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Erdag Göknar, Associate Professor of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies and Duke Middle East Studies Center

Erdag Göknar

Primary focus on the legacies of the Ottoman Empire and the Kemalist cultural revolution upon modern Turkey and the Middle East. Secondary focus on cultural translation and representational politics of Turks and Muslims, including regional understandings of Turkey and Islam. Theoretical focus on literature and politics, gender and orientalism, colonialism and nationalism, Islam and modernism, translation and identity.

Contact Info:
Office Location:  225 Franklin Center, Durham, NC 27708
Office Phone:  (919) 660-3151
Email Address: send me a message
Web Page:  http://middleeaststudies.duke.edu/~goknar

Teaching (Fall 2019):

  • AMES 283S.01, ISTANBUL Synopsis
    Franklin Center 028, MW 01:25 PM-02:40 PM
    (also cross-listed as AMES 503S.01, CULANTH 283S.01, HISTORY 397S.01, ICS 249S.01)
    Perkins 070, Th 04:55 PM-07:25 PM

Ph.D.University of Washington2004
M.A.University of Washington1998
MFAUniv. of Oregon1994
B.A.University of Michigan at Ann Arbor1988

Turkish Studies
International Comparative Studies
Research Interests:

Current projects: Between Orient and Nation: The Modern Turkish Novel and Orhan Pamuk (in-progress), Colonial Encounter and Cultural Revolution: Narrative Identities of Ottoman Modernism and Turkism (in-progress), A Mind at Peace (translation of Tanpinar novel), Archipelago Books, NY, 2008, Mediterranean Passages from Dido to Derrida, co-editor, UNC Press, 2008

Primary focus on the legacies of the Ottoman Empire and the Turkist cultural revolution upon modern Turkey. Secondary focus on cultural translation and representations of Turks and Muslims, including regional understandings of Turkey and Islam in the Middle East and Eurasia. Theoretical focus on literature, colonialism, modernism, translation, and identity.

Areas of Interest:

Ottoman Empire/Turkey
Ottoman/Turkish relations with Europe
Narrative Identities
Muslim Nationalism


Literature • Identity • Representation • Cultural Translation • Ottoman Empire/Turkey


Current Ph.D. Students  

  • Johanna Schuster-Craig (German Studies)  
Representative Publications   (More Publications)

  1. Goknar, E, "The Novel in Turkish: From Narrative Tradition to Nobel Prize", in Cambridge History of Turkey: Turkey in the Modern World, edited by Kasaba, R, vol. IV (Fall, 2008), pp. 35-35, Cambridge University Press [catalogue.asp]  [abs]
  2. with Göknar, E; Cooke, M; Parker, G, Mediterranean Passages from Delos to Derrida (2008), pp. 425-425, UNC Press  [abs]
  3. Goknar, E, "Orhan Pamuk and the ’Ottoman’ Theme", World Literature Today, vol. 80 no. 6 (November, 2006)

Bio: Erdağ Göknar is Assistant Professor of Turkish Studies at Duke University and an award-wining literary translator. He holds an MA and Ph.D. in Near and Middle Eastern studies (Turkish literature and culture) and an M.F.A. in fiction and poetry. He has a primary appointment is SES and a secondary appointment in AMES, and is affiliated with the Duke Islamic Studies Center (DISC) and International Comparative Studies (ICS). He is also on the executive committee of DUMESC, the Title VI funded Duke Middle Eastern Studies Center. A Turkish-American scholar, he is currently writing a critical analysis of the literary politics of Orhan Pamuk and the Turkish novel. He is the recipient of two Fulbright awards, the Dublin IMPAC literary award (with Orhan Pamuk), and an NEA translation grant. His partner, Banu Gökarıksel, is professor of cultural geography at UNC and their son Levent Sa'y, is a kindergartener.

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