Museum of Time 2007

Boğaç, C. and Güley, K. (2007). ‘Museum of  Time: A study of Gazimağusa’, Proceedings of Social Science History Association, 32nd Annual SSHA Conference, 15th -18th, November Chicago, Illinois, USA. pp. 93-103.


Built environments tend to adapt changing social and economic conditions and physical environment keep preserving meanings all the time. People continue to create built environments; social life changes, it evolves. As time goes by, ‘history comes out. While people perceive buildings around them, they transform 3-dimensional, spatial and time conceptions to the ‘meaning’. In other words, they experience ‘values’ and ‘meanings’ of things in their ‘ museum’ of time. In this process, people’s cultural backgrounds, which took place in their perception process, play an important role. The unique historical character and identity of any surrounding determine individual’s possible organization of reality beside one’s personality. But what does physical environment mean to someone if it is not a fully part of their own cultural history?Throughout its history, city of Gazimağusa (Famagusta), North Cyprus, had hosted different cultures. From Egyptians to Lusignans, from Venetians to Ottomans and British, the social life and population characteristics of the city has changed through the centuries. Today, there are so many historical structures and ruins in the walled-city of Gazimağusa that does not contain any resemblance to people’s past who live in city today.Firstly, this paper discusses the ecological approach to visual perception, which indicates direct experience of the organism and environment conformity process on the basis of ‘theory of affordance’. However, the theory of affordance alone does not answer the question of how people become sensitive to existence meanings in the environment.   At this point, theory of ‘existentialism’ helps to develop ecological approach in order to understand how meaning is inherent in a public form of life. The relationship between perception and meaning needs to involve the idea of dialectic between past and present. Secondly, the paper discusses these key themes as a medium to explore issues of history and identity.In line with these discussions, this study aims to determine (i) Which historical identities have  left traces in City of Gazimağusa  (ii) What are the living identities today?; (iii) What does these historical identities mean for today’s society?Key words: Meaning, Existentialism, Culture, Identity, History, Architecture.


2007 Annual Meeting of the Social Science History Association

History and the Social Sciences: Taking Stock and Moving Ahead

The Social Science History Association returns to The Palmer House Hilton for its 32nd Annual Meeting, 15-18 November 2007, in Chicago, Illinois, USA.

The SSHA is the leading interdisciplinary association for historical research in the US; its members share a common concern for interdisciplinary approaches to historical problems. The organization’s long-standing interest in methodology also makes SSHA meetings exciting places to explore new solutions to historical problems. We encourage the participation of graduate students and recent PhDs as well as more-established scholars, from a wide range of disciplines and departments.

The SSHA was founded amidst a burst of intellectual excitement about the possibility of gaining new insights into history by utilizing social scientific approaches and theories. At the same time the organization reflected a rejection of the tendency in many social sciences to privilege the present. Just as a rich palette of new research perspectives was created in history by this movement, a whole new set of possibilities was opened in other social science disciplines.

At the 2007 SSHA meeting in Chicago, a series of sessions will assess how much progress has been made on these fronts in recent years and will identify those areas where the greatest advances have taken place. Those scholarly areas where progress has been most limited will also be identified, and the obstacles to further advances examined in order to plot paths to future development. Some panels will address very broad questions, such as the state of social science history within the contemporary historical profession and the role and status of historical research within individual social science disciplines today. Others will look at more limited areas, such as the state of the social scientific study of gender history. Of interest, too, are the implications of the rise of cultural history for the development of social scientific approaches to history. Panels are encouraged to identify both those forces within or across disciplines that have been slowing progress in social science history and those approaches and studies that show the most promise for overcoming them. As always, in addition to the sessions organized around the special theme, other sessions will deal with the full variety of topics of interest to SSHA members.

The SSHA program is developed through networks of people interested in particular topics or approaches to interdisciplinary history. Paper and session proposals should be submitted to the appropriate SSHA network(s). Current networks, their representatives, and contact information are listed on the reverse side. If you are not certain about which network to send your proposal to, ask the representatives of the network closest to your interests, or ask the program co-chairs, listed below.

SSHA President for 2006-2007

• David Kertzer, Brown University

Program Committee Co-Chairs for 2007 Conference:

• Mary Gibson, John Jay College, CUNY (History)

• Farley Grubb, University of Delaware (Economics)

• Robert Lieberman, Columbia University (Political Science)

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