veli_yashinOccasionally, the department is able to welcome colleagues from other institutions as visting scholars. They have no direct role in the department, but we are very happy to have them join our community and our conversations. We hope that we can find ways of staging conversations between these visiting scholars and our students.

This Spring, we are happy to be able to welcome a few visiting scholars. One is Veli Yashin, from Columbia U in New York. If you would like to get in touch with him, you can email him at vny1 AT columbia DOT edu. This is his brief biography:

I am a PhD candidate in the Department of Middle Eastern, South Asian, and African Studies at Columbia University, where I am also affiliated with the Institute for Comparative Literature and Society. I am coming to AUP’s Department of Comparative Literature and English as a visiting scholar via the American University of Beirut, where I was affiliated with their Center for Arab and Middle Eastern Studies.

My dissertation project, a comparative study of Arabic and Turkish literary modernity, investigates the rhetoric of sovereignty in Arabic and Turkish literary, literary-historical, and literary-critical discourses in the 19th century. Bringing together examples of fiction, travelogue, literary history and criticism written in Arabic and Turkish and attending to the divided figures of the sovereign and the author, I implicate recent theoretical discussions on the notion of sovereignty with theories of writerly authority. The political, social, and cultural pressures exerted by the Tanzimat reforms—the re-ordering of the empire that responded to the crises of Ottoman legitimacy and identity—and the attendant emergence of an Ottoman polity per se, I argue, figure as corporeal inscriptions in late-Ottoman literary and writerly practices.

My main areas of expertise are modern Arabic and Turkish literature and culture; late-Ottoman literary, cultural, and intellectual history; literary and cultural theory; theories of sovereignty and political theology. Further interests include the rhetoric of literary studies, questions of Eurocentrism and Orientalism as they pertain to the study of literature, the relationship between historiography and mourning, figures of alterity in contemporary German and Turkish literatures, and the future(s) of philology. Following some of these latter lines of interest, I have recently written a paper on the apocalyptic rhetoric of (European) philology and its ends for which I have won the 2013 Horst Frenz Prize of the American Comparative Literature Association. The piece, “Euro(tro)pology: Philology, World Literature, and the Legacy of Erich Auerbach,” is forthcoming in the Yearbook of Comparative Literature.

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