Alumni's Corner


LECTURE SERIES SPRING 07-08

Lecture series in the spring term of the 2007-2008 school year started with Prof. Lane Crothers’s lecture entitled “The Power of American Popular Culture.” Crothers, who is a professor of philosophy at the Illinios State University underscored in his speech that all the countries have to be concerned to protect their authentic cultures which are under the attack of the American popular culture’s dominance.

The second one of the spring term lecture series was given on the 19th of February by Assoc. Prof. Dr. Jenny White. Jenny White who is one of the members of the Turkish Studies Institute at the Boston University is the author of Islamist Mobilization in Turkey: A Study in Vernacular Politics ve Money Makes Us Relatives: Women’s Labor in Urban Turkey. However in her lecture she did  not speak about politics but read from her history novel The Abyssinian Proof. After her speech White stressed how much she admired our city and our university’s beautiful, historical buildings.

On 13th of May, poet Güven Turan, who is also one of the editors of the Yapı Kredi Publications gave a lecture entitled “The Un-united Poetry of America.” The final lecture of this term’s series was given by Dr. Sidney Wade, who read extracts from her latest book Stroke.

A Lecture by Güven Turan

Zeynep Turan, ACL 3

Güven Turan is a poet who knows both Turkish and American poetry because he studied in both countries. He studied British Literature as well. I can say that he knows American and Turkish Poetry enough to compare and contrast. His speech was based on the differences because he thinks that there are huge differences between the two. According to him there is a lack of communication between American poets. The bigness of America can be one of the causes. Poets don’t move around and talk to different writers and about their works. He claimed that, in 1980’s they were mostly known to each other. However in Turkey, especially in Istanbul which is the heart of literature in Turkey, poets know each other and want to see the works of others. In that point I disagree with him because in Turkey we can’t say that we have a unity because poets don’t know each other very well. Especially when I read a critique of a poet I can see that writers don’t have enough knowledge about each other. Most of them know the ones who think similarly with him or her. The self is more important than the work in Turkey. They just hear some news about each other but it doesn’t mean that Turkish writers are like a family who know and like each other. In Turkey we don’t have enough workshops and really good magazines. Turan thinks that during the development of American poetry, magazines like Amazon and workshops have played an important role. Young people find the chance to share their poems with real poets and ask for their ideas about their works. I think; in Turkey if you are a young poet, especially older famous poets don’t care much about what you do.

In his lecture Turan also shared some of his poems such as; Beklerken, Kendine Aykırı and Bir Kent ve Kendisi. He first read the Turkish one and then the English version. Thus we found the chance to compare and contrast the original and translated versions. I noticed that he didn’t translate his poems himself. Different people translated his poems like English native speakers and Selhan and Cliff Endres. Probably he doesn’t want to miss anything from his poems at the translation. I think he gave right decision by using translators for his poems.
In conclusion it was a good lecture because we found the chance to think about the similarities and the differences between American and Turkish poetry.



Lecture Series 2007-2008

Rethinking the Istanbul Archaeological Museum

Zeynep Torun, ACL 3

Dr. Lewis Johnson is from Bahçeşehir University. In his lecture entitled Archaeology, Placelessness and Imaginary Mobilities he spoke about the Istanbul Archaeological Museum from an interesting dimension.
His lecture was mainly based on the architectural aspects of Archeological Museum. A neoclassical building, in the garden of the museum lays a second museum. He showed the pictures of the museum to the audience. Although I have been in that museum before, I didn’t look at it from that perspective. In the museum garden, there are lots of ruins which belong to Byzantine times. The garden of the museum makes it different from other museums because it looks like as if it is still alive. In that sense I understand why he called his lecture as Placelessness and Imaginary Mobilities: in this museum it is possible to see the remnants of the past and how time changes the places, as if giving an imaginary feeling.

 

In addition to that; Johnson mentioned the historical background and contributions of Osman Hamdi. He showed the pictures of removal of the Alexander Sarcophagus in 1887 by Osman Hamdi. Osman Hamdi’s picture which was named Ab-ı Hayat Çeşmesi (Foundation of the Water of life-1904) has been a central picture in the lecture.

In conclusion; even though I got a bit confused by the lecture, I can now see that the garden of the Archeological Museum adds to the feeling of history in the museum. I also have an idea now on how important Osman Hamdi was for the museum.

Salute to the Golden Horn from Kadir Has University

(Chameleon) - KHU – Department of American Culture and Literature opened the Lecture Series 2007-2008 with a special event. In "A Celebration of the Golden Horn" which has been organized under the content of Kadir Has University 10th Year Celebrations John Freely, writer of books such as “A Guide to Beyoğlu”, “The Bosphorus”, “Strolling Through Istanbul.”
 


Fans of John Freely who have heard about the lecture through newspapers filled the Fener Salonu on 18th of October. John Freely, was born in New York as the child of an Irish family and lived in İstanbul since 1960 and lectured on astronomy and history of science in Bosporus University. In his lecture entitled "A Short History of the Golden Horn” Freely received admiration of the audience with his insight on the historical area that our university is located. Freely enriched his speech with photos and sketches of the area.

On the second day of the special Haliç event historian Steven Richmond gave a lecture entitled "The Historical Geography of the Water System of Istanbul." The lecture which was made on the 19th of October in the Cibali conference hall has been listened to by many guests from inside and outside of the university. In his talk, Richmond, while speaking about the water ways in Istanbul touched on various interesting points such as the etymological roots of the neighborhood names in Haliç, mytological stories and places that have impressed him in his visits in Turkey.

The special event on Haliç has been effective in underlining how seriously KHU takes to be located in one of the most important historical areas of Istanbul that is under UNESCO’s rehabilitation project and the importance of the promotion of the area both for our country and for our university.

From American Poetry to Politics

(Chameleon) Culture and the Arts Lecture Series Fall 2007 series which kicked off with a special event on the Golden Horn continued with Bertholf’s speech. On Thursday, November 1, Dr. Robert J. Bertholf, Charles D. Abbott Scholar of Poetry and the Arts at the State University of New York at Buffalo gave a lecture entitled "Alternative Views of Contemporary American Poetry." In the lecture which was organized as the third lecture in the Culture and the Arts Lecture Series - 2007 Fall, Bertholf spoke about the “I” mode in poetry. Bertholf’s speech envoked questions on different aspects of literature with references to theories of Derrida and many other leading theoreticians of our day.

The next lecture was Amy Kaplan’s lecture on US and its place in global politics. Dr. Amy Kaplan, a lecturer in the University of Pennsylvania’s English Department, gave her talk the title “Imperial Melancholy: Roman Fever in America or Do Rome and Carthage Know What We Deny?” Kaplan’s speech gave clear insight to America’s current situation as a world power and the growing anxiety of its citizens concerning the posterity of the States, by drawing analogies between the rise and demise of Roman Empire and USA’s political history.


 

Thinking on Golden Horn

Zeynep Torun – ACL 3


Last week I attended two lectures; both of them reminded me the greatness of Istanbul and how foreign people can consider its value better than most of us, which was so amazing. Both John Freely and Steven Richmond are living in Istanbul more than ten years. In this period, they learned lots of things about Turkey’s history, beauty and the origins of the monuments. I should confess; I didn’t know that Istanbul had such an influence on foreign people. I saw their love of Istanbul and Turkey as they were giving their lectures. After the end of the lectures I asked myself: Why didn’t I know such details about Istanbul as a person who has been living here for twenty years? Even though I attended John Ash’s City on your Doorstep course last year, still there are so many things I have not seen in Istanbul. I think as a citizen most of us are not aware of the beauty of Turkey and especially Istanbul.


In his lecture John Freely focused on the Golden Horn, Eyüp, Balat, Topkapı, Üsküdar, Golden Gate, Kağıthane, Zindan Gate, oldest Byzantine churches in Istanbul, some historical mosques such as Kariye, Gul, Imari Atik and Yeni Mosque. He particularly explained the original Greek name of the Golden Horn and Balat. Moreover he showed the old pictures of Istanbul. I liked the one which showed Saray women at the garden of Kağıthane. The old pictures made me think how much Istanbul changed within time. Freely, spoke enthusiastically on Istanbul, during his lecture he constantly asked the time in order not to make the audiences bored.

On Friday, October 19th Steven Richmond talked about the Bosphorus and its historical significance. He explained how it is unknown for the others such as Greeks during the history. The wind caused many problems during the history and even in the modern times ships had difficulty in Bosporus. He showed a picture of a sunken ship in 1999. He reminded that in Jeyson and the Argonants there was a long description of Bosphorus and the difficulties that they faced. He mentioned that if there was no Bosphorus the world would be in a chaos. I think this statement is enough to explain the importance of Bosporus not only for Turkey but also for the world. He showed the neighbors of Turkey on the map in order to focus on the geopolitical importance of Bosporus. He also showed pictures of Istanbul, Adana and some maps during his lecture. Like John Freely he also explained the name of Golden Horn. He too loves Istanbul very much.

In conclusion I learned so many things about my city and I realize how important Bosphorus is. We must be thankful to John Freely and Steven Richmond for reminding us the beauty of Istanbul.

PSC Rejuvenated


PSC started the 2007-2008 school year with a great project of rejuvenation. This year, a new club has been formed under PSC: Library Club. The club whose members are; Tala Çetinkaya, Zeynep Torun, Tuğba Karamuk, Rakibe Şentürk, Özlem Teke, Bahar Genç, Buket Muslu, Melike Küçükkantarcılar, Melike Zeren, Özge Özgülenç, Sevtap Kösem, Duygu Akçit, Ceyda Memiş; has as its first aim to establish a departmental library. In addition to that it organizes cultural events, such as student lectures etc.
Members of the Culture Club under PSC, re-organized the library at the Parallel Studies Center with the book donations of Dr. Clifford Endres and Dr. Selhan Endres as the beginning. This was a great task, and heavy work started as soon as the term started. Eventually, on Wednesday, 31 October, the library was opened with a party, to which the dean of Faculty of Arts and Science Prof. Dr. Nükhet Tan, our ex-dean Prof. Dr. Kemal Yelekçi, head of the Social Sciences Institute Prof. Dr. Abdülkadir Özdeğer and all the faculty and students of the Department of American Culture and Literature attended. In the party, Tala Çetinkaya made a speech explaining the aims and purposes of the library, its ways of operating and its projects. In the party, also the Film Club under the PSC ran by Furhad has been introduced to the guests.


Tala Çetinkaya, head of the PSC – Library Club told in her speech that the club creates an opportunity to the students to reach academic books in their areas, as well as a “shelter with books” to read and study within the fast routine of their daily works at school. The club will be working in collaboration with another new division of the Parallel Studies Club- Translation Club, which will help students to improve their language skills within the practices of translation from English to Turkish and from Turkish to English. This club will operate with the mentorship of Dr. Selhan Endres and Lecturer Mel Kenne.

Student Lectures No-1: “How to Get a Fulbright”

(Chameleon) Student Lectures organized by the Library Club of the Parallel Studies Club kicked off on November 8 by Fatma Tarlacı’s lecture entitled “How to Get a Fulbright?”


In her lecture, Fatma Tarlacı, a senior student of the department of American Culture and Literature told her story of success in getting a Fulbright scholarship. Fatma said that ex-dean of KHU-Faculty of Arts and Science, a Fulbright scholar himself, helped her a lot as a mentor in this process. She said that having been in U.S. with the work and travel program and having studied in Germany as an Erasmus student have been very important credentials for her in getting the scholarship. She said that by applying to the scholarship in her third year she did not have to wait one more year after taking her BA.


Fatma, recommended the students to prepare their essays, to decide what to study at least one month before the application deadline. She said that to specify an area of study has been very helpful as well as having some sort of published/delivered papers or some translation etc. works. She also told the students to be ready for unexpected questions in the interview, questions out of their area of study but concerning general subjects such as politics, culture etc.

Student Lectures No-2: "How to get an Internship"

The second lecture in the series of student lectures organized by the Parallel Studies Library Club was given on Wednesday, November 15, by Sena Öksüz and İpek Emeksiz. They lectured on “How to Get an Internship” and shared with fellow students their experiences as interns in the media last summer.

Both of these interns were obviously very successful as each had produced a cover story for the paper for which they worked. Sena wrote “İstanbul’s Transparent Walls Rising,” for the September 9, 2007 edition of Today’s Zaman, and İpek produced “Silicon Dreams in Turkey’s ‘Old City’ of Eskişehir” for the July 7, 2007 edition of The Turkish Daily News.
 


(Sena and Ipek telling about their experiences as interns)

Remembering their work experience in English language newspapers, Sena and Ipek both underlined their education in the KHU-American Culture and Literature Department as an important factor in their successful completion of these major writing tasks in English. They recommended that their fellow students get as much as they can from all the reading and writing that they are assigned, because such practice as this had paved the road to success for them in their part-time jobs.

Each concurred that the media and publishing world could offer very good job opportunities for graduates of the Department of American Culture and Literature, because their education in the English language through literature had provided them with great writing skills as well.
 

Graduation 2007

Goodbye Party for Seniors

ACL Students Show Their Stuff at Symposia

The KHU Department of American Culture and Literature, ever striving to meet new challenges and raise its educational goals, hit a new peak this year with three symposia, two of which consisted  entirely of paper presentations by students.

The Sights & Sounds of a Shakespearean World

Shakespeare day at KHU, which took place on the 6th of April with the title “Sights & Sounds of a Shakespearean World,” was a highly successful student symposium. Senior students of ACL, who were working hard in order to graduate this year, presented papers that they had written for their Shakespeare course taught by Prof. Dr. Clifford Endres.

Students presented papers entitled; “The Power of Language in Shakespeare’s Othello,” “The Oriental Othello as a Representative of the Other: the Turk,” “Strong Women Trying to Get a Place in Patriarchy,” “Fear of Losing in Othello and A Winter’s Tale,“ “A Martyr of Love: Desdemona,” and “I’m Not What I Am.”

This symposium, which was attended by the general public as well as visiting students and academics from other universities, displayed our department’s commitment to include in its curriculum not only America literature but also the heritage of English literature and Classics, which provide the foundation on which the department stands. Student participants showed the breadth and depth of their learning in these areas.

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Slavery and its Legacies in the U.S. and Turkey

The Department of American Culture and Literature organized another student symposium on April 20, in co-ordination with ASAT (American Studies Association of Turkey). In this symposium, entitled “Slavery and its Legacies in the U.S. and Turkey,” several senior students read papers that they had written for their ACL 445 Post-Colonial Studies course taught by Dr. Bronwyn Mills.

The following papers were presented:  “Capitalism and Slavery,” “To Create an Antiracist and Hybrid America,” “The Recovery of Memory and Identity in ‘Womanist’ Neo-Slave Narratives,” and “Being African-American in the Movies.”

As in the Shakespeare symposium, the papers presented at this symposium were very well received by the audience, members of whom were given a glimpse of the sophistication in developing complex arguments that comprises a major part of ACL undergraduate education.

A Curiously Awaited Orhan Pamuk Symposium

ACL continued its academic events in the last days of spring with the “Oran Pamuk Symposium,” which took place on May 11, 2007. This symposium, which was organized to celebrate the 10th anniversary of KHU, brought together such experts on Orhan Pamuk as Maureen Freely and Sam Baskett.

The following papers were presented: “Istanbul Disorientated: From the National Poet to the Unnational Novelist,” “The Novel, the Newspaper and the Nation: Unbinding the Archive in Orhan Pamuk's The Black Book,” “Selves Under Erasure in Orhan Pamuk’s My Name is Red and Snow,” “Orhan Pamuk’s ‘Second Life’: Toward a Turkish Aesthetic,” and “Orhan Pamuk and the East-West Divide.”

The purpose of this symposium was to present a forum for discussion of why Orhan Pamuk is so highly appreciated internationally. A number of visiting literary critics contributed their own ideas on the issue from different areas of culture and literature.

With the completion of the spring term and this busy program, the ACL is looking forward to creating more opportunities for our students to take part in symposia and conferences and to share with others the hard-won fruits of their labor.

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From the Ancient City of Troy to a History of the Blues

The Culture & the Arts Lecture series organized by the KHU- Department of American Culture and Literature with each school year is becoming more and more a departmental and university tradition.

This year’s lectures kicked off on November,22, 2006, with a talk by Maureen Freely, who translated Orhan Pamuk’s last two books into English. The session was entitled “The Perils of Translation.”

This was followed by a lively question-answer session on wartime journalism conducted by Mithat Bereket, the well-known Turkish journalist and producer and director of the Pusula Academy at our university.

On March 14 Prof. Dr. Yücel Yılmaz, the rector of our university, presented the fourth lecture in this year’s series, entitled “The Importance of the Ancient City of Troy and the Role of Natural Forces in Its Disappearance.” Dr. Yilmaz regaled the audience with a history of Troy illustrated by scenes from the recent film “Troy.” Yılmaz’s distinctive style of lecturing combined ancient myth with aspects of popular culture even as he focused on geological changes that affected the role of Troy in the ancient world.

On April 10, Fulbright Professor Dr. William Jones from Washington D.C. gave a lecture entitled “’Black, White and Blue’: The Black Migration and the Evolution of the Blues.” Those who attended to also got a chance to hear some of the milestone songs in blues history.

On April 12, journalist James Wilde gave a talk entitled “Fear and Trembling: Covering the Wars from Indochina to Iraq” that combined his memoirs as a war correspondent with the poetry that he wrote in the years following his harrowing experiences. Some of those who heard his intense and moving poetry had difficulty hiding their tears.

The lecture series continued on April 18 with a talk by Deborah K. Jones, Consulate General of the U.S. in Istanbul. Her speech was entitled “U.S. – Turkey Relations.”

The last talk of the series was given on May 15  by Prof. Michael Cammen, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author from Cornell University. Dr Cammen discussed the history and development of the mall facing the U.S. capitol building in his presentation entitled “Washington D.C. and U.S. Civic Culture.”

A Talk with Mithat Bereket

(Chameleon) On Thursday, December 7, Mithat Bereket, journalist and producer and the head of the Pusula Academy at Kadir Has University gave a talk under the content of the Culture and the Arts Lecture Series organized by KHU-ACL. During the talk entitled “A Talk with Mithat Bereket”, Bereket spoke, in his style full of humor, about his experiences as a journalist all over the world. Students participated in the talk with their questions and at the end of his talk Bereket attracted attention to how impressed he was by the level of the students’ English and the quality of their questions.

Maureen Freely: On Pamuk and Translating Him

Ipek Emeksiz - ACL 3

Maureen Freely, the world wide known translator of Orhan Pamuk’s book “Snow” honored the American Culture and Literature Department on 22nd of November 2006 by giving a delightful lecture on translation. During her speech, Freely first mentioned her experiences while living in Turkey. Then she talked about her studies and the process how she got involved with translation. Afterwards, she briefly explained the steps and the difficulties she had gone through while working on the translation of “Snow” with Pamuk. Moreover she gave some translation tips to the ACL students taking translation as a course this semester.

Freely said that the first time she came to a realization that the job of the translator is considerably vital was when she and her father took a taxi during their vacation in Greece. She said that while translating between the taxi driver and her father she had a really hard time because she failed to convey the message to both sides in the right way and unfortunately led to some misunderstandings. She said that she was afraid in the end that her father and the taxi driver were going to involve in a big fight. Thus, Freely said that what she gained from this experience is that the job of the translator is not just to convey the message but also to think about how to convey it.
Freely said that; while translating the book “Snow” into Turkish, her aim was basically to make “Snow” sound like a book in English. In other words, she remarked that her goal was to reflect the taste and the move of English into Turkish. She said that while she was doing the translation, Pamuk was in London. Therefore, they had to review the book via e-mails and phone calls. Also in order to express the pleasure she got from the discussion of the translation with Pamuk, Freely used the phrase “I was visiting the same house with him.” Furthermore she said that she maintained her state as a translator during that time and persistently reminded Pamuk that she was not serving him but serving the book.
 
Freely mentioned that during this translation process she had a big battle with the editors who kept spelling words like “Bosporus” wrong and who insistently put Arabic words like “şerbet” instead of “ice-cream” even if she had warned them many times.
Freely added that, the moment “Snow” received international success, foreigners’ attitude towards Turkey changed dramatically. They realized that Turkish literature really existed and they had a big astonishment. Freely said that people began to come to her and say “If a country produces a writer like that there must be something going on.” Also she said that these people asked her whether there were any other Turkish writers or poets who were as successful as Pamuk. Freely said that she gave the examples of Yaşar Kemal and Nazım Hikmet. Moreover she said that when people asked her whether this prize was political, she said no, and it was all about the book. Freely added that she felt sorry that Orhan Pamuk was understood in a wrong way in Turkey.

In the end, Freely said there was more than one strategy for translation. She said that while translating a novel the students should first bring the meter into the other road. Besides they should make sure that the sentence in English is centered because for her the biggest struggle is to find the center of a sentence

 

2006 Christmas Party

(Chameleon) This year’s Christmas Party once more brought together the students, faculty and friends of ACL. The senior students, who already have started to feel the moodiness of separation with graduation, were particularly enthusiastic about the party. During the party, like the previous ACL Christmas parties, hot wine, presents and food cooked by the students were in their place. Our dean Nükhet Tan, ex dean Kemal Yelekçi, friends Sam and Belma Baskett, Bill Barker and many others joined us at our party.

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VISIT OF ISCLT MEMBERS

On 26th of August 2006, KHU had distinguished visitors; the members of ISCLT -  The International Society for Contemporary Literature and Theater, invited by the Department of American Culture and Literature. Our rector Yücel Yılmaz gave a reception for the guests, after which they visited the Rezzan Has Museum of Haliç Cultures. The visitors emphasized how they admired the historical atmosphere of the university building, particularly the museum, and thanked Yücel Yılmaz for his hospitality

 

ISCLT: WHO, WHY, WHAT, WHEN, WHERE
Before the Fellows of Salzburg Seminar 148 (Contemporary American Literature, July 1973) left Schloß Leopoldskron the spirit of reunion was alive. A small two-week conference, at Arundel, Sussex, during August 1974, featured a dozen papers, dramatic performances and readings, excursions, and exotic cuisine. “Krakow -1975” proved unrealizable, and at short notice randomly invited Fellows of the 1972 and 1974 Salzburg theater groups joined the 1973 Fellows in Florence, where, at the end of two weeks of by now traditional activities, thirty-four people, including spouses, decided to form the INTERNATIONAL SOCIETY FOR CONTEMPORARY LITERATURE AND THEATER (ISCLT).
The 1976 conference, at Alnwick castle, in Northumberland, broke new ground, with an overall theme (“Alienation”), an extended excursion to the Edinburgh Festival, and the appointment of professors Denis Donoghue, Richard Ellmann, Martin Esslin, Sergio Perosa, and Tamas Ungvary as advisors (now ISCLT’s “FOUNDING BOARD OF ADVISORS”). Later themes and venues include “Convention and Experiment,” Istanbul 1977; “The Comic Spirit of the Post-Modernist Era,” Salamanca, 1978; “The Artist, the Critic, and the Creative Process,” Perugia 1979; “The Seventies Revisited,” Brugge, 1980; “Myth,” Athens, 1981; “The Quixotic and the Picaresque,” Granada, 1982; Europe and America: New Discoveries,” Marzell, germany, 1983; “Dramatic Languages,” Normandy, France, 1984; “Fabtasy and the Fantastic,” Harlaxton Manor, England, 1985; “Ancients and Moderns,” Siklos, Hungary, 1986; “Concepts of Character,” Santiago de Compostela, 1987; “Time,” Dubrovnik, 1988; “Significant Voices of the Eighties,” Normandy, France, 1989; “Place,” Svendborg, 1990; “Memory,” Celleno, Italy, 1994; “Mystery,” Sigüenza, pain, 1995; “New Images of America,” Park City, Utah, 1996; “The Past in the Present,” Maynooth, Ireland, 1997; “The Representation of Landscape and the Natural World,” Huissen, The Netherlands, 1998; “The Individual and Identity,” Todtmoos, Germany, 1999; “Sensory Perception and the Body,” Santillana del Mar, Spain, 2000; “Words and Images,” Nice, France, 2001; and “Otherness: Self and the Stranger in Contemporary Literature and Theatre,” Kazimierz Dolny, Poland, 2002; “Bestiaries and Animal Metaphors in Contemporary Literature and Theatre,” Giggleswick, England, 2003; “Heroes and Anti-Heroes in Contemporary Literature,” Samobar, Croatia, 2004; “Cultural Encounters in Contemporary Literature and Theatre,” Cortona, Italy, 2005; “Water in Contemporary Literature,” Kilyos-Istanbul, Turkey.


 

(Yücel Yılmaz and Selhan S. Endres at the reception)

(Our rector Yücel Yılmaz, Clifford Endres, Belma Baskett at the reception)


Translators of Turkish Literature Cunda Workshop (June 2006)


(Back row: Murat Nemet-Nejat(editor of Eda: A n Anthology of Contemporary Turkish Poetry),
Prof. Dr. Clifford Endres (KHU-ACL Chair), Mel Kenne (poet, KHU-ACL faculty),
Dr. Erdağ Göknar (Duke Universiry, translator of My Name is Red by Orhan Pamuk)

 

From the Renaissance Theatre to Karagoz

N. Buket Cengiz – ACL Res. Asst.

Theatre Without Borders group, which gathers together every year at various different universities of U.S. and Europe, and which is known as the leading scholars on “Early Modern Drama”, for the first time in its history made its annual conference twice at the same university. The conference, held between 16-19 May 2006 at the Kadir Has University hosted two special events this year.

The first one of these was the poetry reading on 17th of May, organized in honour of the book:  Ash Divan: Selected poems of Enis Batur translated by Clifford Endres, Selhan Savcıgil Endres, Mel Kenne from KHU-ACL and Saliha Paker from Bosporus Univ. At the reading where Batur read the originals of his poetry and the translators read their translations thus the audience found the chance of getting acquinted with Batur’s poetry in terms of the original sound, rhythm and music.

The other special event that took place during the conference was the talk with Ezel Akay, the director of the film Who Killed the Shadows? In his talk Akay spoke about the Islamic mystical and the Shamanistic themes in Karagoz&Hacivat shadow play. The audience asked about the political contents of the play and Akay, answering the questions talked about the comic tradition in Turkish stage arts and also spoke about Nasreddin Hoca.

The papers that have been given at the conference:

Richard Andrews: “Flaminio Scala’s 1611 Scenarios and their Place in the Context of European Theatre”

Susanne Wofford: “Slavery and comedy a league from Epidamnum: Plautus’ Menaechmi, Shakespeare’s Comedy of Errors, and the transcultural inheritance of Hellenistic servitude in Renaissance comedy”

Pamela Allen Brown: "Dancing Boys, Puppeteers and Conjurors: Jewish Entertainers in Ottoman Istanbul"

Peg Katritzky: “Mountebanks, monsters, and several beasts’: Margaret Cavendish at the Antwerp carnival.”
Jyotsna Singh: “Shakespeare and the Question of Value: Humanist, Postcolonial, and Transcultural Intersections” 

Clare McManus: “Touring Europe: The Trope of the Theatrical Woman in European Court Performance”

Maria Galli Stampino: “Strategies of Identification in Court Performances (Italy and England)”

David Schalkwyk: “Untranslatable Shakespeare?”

Jacques Lezra: “The Exiled Stage: The Drama of Expulsion in Early Modern Spain and England”

Michael Armstrong-Roche: “To Reach Heaven through Hell: Cervantes and Massinger on North-African Captivity”

Christian Billing: “Trans-national, Trans-historical and Trans-gendered Theatergrams: Shakespeare’s Mark Anthony and the Performance of Femininity in Ancient Athenian Drama”

Philip Lorenz: “’In the Course and Process of Time’: Trope and Transfer in Henry VIII (All is True) and La cisma de Inglaterra

Robert Henke: “Fictions of the Poor in Ruzante and Shakespeare”

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Theatre Without Borders group and Ezel Akay with KHU lecturers

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(From left to right Mel Kenne, Saliha Paker, Fatma Tülin, Enis Batur, Selhan Savcıgil-Endres, Clifford Endres)



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(Ezel Akay answering questions on his film Who Killed the Shadows?)

On Wednesday 19 April, at 10:30 at the room CD 303, there was a guest lecture at the American Culture and Literature Department. Dr. Greg Garrard, from School of English and Creative Studies, Bath Spa University, U.K. spoke on “An Introduction to Ecocriticism.” The students found Garrard’s talk very interesting and asked him questions on Ecocriticism.




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(Greg Garrard in his lecture with ACL students)

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Alfred Stieglitz and the Rise of Modernism

(Chameleon) The fourth and the last talk of the Culture & the Arts Lecture series Spring 2006 was given by Dr. Katherine Hoffman, Chairperson of the Fine Arts Department in St. Anselm College at the Karl Franzens University. In her talk and slide show entitled “Alfred Stieglitz and the Rise of Modernism” Hoffman drew attention to Stieglitz’s interest in Goethe and his own persona as a Faustian figure. Stieglitz, who travelled to Bavaria, Italy and many other places was most comfortable on the streets said Hoffman, and a basic theme in his work remained as the everyday worker throughout his life. Hoffman also underscored Stieglitz’s sympathy for the working-class, and showed the slides of many examples of his artistic output which included his photos in NY, his experiments with the night photography, his nude works and many others.

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(Hoffman showed slides of various examples of Stieglitz's works)

A Venetian Well

A Venetian Well (1894)

Gossip - Venice 
Gossip – Venice (1902)

 

The Letter Box
The Letter Box (1897)

  

Wet Day on the Boulevard, 
Wet Day on the Boulevard, Paris (189) 

                                                                                                 
The connection triangle among Turkey, Russia and Spain

İpek Emeksiz – ACL 2 

In his lecture entitled “Turkey the mid-point between Spain and Russia” on 24th of April, Dr. Norman Stone not only tried to point out the similarity of Turkey with these two countries but also tried to show where exactly Turkey belongs in the European context. He began his talk by mentioning the recent political developments in Turkey such as the Cyprus and the Kurdish issues, the European Union etc. He attracted attention to the common saying among Turks regarding nationalism: “The only friend of the Turk is the Turk.”
Dr. Stone, examining the parallelism between Turkey and the modern Russia, pointed out that he found life in Turkey better than Russia when he first arrived to Turkey. Interestingly, in Russia people normally die at the age of 59 whereas in Turkey the life span rises up to 69 despite the heroic smoking. He also reminded that both Russians and Turks drink tea in little glasses and they both marinate cucumbers in order to make pickles. He also attracted attention to the interest of Turkish people in Russian literature.
Dr. Stone continued his talk by stating that the Soviets were pretty nationalist and they suppressed the Tatar past. However, the Tatar yolk was used in 1579 for the first time and intermarriages between Tatars and the Russians occurred. As a result, 1/3 of the Russian nobility has Tatar names, but still some Russians do not want to accept that they have a Tatar past.  
In his talk Dr. Stone questioned whether the Turks and the Russians share a heritage of Byzantine. On that he said that the Ottoman Empire is just like the Byzantine with attitude. In 1916, an American historian said that the only non-European empire which worked is the Ottoman Empire. According to this historian, Turks were  sort of Europeans. However another historian called Fırat Köprülü opposed to this idea, claiming that Turks learned from Persians not from the Byzantine who were nothing but a useless coin.
Dr. Stone, speaking on the Greek influence, said that the word “efendi” is actually not an Arabic or a Middle Eastern name but the equivalent of the word “authenties” in Greek.  Dr. Stone put forward the question; “why did the Ottoman break down if it was a synthesis of Turks and Greeks?”  According to Stone, climate change in the 17th century led to the collapse of trees and erosion ruined agriculture in Anatolia, epidemics wiped out everybody. On the other hand, Islam stopped being creative in the 17th century since Ulema said mathematics would find the secrets of God. He also emphasized the importance of Ottoman Empire having civil wars.
Dr. Stone added that, Spain was another country that suffered during the 17th century. They experienced the collapse of university and the economy was in bad shape since Dutch shipping materials were forbidden in Spain. A case similar to the deforestation of Anatolia emerged in Spain as well. Spanish wanted to make an economic progress by building railways. They had to build a railroad factory; however, Civil War broke up due to the railway issue. Dr. Stone, underlining that tourism in the long run brings disadvantages instead of advantages, such as rise in prices, crime etc. said that in that sense Turkey goes on to make the same mistakes that Spain has done.
Dr. Stone concluded his talk by his idea that, instead of taking the models from outside and getting completely focused on Westernization, Turkey needs to pay some more attention to re-Turkishisation.     
                                                                             


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The second talk of the Culture & the Arts Lecture Series Spring 2006
  "6 American Writers: A Reading”  

 Lisa Bourbeau, John High, Andrea Libin, Patricia Pruitt, Christopher Sawyer-Laucanno, Ed Foster 

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(Mel Kenne and Bill Barker among the audience)


Sons of the Conquerors

(Chameleon) The spring 2006 round of the Culture & the Arts Lecture series organized by the ACL kicked off on Thursday March 9, with author and journalist Hugh Pope’s talk entitled "Rethinking the Turkic World: New Connections and Adventures along the Old Silk Road."
The writer of Sons of the Conquerors: The Rise of the Turkic World, Pope, who also wrote (with Nicole Pope) Turkey Unveiled and worked as the Istanbul correspondent for the Wall Street Journal, in his talk spoke about the connections between Turkey and the Turkic republics in Central Asia. After his interesting talk, many of the audience bought a copy of Pope’s book in Homer’s book stand which was set for the talk.

 

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2005 Christmas Party

(Chameleon) The ACL annual Christmas party, on December 22, celebrated not only the holiday but also the reunion of three veterans of World War II who are also good friends and friends of our department. Dr. John Freely shared his expertise on Byzantine monuments in Istanbul in the lecture series last year, Dr. Sam Baskett, who once taught at Hacettepe, is a frequent visitor, with his wife Belma, to our university’s events, and Bill Barker has regaled some of our students with stories of his life and times as an international traveler, Hollywood actor and member of the post-war literati. The photo captures the trio in a rare quiet moment.

The Christmas party was hosted by the ACL students, who provided most of the refreshments. The university generously provided the traditional mulled wine. Among the guests were many old friends of the department as well as personal friends of ACL students and faculty.

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(John Freely, Sam Baskett and Bill Barker at 2005 Christmas party)

 

 

2005 Fall lecture series

N. Buket Cengiz – ACL Res. Ass.

Kadir Has University's 2005 fall “culture and the arts” lecture series kicked off on October 6 with the talk by artist Peter Hristoff entitled “A Contemporary Orientalist: The Turkish Influence on the Works of Peter Hristoff.” The American artist, who is of Turkish and Bulgarian descent, pointed out the orientalist influence in his work as he showed slides made of his paintings. Hristoff emphasized that in his artistic output he followed a path that has included names such as Pierre Loti, that is, artists who were fascinated with the culture of Turkey and devoted much of their work to an exploration of Turkish themes. Hristoff discussed how these themes were related to his own concerns as an artist and human being as he attempted to express in his work ideas both of personal and cultural importance. He showed how the symbolism in his work ranged from the erotic to the religious and traced the development of certain symbols and themes from the beginning of his artistic career to the present.
The second talk in the series was given by Moris Farhi, writer of several novels, including Children of the Rainbow and Young Turk . In his talk entitled “ All History Is the History of Migration” Farhi spoke about the Jews, the gypsies, the blacks, and other disenfranchised groups in the context of being the other of a Eurocentric world view. Farhi illustrated the duality of approaches to the subject of migration, citing, on the one hand, the official, partisan approach which glorifies wars and territorial conquest, and, on the other hand, the history of dispossessed peoples who were either forced to migrate to other countries or migrated in search of a better life. In contrast with “the rhetoric of emotional fascism,” Farhi underscored the fact that migrants enrich the culture of the countries to which they migrate. In response to a question from the audience, Farhi said that one of the migrants of literature, Nazım Hikmet, not only loved Turkey but also the people of Turkey , and that his patriotism was expressed through his love of humanity. Farhi also spoke of the need for a moral revolution to change the presently destructive course of world events.

The third seminar of the series was “Inhabiting Other Spaces: Tourists and Migrants in the Postcolonial World” given by Dr. Meyda Yeğenoğlu from ODTU sociology department. Yeğenoğlu’s book “Colonial Fantasies: Towards a Feminist Reading of Orientalism” published by Cambridge University Press in 1998 was translated into Turkish and published by Metis in 2003. Yeğenoğlu, in her seminar discussed the subject of western subject and the eastern object in the context of the tourist journey. Discussing her subject; Yeğenoğlu referred to the ideas of thinkers such as Edward Said, Johannes Fabian, Luce Irigaray, Zigmund Bauman.

The fourth and the last seminar of the series was given by Dr. Emre Aracı. Aracı, in his talk titled “Istanbul to London: 19th Century Ottoman Choral and Symphonic Music” spoke about the western interest in Ottoman music. Aracı enlivening the historical facts that he put forward with slides attracted the attention of the listeners.

 

American Studies: Past, Present, Future
N. Buket Cengiz – ACL Res. Ass.

The meeting of science with arts
KHU American Culture and Literature Department, in collaboration with ASAT- American Studies Association of Turkey and American Consulate, organized the 30th Annual conference of ASAT: “American Studies: Past, Present and Future” between 29th of November-2nd of December 2005. In the conference which was held in the Cibali Hall after KHU-ACL chair Dr. Clifford Endres’ opening talk, the first paper has been given by David A. Hollinger, Preston Hotchkis Professor of History at the University of California, Berkeley. After Hollinger’s speech entitled “The Godless Constitution and Religion in Recent American History” the president of KHU Prof. Dr. Yücel Yılmaz gave a reception in honor of the conference. This reception also made the opening of Mike Berg’s art exhibition. In the reception where American consulate Deborah Jones made a speech, a lot of native and foreign guests came together.

The questioning of methodology
In the first session of the seminar entitled “Definitions and Re-definitions” moderated by Kevin R. McNamara, the basic concepts of American Studies has been discussed in the light of up to date theoretical approaches. In the second seminar with the title “Pedogogical Perspectives” the participants discussed under William C. Jones’s guidance, how American culture can be taught effectively in Turkey, and how the scholars working on that area can improve themselves on an interdisciplinary basis.
In the afternoon, with Tim Robert’s guidance; the session “Historical Perspectives” has been made where the concept of American Exceptionalism has been discussed. In the last session of the day leaded by Tim Roberts from Bilkent University the role of cinema in American Studies has been discussed.

American culture and literature education in Turkey
The third day of the conference has been opened with the session “Chicano and Chicana Studies: Continuity and Change in an Interdisciplinary Field of Intellectual Inquiry” led by Maria Herrera-Sobek. In this session also was made a special presentation by Mexican-American artist Yolanda Lopez accompanied by a slide show. In the circle desk meeting in the afternoon the chairs of the American Culture and Literature departments of leading universities in Turkey, under ASAT president Assoc. Prof. Gülriz Büken’s leadership discussed curriculum and research possibilities of the education in their area.
The second circle desk meeting of the day was the session “What do you do with a Degree in American Studies?” that was led by Dennis Bryson. One of the graduates of KHU-ACL Şebnem Şengül attended to that session which has attracted a lot of attention of the ACL students.

Biggest applause to the students
The last day of the conference has been opened with a session entitled “American Studies from the European Point of View.” After this session that was moderated by Marc Chenetier, the closing of the conference has been made by the session led by Dr. Matthew Gumpert from KHU-ACL.
The conference that brought together many American, European and Turkish scholars together in Istanbul has been completed as a very important conference for the present day and future of the American studies. At the closing of the conference the biggest applause went to the KHU-ACL students who worked very hard all through the conference and showed Turkish hospitality to the foreign guests. The students received their certificates from ASAT at the closing of the conference.

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The end of the school year party at Judy Menase's home

At the end of the 2004-2005 school year, Judy from ACL 2 gave a party at her home, like she did at the end of the 2003-04 school year as well. Seems like Judy's end of the school year parties will be a tradition in ACL.

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Dr. Steven Richmond's presentation on Henry David Thoreau

N. Buket Cengiz – ACL Res. Ass.

On November 19, Dr. Steven Richmond, who is on the history faculty of ITU and who is a great admirer of the writings of Henry David Thoreau, gave a talk and slide presentation about Thoreau and Walden Pond to the ACL 343 class, which was at that time studying Walden.
Dr. Richmond introduced his presentation by giving the class some background information about Thoreau and by discussing his own interest in Thoreau's writings, particularly the journals (14 volumes), which Dr. Richmond has been studying for many years. Then Dr. Richmond read passages from the journals that were closely related to a series of beautiful photos of Walden Pond taken recently. The photos coordinated scenes of the lake where Thoreau spent two years with the writer's journal descriptions. The class was stunned by the beauty of the lake and by the eloquence of the journal passages as Thoreau used the lake and its surroundings as a metaphor for the idealism espoused by Emerson's circle of transcendentalists. Of particular interest were the writer's ideas about writing itself and his use of Walden Pond as a physical example of the qualities of depth, clarity and poetic beauty that he felt characterized good writing.
The students in American Literature from 1820-1860 very much appreciated Dr. Richmond's generosity in sharing with them his valuable insights into Thoreau's philosophy and writing and hoped that sometime in the future he would be able to present a public lecture to the university-at-large on this fascinating topic.

 

Dr. Edward Foster's lecture on translation and publishing

(Chameleon) On November 25 the ACL department was privileged to hear a lecture by Dr. Edward Foster, a poet and professor from Stevens Technical University in New Jersey, U.S.A. In addition to his poetic and academic activities, Dr. Foster is a book publisher, a writer of critical books and essays, and the publisher and editor of Talisman, a literary journal. Dr. Foster has published 23 books of poetry and criticism and is now involved in helping his university establish a research center in Istanbul. He was invited to Istanbul by Boğaziçi University as a part of the Department of Translation and Interpretation Studies' annual special events program. We were very fortunate that Dr. Foster included our department in his busy itinerary.
In his lecture, Dr. Foster focused on problems related to translation that he has experienced both as a poet who has been translated into a number of languages and as an editor and publisher of translations of literary work. He supplemented his lecture visually with a slide presentation that compared translations of poems with their originals and let us see how misreadings and misunderstandings by translators affect the way translations are perceived and presented by the editors who publish them.
Dr. Foster also discussed at length an interesting aspect of translation related to the translation of perceptions from one culture to another. To illustrate cultural translation, or mistranslation in order to satisfy the repressed needs of a culture, he showed works of art from the Victorian era that are now seen as glaring examples of orientalism, the concept of cultural misrepresentation articulated by Edward Said in his book Orientalism. Of particular interest was his discussion of the popularity in America of Turkish culture after the Chicago World Fair in the latter half of the 19 th Century, that resulted in many Americans' creation of a Turkish room, or a Turkish corner in their houses, where men could gather to smoke and find refuge from the restrictive manners and mores of Victorianism.
Dr. Foster concluded his lecture with the works of a number of postmodernist poets whose work he felt would defy any attempts at translation. These were poems in which the very style of writing of each poet was apparently so closely bound to culture-specific nuances of meaning and expression that no equivalents could be found in languages other than English.

 

One Poem Times Two Equals

what sum? Once a poem has been translated, how has the work of the translator affected the essential nature of the poem? Does the translation process come finally to equal one distinct poem or two distinctly separate poems, or does it result in something between one poem and two? Logically, the answer would seem to be the last: a poem that has captured the spirit of the original, to a greater or lesser degree, yet is intrinsically bound to the cultural roots of the language into which it has been rendered. For me, however, as a poet and translator, this question has taken on a more complex dimension. I'll try to explain why I feel that the other side of the equation remains in some sense open.
A few years after I moved to Istanbul , I read the English translation of a Turkish poet's work and not long afterward started writing poems that I felt moved my poetry to another plane. Interestingly enough, the poet, who died in 1950 and whose name is known by every Turkish schoolchild, was buried in the cemetery that lay just behind my apartment building in Rumeli Hisari. Not long after I'd moved in and started to read his poems, I felt that his spirit had floated through the window and was guiding my hand as I worked on my own poems. Now, a few years later, a number of those poems that I felt were infused with his spirit have been translated into Turkish, which in a way completes the cycle. The poet whose work strongly affected my own was, as many of you already know, Orhan Veli Kanik, the translations were by the poet Murat Nemet-Nejat, in the book I, Orhan Veli , published by Hanging Loose Press, and the translator of my poems into Turkish is Ipek Seyalioglu.
Since I began writing those poems, I've felt that by writing them I was actually translating Orhan Veli's poetic spirit into an idiom far removed from his own, yet one that provided a structure for that spirit to inhabit as it melded into my own poems. My creative spirit had found a brother in the other-ness into which it had been cast when I moved to Istanbul . While these were not translations in the usual sense of the word but poems in their own right, with my own style firmly impressed on them, I believe that in the non-usual sense of the word they are indeed translations, but translations of a quality of spirit that subsumes all other "differences," just as the quality of being human subsumes all cultural and individual characteristics of humanness.
If I accept that assumption, which I seem to be doing, then do I see the poems that I wrote as "outgrowths" of Nemet-Nejat's translations as infused with the spirit of Orhan Veli or of Murat or of some hybrid of the two? Did the spirit of Orhan Veli, as it was "channeled" through Murat's translations, undergo a process of filtering and mediation that made the poems comprehensible to me in a cultural as well as a linguistic sense? I can now read Turkish well enough to get a fairly good sense of the original, and having known Murat for several years, I don't find that Veli's poetic spirit was mediated by the cultural complexities of Murat's life as a Turk who has been living in America for many years, although, in the hands of a less capable translator it might've been. I think that through his careful work Murat allowed the spirit of Veli's poems to find its way into his translations, thereby allowing it to possess me.
I feel most deeply that a poem's "meaning" lies somewhere beyond its words. I believe that the spirit of the poem is a part of some greater spirit that comes to possess the poet, although when a poet writes a poem, she or he may not have an inkling of the identity, or composition, of that greater spirit. When I read Murat's translations of Orhan Veli's poetry, I read Murat's choice of vocabulary and phrasing but was possessed by the spirit of Orhan Veli that had entered into Murat's translations. When I felt that I was translating that spirit into my own poems, both the spirit that possessed me and I chose the language that allowed that spirit to become a part of my own poetic spirit. When Ipek translates those poems from English into Turkish, she allows, through her choice of words and their phrasing, a door to open through which the new spirit, with all its sameness and otherness, can pass.
I believe that the difference between the translator and the poet is that the poet translates spirit into words while the translator allows those words to pass back into spirit through her or his own words. The difference in language and phrasing doesn't allow the poem and its translation to be perceived as one poem. Then, are the poem and its translation two separate poems? No, because if the translator has done a good job then the same spirit possesses both poems. Finally, does the translation process result in something in-between one poem and two? Again, I would say that the answer is no. Why? Because the spirit that has been passed through the poet to the poem either possesses the translator in turn, as it has possessed the poet, or it doesn't. If it doesn't, the result isn't a poem, or it isn't really a translation of the poem in question. If it does, the result is a poem that the original spirit has claimed, even if the translation doesn't capture the same nuances and shades of meaning of the original. The quality of the translation depends on the degree to which the translator has allowed his or her language to open a door through which the spirit could enter.
I believe that the poetic spirit ultimately overrides any and all cultural disparities, and if the translator has translated a poem successfully, the reader will understand this to the degree that she or he is attuned to that spirit as it is made manifest by the poem he or she is reading. Beside this essential distinction, all other questions, such as the ones I posed at the beginning of this brief essay, are academic. For me, the question of what a translation is, along with any answer that might be adduced from it, is far more complex, almost as complex as the writing or the translation of a poem.
Viewed in light of the idea I've attempted to develop here, the task of the translator is to translate being into becoming-that is, the being of the original spirit is translated into the becoming spirit of the translation. That spirit of becoming is the door that the translator opens into the other language-the target language, so to speak-which allows the poem to exist on another plane of being. Just as a person who undergoes a transformation is no longer the same person nor a totally different person nor only an old spirit outfitted in new garments, but an entity that has come to assume all the perceptions, or ideas, of what it was and will be into the present form of its becoming, so does the process of translating a poem involve the transformation of the poetic spirit of being into the spirit of becoming.
A possible answer to the open-ended equation I began with is that while what is equaled is open, it may also be seen as a you , an other who is the sum, or the summum bonum , if you will, of the spirit that possesses both the poet and the translator. I believe that in many of the poems I've written it is this spirit that has possessed me as a means, or perhaps as a medium, to illustrate its own point of view. For me, as a poet, it is this spirit of becoming whom, and for whom, I must seek, pursue, follow, and, hopefully, give form, or being.
Now I would like to read a poem that I feel illustrates this idea, and then Ipek will tell you about her experience in translating it.
in memory of Orhan Veli and Jacques Derrida
by Mel Kenne

 

 

Talk with Murat Nemet-Nejat on poetry

N. Buket Cengiz – ACL Res. Ass.

On 3rd of December 2004 American Culture and Literature department had a distinguished guest, Murat Nemet-Nejat, who prepared "Eda: An Anthology of Contemporary Turkish Poetry."
Nemet-Nejat discussed with the students of the department about his project which took his five years to complete. He underlined that Eda was "as much as a collection of translations of poems and essays, was also a translation of a language."
Answering the questions of the students Nemet-Nejat said that from the creation of the Turkish Republic in the 1920's to the 1990's Turkey created a body of poetry unique in the 20th century, with its own poetics, world view and sensibility. Mentioning about the Second-New Wave, he pointed out that in "Papirüs" magazine, the main publication of the poets of this movement, poets like Cemal Süreyya, Ece Ayhan and Ahmed Arif were appearing side by side and that this was a very good example of the unique identity of Turkish poetry.
Answering the questions of the students Nemet-Nejat explained how the qualities of Turkish poetry were related to the nature of Turkish as a language. Telling that EDA was mainly a collection of poems about Istanbul and he attracted attention to the effect of the multi-cultural, multi-religious identity of Istanbul on culture and arts and particularly in poetry.
Nemet-Nejat also answered the questions about the translation process of the poems and explained his own strategies in making poetry translations.

 

Theater Without Borders



The American Culture and Literature Department recently hosted a very important international event. During the week of May 14-19, 2005, Theater Without Borders, a group of international scholars involved in Renaissance studies, held a conference sponsored by Kadir Has University. The conference was directed by Susanne Wofford, Professor of English and Director of the Center for the Humanities at University of Wisconsin-Madison; Robert Henke, Associate Professor of Drama and Comparative Literature; and Pamela Allen Brown, Associate Professor at the University of Connecticut at Stamford .
 Many of the scholars attending the conference have made important contributions to their field of study in the form of books and other publications, and more than twenty papers were presented during the conference sessions. The main subject of the papers was the reach of identity and character in theatre beyond national or cultural bounds, as the group's name implies.
 One of the papers that explored this aspect of theatre was Dr. Brown's "The Yabancı Factor: Karagöz and Pulcinella." This special presentation, given on May 17, was also a part of the annual Culture and Arts Lecture Series organized by the KHU American Culture and Literature department. Following the presentation, a Karagöz performance was given by Orhan Kurt. Our foreign guests were enthralled by the show, and a lively question-answer session followed the performance. The international scholars were grateful to be able and speak to a master practitioner of Karagöz, which has been such an important form of entertainment in the cultures of both the Ottoman Empire and the Turkish Republic.
 Conference posters added color to the cafes of Beyoğlu, and “Theater Without Borders” t-shirts were favorites among conference participants and ACL students, who cleverly had a hand in designing the t-shirt logo. We are lucky to have been at the center of an event where international scholars could meet and share their ideas with each other and us. Memories of the conference will be an important part of the history of Kadir Has University, particularly for those of us in the ACL department.
Following are the conference participants whose publications have been exhibited in The Exhibition of Books in Parallel Studies Center during the conference:
Prof. Dr. Shormishtha Panja (ed.). Critical Theory Textual Application; Many Indias, Many Literatures ; Signifying the Self: Women and Literature .
Associate Prof. Dr. Robert Henke. Performance and Literature in the Commedia dell'Arte ; Pastoral Transformations: Italian Tragicomedy and Shakespeare's Late Plays.
Associate Prof. Dr. Jacques Lezra. Unspeakable Subjects.
Associate Prof. Dr. Pamela Allen Brown. Better a Shrew than a Sheep: Women, Drama, and the Culture of Jest in Early Modern England.
Assistant Prof. Dr. M. A. McGrail (ed.). Shakespeare's Plutarch.
Dr. P.A. Skantze. Stillness in Motion in the Seventeenth-Century.
Prof. Dr. Susanne L. Wofford (ed.) Shakespeare's Late Tragedies.
Associate Prof. Dr. Ian Frederick Moulton. Before Pornography: Erotic Writing in Early Modern Literature.
Dr. Clare McManus. Women on the Renaissance Stage ; Women and Culture at the Courts of the Stuart Queens.

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Watching "The Birds" Parallel Studies Event

On 23 March 2005 at 13.00, the freshman class gathered with Prof. Gumpert in room 310 and watched The Birds, a horror movie directed by Alfred Hitchcock. Meanwhile, we raised funds for the Parallel Studies Club from the food brought by some of our friends and enjoyed having something to eat and to drink while watching the movie. The movie lasted about two hours, and afterwards we had a pleasant discussion that mostly focused on the analysis of the characters, why the birds attacked, what happened at the end (since the movie leaves this question to the audience), what the foreshadowing elements were, which movie techniques were used (a comparison between today’s cinema and that of the past), etc. We argued intensely about these issues. Also, we found that the more we examined particular scenes the more enjoyable the movie became for us.

 

International perspectives in culture and the arts
N. Buket Cengiz- ACL Res. Ass.

The Culture and Arts Lecture Series, which is organized each year by the American Culture and Literature Department of KHU, again hosted some important speakers in the spring of 2005.
The first lecture featured Dr. Mahmut Mutman, Chair of the Department of Communications and Design at Bilkent University. His talk was entitled "The 'Birth' of the National 'Self': Literature, Mimesis, and Paradox in Araba Sevdas." Dr. Mutman analyzed the process of modernization-as-westernization in the late Ottoman Empire , focusing on Recaizade Mahmut Ekrem's comic novel Araba Sevdası . Published in 1889, the book is generally accepted as the precursor of the Servet-i Fünun novel. Dr. Mutman began by explaining how his analysis related to the work of other critics of Araba Sevdası above all Şerif Mardin,and Jale Parla. Dr. Mutman's work approached Araba Sevdası as a parable of mimesis that was central to the nationalist modernization project.

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The second lecture in the series, “Istanbul in 2050: The Birth of Ottoman Science Fiction,” was presented by Dr. Laurent Mignon, a member of Bilkent University 's Department of Turkish Literature. Dr. Mignon, a citizen of Belgium, studied in the School of Oriental and African Studies in London and wrote his PhD dissertation on Turkish poetry. He focused in his talk on a number of science-fiction novels that were written during the Ottoman era but were never taken seriously as works of literature.
In the third lecture, Dr. Norman R. Yetman, a member of the American Studies faculty at the University of Kansas, spoke on “Black Monday: Brown vs. Board of Education and the Significance of Race in American Life.” His very interesting explanation of how this judicial decision functioned as a turning point in the American civil rights movement was followed by a lively discussion on the questions of individual liberty and racism.
The fourth talk in the series was Dr. Gary Gumpert's talk on "(Mis)perceptions and the Media: The Digitalization of Trust.” Dr. Gumpert, Professor Emeritus of Queens College in the City University of New York, underscored the fact that we live in an age of high- tech communications and that communication technology can and often does operate against individual freedom of thought.
Prof. Gumpert offered examples of how media abuses of advances in technology often provide the public not with reality but with illusionary constructs of reality. One of the most frightening statistics he cited was that, because of the fear of terrorism, 4.2 million people in England are being monitored each day by 6 million cameras. Dr. Gumpert reminded the audience that the relationship between the individual and the state is a relationship based on trust and that this social contract, meant to ensure personal rights and freedoms, can easily be damaged by the misuse of technology to violate citizens' freedoms and their rights to privacy.

This year's final lecture was delivered by Dr. Pamela Brown, Associate Professor at the University of Connecticut at Stamford. Dr. Brown presented her paper, “Between Go-Betweens: Karagöz and Commedia dell'arte,” as a part of the Theater Without Borders conference. Her talk was followed by a Karagöz performance offered by Orhan Kurt, a master of this folk art that was for a very long time one of the most popular forms of entertainment in Turkish society

 

 

Literature, mimesis, and paradox in Araba Sevdası

(Chameleon) On Thursday, April 7, the  Department of  American Culture and  Literature hosted an interesting  scholarly event. Dr. Mahmut Mutman,  Chair of the Department of Communications and   Design, Bilkent University, gave the first talk of the 3rd annual Kadir Has University “culture and arts lecture series.” Dr. Mutman spoke to a large audience on “The ‘Birth’ of the National 'Self': Literature, Mimesis, and Paradox in Araba Sevdası.” Before the lecture, Dean of the Science and Arts Faculty Kemal Yelekçi, and other guests had a chance to talk with Dr. Mutman at a cocktail reception. Dr. Mutman’s lecture was followed by a lively question-and-answer session.
Dr. Mutman in his lecture spoke about the process of modernization-as-westernization in the late Ottoman Empire, focusing on Recaizade Mahmut  Ekrem’s comic novel Araba Sevdası, published in   1889, and which is generally accepted as the precursor of the Servet-i Fünun novel. The novel’s protagonist Bihruz Bey is a poorly-educated but zealous advocate of all things French;
as such, he seems to stand for the extent to which modern Turkey renewed itself
through the  imitation of European culture. Dr. Mutman began by positioning his
own analysis in relation to the work of other critics on Araba Sevdası, above all
Şerif Mardin, and Jale Parla.But Dr. Mutman’s own work approached Araba

Sevdası as a parable of mimesis as central to the modern nationalist project.

 

 

The violation of our privacy due to media

(Chameleon) Dr. Gary Gumpert stated that we live in a complex world where we depend on the other for information and we do it by relying on communication technology. However this technology is used sometimes against our human rights. For instance, the government developed the extremes ability to watch the other. In the U.K. due to fear of terrorism 4.2 million cameras watch 6 million people. The question that pops into the mind is: How does this relate to privacy, free expression, the right to be alone, the trust one place in his/her leaders, governments? It seems like it's the invasion of our privacy even if they do it for security reasons. Besides surveillance cameras are another matter. Usually they are used by police departments in order to collect information. They do it privately and one is never free from observation. It's like as if there was a transperent curtain on all of us. So, from all these it is perceived that technology hinders our privacy considerably without our knowing. It's because the digitalization has led to the manipulation of the mankind.

Electronic reality
(Chameleon) Dr. Gary Gumpert focused on the idea of the trust in media in his lecture. The role of technology in our life is changing its dimension. It is entering the limits of people's privacy in addition to its advantages. He questioned if the media with the help of technology tells the truth to the audiences. He mentioned about the protection the government provides with the exchange of freedom. The more we ask for protection the more we lose from our freedom because technology makes the government able to watch people without their realization. Dr. Gumpert calls this system as “social contract”. This contract depends on the bridge of trust. However, the question is who we should or can trust? This contract contradicts with the idea of privacy. In developed countries such as UK and USA, technology has almost eliminated privacy. Satellites are watching people. They are like under surveillance as Dr. Gumpert called.
He supported his arguments with a slide show and showed how live broadcastings are actually not real. There is a considerable amount of time between the moment someone talks in a live program and the moment it reaches you. Meanwhile, there can be made many chances in the live program which we think is absolute truth. Live screens can be delayed or stopped with machines which he calls “magical machines”.
Briefly, he questioned what we see may not be the truth. Technology plays a great role in this irony. Dr. Gumpert underlined that, it has reached its point to violate human rights for privacy in some countries. It makes us feel scary for the future.

 

 

The birth of Ottoman fiction-Istanbul 2050

(Chameleon) Mignon’s lecture on Thursday 21 April mainly focused on that the genre science-fiction can also be written in countries where technological progress has a slow pace. The lecturer, Dr. Laurent Mignon, aimed to clarify certain questions regarding the Ottoman-Turkish history and to touch on some science-fiction facts that are written in the last 15 years of the Ottoman period. He explained the term science-fiction as a charming romance intermingled with science or as literature about the future. He said that pre-1920s science-fiction didn't exist due to the illiteracy of people and the unavailability of the transcriptions leading to the reducement in the understanding of it. Also he continued by saying that the banishment of supernatural things is the cause why science-fiction couldn't develop during the Ottoman. He emphasized that after Tanzimat, the Western reform, literature really became a tool for enlightening people.
He mentioned that the traditional texts by Hacı Bektaş-ı Veli, Ahmet Celebi, Abdul Hamit and Evliya Celebi had elements of science-fiction. (ex:flying). Besides he said that Jules Verne, who wrote scientific novels (translated to Turkish as “fenni romanlar”), was ironically considered a much more serious writer in Turkey than in France. Emil Zola took Jules Verne as a model and wrote some novels based on scientific journeys.
Moreover he referred to 3 optimistic and 3 negative texts. The optimistic ones include the book called Economic and Social 30 years later, a book of Yahya Kemal about machines and the book Politic& Economic Progress. The disappearance of the coffee-tea houses, the domination of İstanbul by mirror cameras, people passing Bosphorus by flying, having difficulties in recognizing the city after waking up, replacement of houses with skyscrapers are some of the science-fiction elements in these texts. The negative ones are mainly about the impact of technology in the failure of humanity, the disappearance of seasons (in a short-story of Refik Karay), robots endangering humanity, the collapse of the unity of mankind, men' and women' becoming one gender, nationalism war not only for Turks but also for the whole mankind.
Consequently, he stated that these books about science-fiction are not very enjoyable because the purpose of the writing these books was not to write a good story but to give a message.

Imagining the future

(Chameleon) Mr. Mignon focused on the theme which was mostly about Istanbul in future, and their writers in his lecture. There were science fiction novels in the time of Ottoman Empire which were written and published. However, they were not very popular mostly because they were not found realistic. Mignon emphasized that “Banishment of supernatural caused not to practice fantastic literature works so science fiction could not develop” Istanbul was imagined as a city which has high buildings, water used for engines etc. in the years of 2030 and 2050. The focus was on thecnology and its impacts on future generations in the science fiction novels of 19th century. Mignon closed his lecture by underlining when science fiction first practiced the major intellectual question was whether the empire would survive or not. Later, it became a humanity thing and the theme of science fiction novels was universalized.

 

2nd annual culture and arts lecture series
N. Buket Cengiz – ACL-MA


Kadir Has University's second annual culture and arts lecture series has been completed with great success. The series consisting of five lectures at the Kadir Has University Cibali Campus, focusing on the history, culture and art of Istanbul was closed with a walking tour of Balat and Fener neighborhoods, guided by Emin Saatçi from Cornucopia Magazine.
The first of the seminars was given on March 11 at 6.30 p.m. by Dr. Steven Richmond, a historian from ITU. His seminar, entitled "Legends of Hagia Sophia: The Unreal but Meaningful Stories of the Church and Mosque" was about what has not happened in Hagia Sophia, rather than what has happened. Richmond started his seminar commenting about how history works, and mentioned important events in Hagia Sophia's centuries-long history - such as the Nika riots and the Arian heresy. His talk was laced with interesting anecdotes that would not easily be found in the history books - such as those who find healing in the talisman column of Hagia Sophia, and those who have had visions there. Through these, Steve Richmond underlined how thin the line between myth and reality can be. He argued that for the people of the time, it would be difficult to believe that Hagia Sophia was built by human beings without any divine support. Showing this issue of belief as the basis of the unreal stories, Richmond reminded us that in legend, the line between fact and non-fact can be very blurred, and that history does not only consist of facts.
The second seminar of the series was given on 25th of March by film-maker Petra Holzer. In her seminar entitled "Disruption of Cultural Memory: Experiences of a Documentary Film Maker in the Değirmendere, 1999-2004", Holzer discussed the issue of cultural memory. She showed fragments of the documentary that she made in the Değirmendere disaster area after the 17th of August 1999 earthquake. Holzer said that for a certain period of time, disaster was in the agenda, but then it had begun to be erased from the cultural memory. Petra Holzer stressed that it can't be acceptable to forget about those whose lives were ruined completely by the disaster. The seminar underlined how important the responsibility of the intellectual is in helping cultural memory to work in a constructive way, and reminded all those who watched it of the duties of the intellectual.
The seminar "Between First and Second Rome: the Potential of Archaeological Parks in Istanbul" given on 15th of April by Byzantine archaeologist Dr. Alessandra Ricci attracted a lot of attention and a wide audience -- both from inside and outside the university. In her seminar, Ricci, who considers Istanbul to be the Second Rome, showed slides of her archaeological excavation and conservation work and the public park project in Küçükyalı 2002 -- considering this as the public development of a Byzantine site. From this, she discussed the subject of archaeological parks. Ricci said that in Rome, the connections between the buildings are usually preserved, whereas in Istanbul, for many reasons such as earthquakes, these connections have usually been lost.
However, Ricci underlined that despite this situation, there is still time for many areas of Istanbul to be protected as archaeological parks, although she added that immediate action was needed on this.
The next seminar of the series was given on Thursday, April 29 at 6.30 p.m. , by architect and historian Mete Göktuğ. Göktuğ's seminar entitled "The History and Cultural Identity of Istanbul" attracted the interest and admiration of the audience.
Lecture Series ended on a high note May 13th, when John Freely spoke on the subject of his new book, Byzantine Monuments of Istanbul, co-authored with Ahmet S. Çakmak and published this year by Cambridge University Press. The seminar "Byzantium - Constantinople - Istanbul : The Imperial City" by Freely who is also the author of the book "Strolling through Istanbul" was watched by a large number of people, all there to hear Freely's interesting and unique take on Istanbul's history.
All the seminars were followed by a reception.
Last event of the series has been a walking tour of the Balat and Fener neighborhoods on Saturday, May 22 at 10.30 a.m. , guided by Emin Saatçi from Cornucopia Magazine.

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A.E. Stallings’ poetry reading
N. Buket Cengiz – ACL - MA

On Tuesday, 6th of March in the Parallel Studies Center there was a poetry reading organized by Kadir Has University, American Culture and Literature Department. The poet invited was A.E. Stallings from Decatur, GA who resides in Athens , Greece . She has risen fast to receive several important awards, such as the Pushcart Prize, the 1997 Eunice Tietjens Prize for Poetry , and the James Dickey Prize for Five Points. Stallings was also a finalist for both the Yale Series of Younger Poets & the Walt Whitman Award. Her first poetry collection, Archaic Smile, was awarded the 1999 Richard Wilbur Award by Dana Gioia, and was published by the University of Evansville Press.
Stallings studied classics at the University of Georgia and Oxford University, and at her reading, read a couple of her poems with themes from Classical Mythology. One of these poems, "Persephone Writes a Letter to Her Mother", attracted great attention and admiration from the department's students, who are all acquainted with Persephone and other figures from Classical Mythology from the Mythology course they took.
Stallings read various other poems, such as "The Man Who Wouldn't Plant Willow Trees," "An Ancient Dog Grave, Unearthed During Construction of the Athens Metro," " Athens, August" all accompanied by small stories about the writing process and inspirations that made her write them. The poet, with her humorous and witty comments on poetry, turned the reading into a very interesting event. She also shared her ideas on poetry translation and read a free translation that she had made of Cavafy's "The City". At the end of the event, Stallings made a good number of fans for her poetry.

 

An Ancient Dog Grave, Unearthed
During Construction of the Athens Metro

It is not the curled up bones, nor even the grave
That stops me, but the blue beads on the collar
(Whose leather has long gone the way of hides) -
The ones to ward off evil. A careful master
Even now protects a favorite, just so.
But what evil could she suffer after death?
I picture the loyal companion, bereaved of her master,
Trotting the long, dark way that slopes to the river,
Nearly trampled by all the nations marching down,
One war after another, flood or famine,
Her paws sucked by the thick, caliginous mud,
Deep as her dewclaws, near the riverbank.
In the press for the ferry, who will lift her into the boat?
Will she cower under the pier and be forgotten,
Forever howling and whimpering, tail tucked under?
What stranger pays her passage? Perhaps she swims,
Dog paddling the current of oblivion.
A shake as she scrambles ashore sets the beads jingling.
And then, that last, tense moment - touching noses
Once, twice, three times, with unleashed Cerberus.
A.E. Stallings

Persephone Writes a Letter to Her Mother, by A.E. Stallings
First-hell is not so far underground-
My hair gets tangled in the roots of trees
& I can just make out the crunch of footsteps,
The pop of acorns falling, or the chime
Of a shovel squaring a fresh grave or turning
Up the tulip bulbs for separation.
Day & night, creatures with no legs
Or too many, journey to hell and back.
Alas, the burrowing animals have dim eyesight.
They are useless for news of the upper world.
They say the light is "loud" (their figures of speech
All come from sound; their hearing is acute).

The dead are just as dull as you would imagine.
They evolve like the burrowing animals-losing their sight.
They may roam abroad sometimes-but just at night-
They can only tell me if there was a moon.
Again and again, moth-like, they are duped
By any beckoning flame-lamps and candles.
They come back startled & singed, sucking their fingers,
Happy the dirt is cool and dense and blind.
They are silly & grateful and don't remember anything.
I have tried to tell them stories, but they cannot attend.
They pester you like children for the wrong details-
How long were his fingernails? Did she wear shoes?
How much did they eat for breakfast? What is snow?
And then they pay no attention to the answers.


My husband, bored with their babbling, neither listens nor speaks.
But here there is no fodder for small talk.
The weather is always the same. Nothing happens.
(Though at times I feel the trees, rocking in place
Like grief, clenching the dirt with tortuous toes.)
There is nothing to eat here but raw beets & turnips.
There is nothing to drink but mud-filtered rain.
Of course, no one goes hungry or toils, however many-
(The dead breed like the bulbs of daffodils-
Without sex or seed-all underground-
Yet no race has such increase. Worse than insects!)

I miss you and think about you often.
Please send flowers. I am forgetting them.
If I yank them down by the roots, they lose their petals
And smell of compost. Though I try to describe
Their color and fragrance, no one here believes me.
They think they are the same thing as mushrooms.
Yet no dog is so loyal as the dead,
Who have no wives or children and no lives,
No motives, secret or bare, to disobey.
Plus, my husband is a kind, kind master;
He asks nothing of us, nothing, nothing at all-
Thus fall changes to winter, winter to fall,
While we learn idleness, a difficult lesson.

He does not understand why I write letters.
He says that you will never get them. True-
Mulched-leaf paper sticks together, then rots;
No ink but blood, and it turns brown like the leaves.
He found my stash of letters, for I had hid it,
Thinking he'd be angry. But he never angers.
He took my hands in his hands, my shredded fingers
Which I have sliced for ink, thin paper cuts.
My effort is futile, he says, and doesn't forbid it.
A.E. Stallings

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Christmas Parties at KHU - ACL are always fun!

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Department of American Culture and Literature hosted KHU Rector Prof.Dr. Yücel YILMAZ at their party


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 KHU Rector, Prof.Dr. Yucel YILMAZ - Assist.Prof. Dr. Selhan S. ENDRES
 
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Asude Yurt (ACL4) - Prof.Dr.YELEKÇİ - Prof.Dr.ENDRES - Yusuf Kırgız (ACL1)

 

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dg   Prof.Dr.Cliff ENDRES -Assist.Prof.Selhan ENDRES - Assist.Prof.Mary Lou O'NEIL - Assoc.Prof.Mathew GUMPERT - Prof.Dr.Kemal YELEKÇİ

 

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Christmas Party 2004

On Wednesday, December 22, the American Culture and Literature Department celebrated Christmas with a great party in room 310.
Students brought refreshments from home that they themselves had prepared, and we had a big table that really created a Christmas atmosphere. Mulled wine added to the warm ambiance of the party on that cold winter day.
Along with the festivities, our rector, Prof. Dr. Yücel Yılmaz, made a very nice speech in which he expressed his appreciation for these kinds of celebrations that brought the members of our university together, and he thanked to American Culture and Literature Department for hosting this wonderful party.

For entertainment, students Gökay, Harun and Hakan played popular American, English and Turkish music, and second-year student Aslıhan sang two popular songs a cappella. The Christmas gift exchange, in which students drew numbers for gifts, was exciting and fun, as the students in our department had the opportunity to participate in a truly American Christmas tradition.

After the party ended, some of the students stayed a little longer and carried on playing the guitar and singing songs until it was time to clean up and get the room ready for Thursday's classes.

 

 

John Freely lectures on Byzantine Monuments of Istanbul

Michael Kuser – Journalist (Visiting writer)

The Kadir Has University Lecture Series ended on a high note May 13 th , when John Freely spoke on the subject of his new book, Byzantine Monuments of Istanbul , co-authored with Ahmet S. Çakmak and published this year by Cambridge University Press. Cliff Enders, head of the Department of American Culture and Literature, which hosted the series, introduced John Freely as the author of books which many in the audience had most likely read, especially 'Strolling Through Istanbul'.

John Freely is a professor of physics at Bosphorus University, but has devoted much of his life to studying the ever-changing city of Istanbul. Speaking in the Cibali Salon at the main campus of Kadir Has University, Mr Freeley said, "When I first came here in 1960, this building was a cigarette factory, then on my second visit it was a cigarette museum, and now it's a university."
Of course every city changes from day to day, but Istanbul is special because of its ancient history, its amazing wealth of archaeological monuments and artefacts. John Freely said he knows of one Byzantine church on the Golden Horn that has been picked over stone by stone for the least 50 years until today it is completely gone, nothing left but the foundations.

Constantinople served as the capital of the Byzantine Empire from 330 until 1453 and was renowned for the beauty and grandeur of its churches and palaces. The extant Byzantine monuments of Istanbul include more than 20 churches, most notably Haghia Sophia, as well as the remains of the land and sea walls, the Hippodrome, imperial palaces, commemorative columns, reservoirs and cisterns, an aqueduct, a triumphal archway and a fortified port. John Freely started with the founding of the first settlements here by Thracians in the 7 th century BC, or five thousand years before that, with Byzantium first mentioned by Herodotus (420 BC) in his recounting of the bridging of the Bosphorus by the Emperor Darius and his Persian engineers.
The celebrated local author then took his audience in chronological order through the political, religious, and social developments during the Byzantine age. He only got as far as 379 AD, the end of Theodosius I's reign, so there is plenty of material for next year's lecture series. Mr Freely said that he is constantly learning new things about the history of Constantinople. For example, there is one old drawing of the city that shows two columns on the European shore of the Bosphorus, and John said he had recently talked with someone at the Greek Patriarchate who told him that the old Greek name for Besiktas was 'Dipliokon', or 'two columns'.

Mr. Freeley surmised that the columns were built for a 5 th century stylite, the Christian devotees who sat on top of columns for months and years. An emperor took pity on Istanbul’s stylite and built him a second column with a little walkway connecting the two, perhaps to lessen his boredom.

In the question and answer session following the lecture Kadir Has University Rector, Prof. Dr. Yucel Yilmaz, said that, as a geologist, he had to point out that, "the seven hills of the old city are not hills at all, but derive from an eroded plateau." John Freely said that, while the Rector might have been right, "they certainly feel like hills when you try to climb them." Rector Yilmaz also surprised the author by recounting how, as a boy, he had seen the River Lycos flowing in Aksaray. Mr Freely said it was the first time he had ever met anyone who could recall the river at all.

Byzantine Monuments of Istanbul by John Freely and Ahmet S. Çakmak, £55.00

 

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Poetry reading by Richard Tillinghast

Buket Cengiz (ACL-MA)
Richard Tillinghast, who is one of the leading poets in the USA, read from his works to the students of Kadir Has University- American Culture and Literature Department on Tuesday 24 February at 2.00 in Room CD 310. He is the author of seven books of poetry, a novel, and a critical memoir of the well-known American poet Robert Lowell, with whom he studied as a young man. He is currently translating the Turkish poet Edip Cansever.
At the event, Tillinghast read his translation of the poem "Masa Da Masaymış Ha" by Turkish poet Edip Cansever and shared his experiences of translating this poem with the audience. Tillinghast suggested that sometimes the "obscurity" of a word could create a positive effect by having more than one meaning, but that this also makes the translation process more difficult. Tillinghast said that in that particular poem, since it was impossible to make a word to word translation of its title, he decided to translate it simply as "table".
Richard Tillinghast said that Turkish was a language which had become richer with the words that have been transferred from the Arabic and Persian languages. He added that avoidance of these words actually prevented Turks from making use of their Ottoman heritage.
Tillinghast's poem "Snowflakes& a Jazz Waltz", which he read at the end of the event, was highly appreciated by the audience.

  

Table

A man filled with the gladness of living
Put his keys on the table,
Put flowers in a copper bowl there.
He put his eggs and milk on the table.
He put there the light that came in through the window,
Sounds of a bicycle, sound of a spinning wheel.
The softness of bread and weather he put there.
On the table the man put
Things that happened in his mind.
What he wanted to do in life,
He put that there.
Those he loved, those he didn't love,
The man put them on the table too.
Three times three make nine:
The man put nine on the table.
He was next to the window next to the sky;
He reached out and placed on the table endlessness.
So many days he had wanted to drink a beer!
He put on the table the pouring of that beer.
He placed there his sleep and his wakefulness;
His hunger and his fullness he placed there.
Now that's what I call a table!
It didn't complain at all about the load.
It wobbled once or twice, then stood firm.
The man kept piling things on.
                        Translated from Turkish into English by: Richard Tillinghast

 

 

Masa da masaymış ha

Adam yaşama sevinci içinde
Masaya anahtarlarını koydu
Bakır kâseye çiçekleri koydu
Sütünü yumurtasını koydu
Pencereden gelen ışığı koydu
Bisiklet sesini çıkrık sesini
Ekmeğin havanın yumuşaklığını koydu
Adam masaya
Aklında olup bitenleri koydu
Ne yapmak istiyordu hayatta
İşte onu koydu
Kimi seviyordu kimi sevmiyordu
Adam masaya onları da koydu
Üç kere üç dokuz ederdi
Adam koydu masaya dokuzu
Pencere yanındaydı gökyüzü yanında
Uzandı masaya sonsuzu koydu
Bir bira içmek istiyordu kaç gündür
Masaya biranın dökülüşünü koydu
Uykusunu koydu uyanıklığını koydu
Tokluğunu açlığını koydu.  
Masa da masaymış ha
Bana mısın demedi bu kadar yüke
Bir iki sallandı durdu
Adam ha babam koyuyordu.

                        Edip Cansever

 

 

The Golden Horn tour 

On Saturday, May 22, as the closing event of the Spring 2004 lecture series, Emin Saatci, who is associated with Cornucopia magazine, led a group of students, faculty and others on a tour through the neighborhoods extending along the Golden Horn northwest of Kadir Has university.
The tour began in the Cibali neighborhood with a visit to an old hamam near Kömür Lokantası. Purchased recently by a private firm, the building is under restoration, and after viewing the stark beauty of its interior we all hoped that it would remain as a hamam after its restoration. Emin Bey then led the walkers through the Balat area and the churches of St. Nicholas and St.Theodosia, the former a functioning Greek Orthodox church and the latter a Byzantine church that later became the Gul Camii. The next major site was the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate, in Fener, with its beautiful garden and the church of St. George, dating from 1720.
Following a snack at a popular pastane, the group moved on to the Byzantine church and monastery of St. Mary of the Mongols, with its exquisite silver-relief icons. Emin Bey was kind enough to take time to relate the fascinating story of the church's founder and how she came to be associated with the Mongol court in Persia.
After stopping to view the ruins of a Feneriot mansion that is under restoration, the group proceeded to the last site (but certainly not the least) included in the tour, the famous ayazma (sacred spring) of Blachernae, which is located in a modern Greek chapel. The ancient church that once housed it and was destroyed by fire in the 15 th Century also enshrined what were supposed to be the robe and mantle of the Virgin, the most sacred relics in Byzantine Constantinople. The relics were lost long ago, but the waters of the spring are still thought to have healing properties. Emin Bey mentioned that the ayazma is a popular pilgrimage site for Christians, Moslems and Jews, and that many of the visitors are melancholic women who believe that drinking the water relieves their condition.
After leaving Blachernae, the group caught a bus back to Cibali and recounted the day's pleasures over a late lunch at Komur Lokantisi. The tour was blessed both with beautiful weather and a great guide in Emin Saatci, whom everyone thanked for so generously offering his services.


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