Dr. Pierre Hecker
Center for Near and Middle Eastern Studies (CNMS)
Philipps - University Marburg, Germany
This talk addresses a broader discussion on the politics of academic research and the researcher’s very own positioning in the field. On a more personal note, it is devoted to my invisible companion, the “Orientalist Within,” who has been with me since day one of my academic life. Even though I have pledged to fight him, he rears up his ugly head time and again and creeps into my academic writings against my best intentions. The talk addresses the question of who controls or contributes to the discourse on metal in the Middle East, and who is being left out or excluded. In line with these goals, it conceptualizes metal as a discursive formation, which carries the risk of reproducing Orientalist notions of the Middle East. Against this backdrop, I will try and critically reflect on representations of Orientalism in my own research. Furthermore, I will also address the dialectic between Orientalism and Occidentalism in research on contemporary Turkey.
Pierre Hecker is a Senior Researcher and Lecturer at the Centre for Near and Middle Eastern Studies (CNMS) at Philipps-University Marburg, Germany. He holds a PhD in Near and Middle Eastern Studies from the University of Leipzig and is the author of the book Turkish Metal. Music, Meaning, and Morality in a Muslim Society (Ashgate 2012; Routledge 2016). His recent publications include Islam. The Meaning of Style (Sociology of Islam 2018) and The “Arab Spring” and the End of Turkish Democracy (Palgrave, 2019). He is the head of the research group ‘“Ne mutlu ateistim diyene”. Atheism and the Politics of Culture in Contemporary Turkey’ funded by Stiftung Mercator.