The Campagna-Kerven Lecture Series

Screen shot 2011-04-11 at 5.35.23 PM

The Campagna-Kerven Lecture series was launched by Madame Suzanne Campagna to provide a forum for informed discussion and debate about modern Turkey, and particularly to inspire students to learn about the country.  The multidisciplinary series was inaugurated in 1996 and it features scholars, artists and public intellectuals. The annual lectures have addressed and will continue to address a rich variety of themes on modern Turkish society, economy, culture and politics.

The annual lecture has been a major factor in encouraging the study of contemporary Turkey at Boston University, which now offers students a variety of opportunities to learn about Turkey, including popular study abroad programs in Ankara and Istanbul, as well as instruction in the Turkish language.

Suzanne Campagna was born in Istanbul and she lived in Paris prior to moving to the United States with her husband Gerard Campagna.  She and Gerard met in Paris, where then-Lieutenant Campagna was serving with the U.S. liberation forces.  Following Gerard’s completion of a Ph.D. in history from Boston University in 1952, the couple moved to Washington, D.C., where Gerard worked for many years as a government analyst of Turkish affairs.  Although she is a trained pharmacist, Suzanne taught French to government employees for many years.

CIMG1751

Gerard Campagna, who passed away in 1988, was also a bibliophile and many of the volumes in his collection are now part of the collection at Boston University’s Mugar Library.

Suzanne Campagna’s father, Mehmet Nahid Kerven, who died in 1974, was one of the famed “Young Turks”.  He studied in Paris at the Sorborne. He and Suzanne’s mother Marguerite married in Paris in 1910. The couple moved to Istanbul in 1911, where Suzanne was born.

Suzanne Campagna now resides in Washington, D.C.  The lecture series is dedicated to the memory of her father and her late husband.