’s organizations and women’s professional institutions,
  • Comparison between the Women’s Library and Information Centre in Istanbul and other women’s libraries abroad, related to the acquisition, protection and dissemination of women documents,
  • The use of literary sources, such as poetry, novels, stories, theatre etc in women’s studies,
  • Various other discussion subjects on source and archive related issues, including women’s studies, women’s history, women’s organizations, women’s periodicals, women’s publications, women’s professions and women’s biography etc…

Organization Details

Papers submitted for this symposium will be collected, evaluated and selected by an evaluation committee, and selected presentations will be published before the symposium for dissemination during the sessions.
No participation fee will be required from researchers wishing to attend the symposium. Researchers attending the symposium from within Turkey or from abroad to present papers will meet their own travel and accommodation costs; but tea and coffee refreshments will be provided, and Kadir Has University will open throughout the symposium a buffet lunch facility. Dinner events will be organized for participants in order to offer a relaxed atmosphere to the attending members for discussions (participants will pay the cost of their own food).
Women researchers and women historians wishing to present their paper to the international symposium should send titles of proposed papers together with a 300-500 word summary to the symposium secretariat by 1 July 2008. Once papers have been selected, a second call will be sent to those preparing the selected papers on 1 August 2008, so that papers can be prepared in conformity with a jointly agreed style and format. The final 5,000-15,000 word texts of the papers will be sent by 1 December 2008 to the secretariat by e-mail. The Women’s Library and Information Centre and the Kadir Has University will prepare and publish a book based on a collection of the papers submitted to the Women’s Library and
Information Centre, prefaced with a substantial introduction, for launch and sale at the opening of the symposium on 17 April 2009.

International Symposium Organization Committee:

Assistant Prof. Dr. Selhan Savcigil Endres
Member of the General Board of the Women’s Library and Information Centre FoundationMember of Kadir Has University teaching staff

Tülin Tankut
Member of the Executive Committee of the Women’s Library and Information
Centre Foundation

Asli Davaz
Founding-member and member of the Executive Committee of the Women’s
Library and Information Centre Foundation

Symposium Secretariat:

Assoc. Prof. Dr. Bekir Kemal Ataman
Archives Consultant to the Women’s Library and Information Centre Foundation,
Member of Marmara University teaching staff

Assistant Prof. Dr. Yavuz Selim Karakisla
Women’s History Researcher
Member of Bophorus University teaching staff


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