Research Coffee with Ebru Akcasu

Room 1.33

Research Coffee is a series of events aimed to be a platform for discussions about publications, projects, and working papers of AAU Faculty as well as AAU students. Prior registration is required for this event.

Our next session will be hosted by Ebru Akcasu, Ph.D., who will present “Stifled by Modernity: Women’s Activism from the late Ottoman Empire to the early Turkish”.

You can find the abstract of the paper below, but to receive the full paper and the link to the meeting, please register in advance. We look forward to seeing you!


Emine Semiye (1864-1944) was an activist, a public intellectual, and a politically oriented social thinker with a loud, lucid, unapologetic, and uncompromising voice. A mother, daughter, sister, writer, feminist, revolutionary, Unionist, Ottoman Democrat, and eventually, perhaps, also a socialist, she entered the Ottoman public sphere in the 1890s. She was active, prolific, and internationally known in her lifetime. Like many other women at the cusp of empire and republic, however, she was later forgotten. She gained brief mention in the early years of the Turkish Republic, mostly as entries (or parts of entries) in works in the spirit of “who is who” in the late Ottoman Empire, and minor acknowledgment a century after her debut as a public figure, in the 1980s and 1990s with the resurgence of the Turkish feminist movement. Full-length studies acknowledging her existence only emerged late in the first decade of the 2000s. Emine Semiye has now been pulled out of “the shadow,” mostly thanks to the labor of female academics writing in Turkish. This article aims to integrate their work into a more internationally oriented historiography and builds on it by further deliberating on the significance of Emine Semiye’s legacy, her absence in the record, and her recent resurgence.