This essay presents an overview of the Turkish historian Reşad Ekrem Koçu's (1905–1975) life and works in relation to the dynamics of modernization, archiving, and nation building in Turkey. Analyzing the ramifications of these processes on the politics of historiography, the essay discusses how Koçu's archival practice, guided by his melancholia for the Ottoman Empire, operated as both a form of political resistance and a strategy for queer self-making. Focusing on the conservative politics of neo-Ottomanism in contemporary Turkey, the essay investigates the reconfiguration of the political potentials of Koçu's works at the intersection of conflicting political projects. Using the case study of Koçu as a vantage point, the essay also discusses the ambiguities of the queer archive as a political project as well as the study of queer resistance in the humanities.

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