Ege University Cultural Studies Symposium (CSS) started in 1995 as a two-day seminar co-organised by the Departments of American Culture and Literature and English Language and Literature of Ege University and The American Studies Association of Turkey. It took place on 10-11 April 1995 and was entitled "The Red, Black and White".
The following year, the seminar was announced widely and the number of participants increased to 150. Most notably, it was co-organised by five different institutions: Ege University Department of English Language and Literature, Department of American Culture and Literature, The American Studies Association of Turkey, The British Council and The United States Information Service (USIS). This collaboration was remarkable because it was the first time that these institutions organised an event jointly.
This seminar then grew into an international symposium which has always been a venue where young academics could present their work alongside prominent names. The symposium had been held annually until 2005. The following symposium was organised in 2007 and since then is held biennially.
From the first day on, the aim of this event was to contribute to the establishment of Cultural Studies within Turkey. It was hailed as a significant milestone in the humanities departments in Turkey, and became a platform where inter- or multidisciplinary approaches to such subjects as literature, history, media studies and sociology could be explored. Many papers or presentations generated heated debates on curriculum, methodology and ideology.
Selected papers presented at each symposium were published as proceedings initially by the British Council and later by Ege University. This was a valuable contribution to the effort of establishing Cultural Studies within academic curricula in Turkish universities. Hopefully, CSS will continue to be a model both in collaboration patterns in the academia and a venue where new, inspiring and controversial ideas are discussed and evaluated.