Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey

Nükhet Kardam

Professor

I am passionate about women’s human rights, how global human rights norms apply in specific cultures; about working, living and exploring multiple cultures and multiple identities; and about the nature of self and of identity.

What excites me about being a professor at MIIS is working with a socially committed, multicultural group of students and teaching within an environment of innovation and openness.

FROM OTTOMAN TO TURK: SHIMMERING THREADS OF IDENTITY

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I am excited to announce the launch of a multimedia narrative project "From Ottoman to Turk: Shimmering Threads of Identity". Born of my TEDxMonterey talk, the project burst the bounds of an 18-minute story. Through text, image and hyperlink, Sarah Springer and I document my grandfather's and my journey across cultures and time. This e-book interweaves the academic and the personal, showing how one influences and informs the other. The re-imagination of the project into a web-based multimedia format also invites an on-going conversation about the nature of identity and how we might all move beyond the superficial to the core.

I invite you to explore this project further and to join the conversation here.

 Watercolor Identities: Explore the Nature of Identity

My Teaching Philosophy:

Expertise

Women's Human Rights, Gender and International Development, Development Assistance, Implementation of Global Human Rights Norms in Local Contexts, Political and Cultural Context of Development Practice, Identity Politics.

Recent Accomplishments

  • Kardam, Nükhet, and Lane, Brittany. "Women Communicating for Social Change is Way of Life" The Women's International Perspective. 5 May 2015.
  • INTERSECTION, Episode 46. Aslan Media. "Turkish Politics and Women's Human Rights" 2 Sept. 2014. Radio.
  • Kardam, Nükhet, and Meltrem, Agduk. "Mobilizing Religious Leaders to Combat Violence against Women in Turkey." The Women's International Perspective. 14 Aug. 2014.
  • Kardam, Nükhet (April 2013), TEDxMonterey "Watercolor Identities."
  • Kardam, Nükhet and Fredric Kropp (2013), "Global Trends: Women as Social Entrepreneurs: a Case Study." In Women in the Global Economy: Leading Social Change. Global Education Research Reports 8, edited by Trish Tierney. San Francisco, Institute of International Education
  • Ongoing Research Project in “Intercultural Modes of Thinking and Reasoning” at the Monterey Institute with Fusun Akarsu, Philip Murphy and Katherine Punteney - in countries like Macedonia, Israel, USA, Kyrgyzstan and Turkey.
  • Turkey’s Response to the Global Gender Regime”, GEMC (Gender Equality and Multicultural Conviviality Journal), Tohoku University, no. 4, 2011
  • Leslie Eliason Teaching Excellence Award, 2010
  • Contributing author, UNIFEM, “Aid and Security.” In Progress of the World’s Women Report, 2008-2009.

Previous Work

I have been interested in change in international organizations and researched how gender was mainstreamed in several international development organizations. I engage in consulting with development organizations, including evaluation of women’s human rights programs and projects and women’s political participation, gender and governance. More recently I have turned to exploring how global women’s rights norms are interpreted and implemented in local cultural contexts.

Education

PhD, Political Science, Michigan State University; MA, International Relations, University of British Columbia; BA, Philosophy, Istanbul University; IB, Arts, Robert College

Course List

Courses offered in the past four years.
indicates offered in the current term
indicates offered in the upcoming term[s]

DPPG8518 - Women's Human Rights:Xcultural      

This course will focus on the global women’s human rights norms as embodied in legal instruments such as CEDAW (Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women) and the Beijing Platform for Action. We will explore the process of their formulation, how women’s rights were placed on the global agenda, and the level of acceptance of international policy and global norms by state parties. We will then move to women’s human rights policies and their implementation in national and local contexts. We will investigate how cultural and religious norms complement and/or contradict global norms on women’s rights. We will explore different rights, such and the right to be free from violence of all forms, and the role of men. We will also explore different areas of Development such as Refugees and Migration, Sex Trafficking, Political Participation and Democratization. Finally, we will learn and apply advocacy tools to advance women’s rights. Thus, this course will investigate the policy process from agenda setting to implementation at global and local levels.

Fall 2015 - MIIS, Fall 2016 - MIIS

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DPPG8542 - Communicating InAChangingWorld      

This class will explore effective modes of communication in both interpersonal and intercultural dialogue. In planning this class we have been motivated by our conviction that thoughtful exchange requires an environment where one is both trusting and trustworthy. Emphasizing embodied discussion, sessions will include movement, mindful interaction between participants, and writing integrated with close readings of theoretical materials. Exercises are intended to foster self- knowledge, critical reflection, and attentiveness to each other’s stories, in the belief that such reflective skills foster healthy communities through mutually respectful relationships between individuals, groups, and nations. In other words, the skills on which we will focus should apply directly to daily life as well as to multilingual/international work environments. By social change, we mean a conscious process to reduce poverty and oppression by changing unequal power relationships.

Essential to this class will be the integration of scholarly analysis with insights from movement and physiology and also with interviews, exploratory writing, and personal narratives. The instructors will all fully participate as well as help to facilitate these exercises. For the final sessions participants will present a project applying one or more of the skills, which have been introduced within some larger personal or professional context of special interest to them.

Spring 2016 - MIIS

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DPPG8637 - Sem:Socl Sector Needs Assesmnt      

This seminar introduces participants to a variety of tools and methodologies for participatory needs assessment in the context of poverty. The goal of this course is to develop and apply the fundamental needs and assets assessment skills necessary for a career in international development. The following topics will be covered:

1) An overview of Poverty, Social Change, Participation, and Asset-Based Development (including the importance of an Asset-Based approach in sustainable development; types of assets, including social capital);

2) An overview of participatory methods, tools, techniques and strategies applied in Asset Based Development activities.

3) Managing, leading, and encouraging participatory identification of needs and assets: how external facilitators interact with local participants and other stakeholder groups; the political context and power relationships.

4) Country and sector specific discussions of needs and assets identification.

Spring 2016 - MIIS

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DPPG8643 - SemPwr&Idntity/MultiCultrlWrld      

In this seminar, we first examine our own identities in a reflective and critical way. Why are some identities complementary to each other, while others are contradictory? Why are some identities repressed or redefined? In the second section of the course, we investigate the social construction of identities. How do we construct the ‘other’? Under what circumstances does the ‘other’ become the enemy? We discuss nation building in this context as one group’s power over others in defining the national identity, its myths, history, language and other defining characteristics. How does nation building empower particular ethnic, religious, racial groups in this process at the expense of others? Where is the balance between maintaining cultural diversity and group rights, at the same time creating a state which erases group privileges in order to promote individual rights and ‘citizens’ whose primary loyalty is to the ‘nation’? The third and final section of the course focuses on the problems related to the recognition of multiculturalism. We analyze policies on language, religion, culture, and ethnicity in specific countries with the aim of discovering the conditions that promote multiculturalism.

Fall 2015 - MIIS, Fall 2016 - MIIS

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MPAG8540 - Social Sector Needs Assessment      

This course introduces participants to a variety of tools and methodologies for participatory needs assessment in the context of poverty. The goal of this course is to develop and apply the fundamental needs and assets assessment skills necessary for a career in international development. The following topics will be covered:

1) An overview of Poverty, Social Change, Participation, and Asset-Based Development (including the importance of an Asset-Based approach in sustainable development; types of assets, including social capital); 2) An overview of participatory methods, tools, techniques and strategies applied in Asset Based Development activities. 3) Managing, leading, and encouraging participatory identification of needs and assets: how external facilitators interact with local participants and other stakeholder groups; the political context and power relationships. 4) Country and sector specific discussions of needs and assets identification: education, health, democratization and governance, environment, gender equality, human rights are some sectors to be examined.

Students successfully completing this course will be able to:

a) Understand the different definitions of Poverty, the context of Poverty, and Participatory Development in conditions of poverty and Asset Based Community Development.

b) Learn, present and apply Needs Assessment tools.

c) Analyze needs assessment case studies and understand their social and political context.

d) Be able to conduct Needs Assessment in professional settings.

Spring 2015 - MIIS

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MPAG8542 - Communicatng for Social Change      

This two credit course explores effective modes of communication in interpersonal and intercultural dialogue. Thoughtful exchange requires an environment where one is both trusting and trustworthy. Emphasizing embodied discussion, sessions include movement and writing integrated with close readings of theoretical materials. Specific exercises foster self-knowledge and hone attentiveness to each other’s stories, in the belief that such reflective skills foster healthy communities and mutually respectful relationships [between groups and within nations]. Skills are directly applicable to daily life and multilingual/international work environments. Examples are drawn from Action Research whose major premise includes a commitment to non-violent social change in community development, in partnership with all stakeholders.

Spring 2015 - MIIS

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