Rabia Harmanşah

Visiting Fellow, Fall 2023

  • Affiliation
    Dumbarton Oaks
    Research Project:
    Mapping the Forgotten Landscape: People, Power and Belonging – The Case of the Island of Imbros
Contact Info

Rabia Harmanşah is a cultural anthropologist specializing in political anthropology, ethnoreligious conflict, religion, memory, and landscape studies with a geographical focus on Southeast Europe. She has conducted long-term ethnographic research in Turkey and Cyprus and has involved with NGO projects addressing challenges of social conflict and cultural heritage. She holds a Ph.D. in Anthropology from the University of Pittsburgh and taught at Lafayette College, University of Pittsburgh, Bilkent University, METU Northern Cyprus, and University of Cologne. She was a Mellon Fellow in Urban Landscape Studies at Dumbarton Oaks in 2023 and will be joining the Leuphana Institute for Advanced Studies in Culture and Society at Leuphana University of Lüneburg in 2024.

About the Research Project

Mapping the Forgotten Landscape: People, Power and Belonging – The Case of the Island of Imbros

Harmanşah’s work investigates the Turkish state’s efforts to deterritorialize memory and landscape on the Greek island of Imbros to create a ‘national space’ while destabilizing local communities’ strategies of resistance. She studies those Orthodox Christians who remained on the ‘wrong’ side of the shore after the 1923 population exchange, but who then faced discrimination, expulsion, and deprivation of properties. Imbros Greeks of Turkey is an ideal case study to understand how the state dismantles indigenous practices of inhabiting landscape and reconfigures it with administrative, military, and civic infrastructure. Using a novel analytical tool, memory maps, the work prioritizes these marginalized experiences, claims their belonging to the land, and uncovers the multiple layers of loss from their landscape.

Previous Roles

  • Visiting Research Fellow
    2023 - 2023