The Koç University (Istanbul) team focuses on a philosophical assessment of justice, democracy, memory and reconciliation from a critical gender perspective.
The main questions are: Is there anything specifically gendered about memory? If so, how does memory effect women and men’s perceptions of peace and reconciliation? To what extent are women in particular involved in the peace processes? What is the relationship between gender and conflict resolution? Has this been taken into account in feminist research? What are the potentials of women’s activism at peace processes and democratic resolution of conflicts?
The team’s work is oriented towards present and future, and its approach is philosophical rather than strictly political. The focus is on the intersections between silence and epistemic injustice, both in the form of testimonial and hermeneutical injustice (Fricker, 2007). The team proposes that a meticulous study of the relationship between silence (in terms of its many facets such as being silenced, self-imposed-silence or silence as resistance) and epistemic injustice is of great valence, not only because this makes possible to address the role of deliberation in reconciliation and democratization, but also because in this way the conditions of this very possibility can be determined (Göker, forthcoming).
First, an expert focus group discussion will be conducted with the participation of psychologists, academics and relevant Civil Society Organization actors. Second, semi-structured in-depth interviews will be conducted with people who have assumed official and nonofficial mediation roles in society with regard to the current peace process. Third, focus interviews will be conducted with artists (performance arts, filmmakers) and curators (museums, archives) to discuss the findings and the potential for the visual representation of people’s imaginations and perceptions of justice and reconciliation.
The Research Team
Dr. Hülya Şimga, Associate Professor, Department of Philosophy & Gender Studies Center (KOC-KAM), Koç University
Gülru Göker, Post-doctoral researcher, Gender Studies Center (KOC-KAM), Instructor, International Relations Department, Koç University
Serpil Açıkalın Erkorkmaz, PhD candidate, Middle Eastern Studies, Marmara University
İzem Aral, MA Student, Comparative Studies in History and Society, Koç University
Güney Kuru, MA Student, Psychology, Koç University