Aptullah Kuran Memorial Lectures

The Aptullah Kuran Memorial Lecture is an annual event organized jointly by the Boğaziçi University President’s Office and the Department of History. Professor Aptullah Kuran (1927-2002), one of the leading historians of Medieval Anatolian and Ottoman architecture, was president of Boğaziçi University from 1971 to 1979, following the nationalization of Robert College, and the founding chair of the Department of History. Every year, the department honors the memory of Professor Kuran by inviting a distinguished scholar to offer a public lecture. The Memorial Lecture series is an occasion to cherish, in a pubic forum, the primary tenets of academic life at Boğaziçi University: open, critical thinking and academic freedom.

Past Lectures
Prof. Selçuk Esenbel
"The Janus-Face of the West: Global Perspectives on the Quest for Modernity in Japan, China, and Turkey"
13 April 2023

Prof. Selim Deringil
"İki Üniversitenin Hikayesi: Bir Üniversitenin Ruhu Var Mıdır?"
7 April 2022

Prof. Üstün Ergüder, Sabancı University
"Aptullah Kuran: Bir Üniversitenin ve Bir Kültürün Kuruluşu"
1 April 2021

Prof. Engin Akarlı, İstanbul Şehir University
"İktidarın Sınırları: Osmanlı Tarihinden (ve Tarihçiliğinden) İzlenimler"
3 December 2020
Prof. Marie-Henriette Gates, Bilkent University
“Accommodating the Gods: The Social Dimension of Sacred Architecture in the Ancient Near East”
2 April 2019 
Prof. Nile Green, UCLA
“Europe's First Muslim Students: Lessons Across Civilizational Boundaries”
3 April 2018
Prof. Cemal Kafadar, Harvard University
“Evliya Çelebi's Encounter with the Arts of the Frenks: A Question of Verisimilitude and Realism in Ottoman Self-Evaluation”
5 April 2017
Prof. Robert Darnton, Harvard University
"Censors at Work. How States Shaped Literature"
29 March 2016 
Prof. Robert S. Nelson, Yale University
"Ayasofya. Holy Wisdom. It is what the world needs most and has lost"
31 March 2015
Prof. David Harvey, City University of New York
“The Contradictions of Capitalist Urbanization”
27 March 2014
Prof. Carol Gluck, Columbia University
“Modernity in Common: Japan and World History”
2 April 2013
Prof. Ussama Makdisi, Rice University
“The Artillery of Heaven: American Missionaries to the Ottoman Empire and the Question of Imperialism”
5 April 2012
Prof. Zainab Bahrani, Columbia University
“The Speaking Image (Ekphrasis) Art and Inscriptions in Mesopotamia” 
4 April 2011
Prof. Stephen Greenblatt, Harvard University
“Shakespeare’s Beauty Marks” 
1 April 2010
Prof. Gülru Necipoğlu, Harvard University
“Aesthetics of Ornament in the Ottoman and Safavid Regimes of Visuality”
1 April 2009
Prof. Nasser Rabat, MIT
“The Prison House of Identity: A Critique of Contemporary Islamic Architecture”
1 April 2008
Prof. Oleg Grabar, Institute of Advanced Research
“Islamic Culture and the Art of the Object” 
5 April 2007
Prof. Natalie Zemon Davis, University of Toronto
“Trickster Travels: Leo Africanus Between Worlds” 
4 April 2006
Prof. Carlo Ginzburg, UCLA
“Fiction and History, a Close Up: Israel Bertuccio, ‘Rebellious Plebian’”    
7 April 2005