Dec 31, 2011


with Daniel Pontillo and Chris Gratien

Human beings live their lives under a state of constant observation that is both perceived and real. Widespread folk traditions such as the notion of the "evil eye" (Turkish: nazar) reflect a belief in the profound power of the mere act of looking, which psychoanalysts such as Lacan have developed into theories of gaze (French: le regard) and the gaze effect that have gained resonance within the humanities and the social sciences. In this episode, Dan Pontillo joins us to discuss the gaze from the perspectives of psychoanalysis, the social sciences, and the scientific approaches of vision study and eye tracking.

Daniel Pontillo is a doctoral student at University of Rochester studying brain and cognitive sciences (Linkedin)
Chris Gratien is a doctoral candidate at Georgetown University researching the social and environmental history of the Ottoman Empire and the modern Middle East. (see

Episode No. 40
Release date: 31 December 2011

This is a thematic discussion and not a piece of original research. In addition to the authors and publications mentioned in the podcast, we recommend the following list for further reading.

Select Bibliography

Lacan, Jacques. The Four Fundamental Concepts of Psycho-Analysis. New York: W.W. Norton, 1998.
Foucault, Michel. Discipline and Punish: The Birth of the Prison. New York: Vintage Books, 1995.
Derrida, Jacques, Marie-Louise Mallet, and David Wills. The Animal That Therefore I Am. New York: Fordham University Press, 2008.
Scott, James C. Seeing Like a State: How Certain Schemes to Improve the Human Condition Have Failed. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1998.
Said, Edward W. Orientalism. New York: Pantheon Books, 1978.
Najmabadi, Afsaneh. Women with Mustaches and Men Without Beards: Gender and Sexual Anxieties of Iranian Modernity. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2005.
Memmi, Albert. The Colonizer and the Colonized. New York: Orion Press, 1965.

Dec 27, 2011

Turkish Knockoff Toothpaste and Racist Product Marketing in the 1920s US

with Chris Gratien

hosted by Nicholas Danforth

For at least two centuries, Western countries have used international criminal, civil, and commercial law as a means of influencing the Ottoman and Turkish governments, leading some to speak of a phenomenon called legal imperialism, and while these efforts have impacted policies in Turkey, they have not always achieved their intended effect. In this episode, Chris Gratien discusses an interesting case of would-be trademark infringement in early Republican Turkey, as the Kolynos toothpaste company sought to protect its commercial rights against an alleged act of Turkish piracy. However, in the case file, we also learn some other things about American sensibilities at the turn of the twentieth century, particularly with regards to racism in marketing, allowing us to make some observations about the peculiar legal foundations of global capitalism.

Stream via Soundcloud (US / preferred)

Click here to view the images from the podcast (PDF format)

Chris Gratien is a PhD student studying the history of the modern Middle East at Georgetown University (see
Nicholas Danforth is a PhD student studying the history of modern Turkey at Georgetown University (see

Select Bibliography
U.S. National Archives, Diplomatic Posts (Turkey, 1928) #544, Class 854 - Kolynos Toothpaste

Kayaoglu, Turan. Legal Imperialism: Sovereignty and Extraterritoriality in Japan, the Ottoman Empire, and China. Cambridge [U.K.]: Cambridge University Press, 2010.