Ömer Fatih Parlak
NIT, Istanbul, Turkey
1 Nov 18:30 - 20:00
Image: "The game of the eagle" in I 33 Giochi del Mitelli, Giuseppe Maria Mitelli, Sandro Angelini (ed.), Grafica Gutenberg, 1976, Bergamo, Italy.
This lecture will explore the reflection of the Turk and Turkey in historic board games produced in Europe. The image of the Turk lost its thematic value in board games from the beginning of the 19th century and entered a century-long period characterized by a representational decline. During the hype of imperialism, newly colonized territories and peoples took the attention of board game designers, while the Turk and Turkey were no longer a popular entity in games. In the twentieth century, however, this decline turned almost to a total absence of Turkish representation in board games. This inquiry proposes to seek this declining trend in the mutual relationship between game space and political space. In the light of historic board games from Dutch, Flemish, French and British collections, the study revisits Dutch cultural historian Johan Huizinga’s theories on play and games in culture. Statistical data supporting the proposal here will also be shared with the participants.
Ömer Fatih Parlak obtained his doctoral degree in September 2019 in the program of Comparative Literature and Literary Theories at the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona. In his doctoral research, he focused on the image of the Turk in early modern board games and playing cards. He argues that the Turk is a multifaceted image that has never been static whereby these games approached the Turk as an enemy, but occasionally as a friend, too. Parlak is a member of the International Society of Board Game Studies (BGS), Gesellschaft für Turkologie, Osmanistik und Türkeiforschung (GTOT), and Renaissance Society of America (RSA).