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"Our Anatolia": Organicism And The Making Of Humanist Culture In Turkey

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Chapter Summary

This chapter analyses the discourse on "Anatolia" as both a historiographic category and an aesthetic ideal. It first outlines a prehistory of the "Anatolia" discourse in the revolutionary historiography of the 1930s. Focusing on the years between 1954 and 1971, the chapter then examines the recurrent metaphors of Anatolian humanism within a wide spectrum of interdisciplinary work, such as anthropological survivalism and cultural diffusionism, through which an organicist system is made manifest. A study of the organicist paradigms that underlie Anatolia is useful in dismantling the modern Turkish project of aestheticizing the nation and points to some of the paradoxes of cultural modernism at large. Of particular interest for this study are the ways "Anatolia" translated a modernizing ideological project into lasting interpretive categories of art and culture, working as a device both of aesthetic distinction and of cultural authentication.

Keywords: Anatolian humanism; anthropological survivalism; cultural diffusionism; organicist system; revolutionary historiography; Turkey



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