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Erdag Göknar, Associate Professor of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies

Erdag Göknar
Contact Info:
Office Location:  2235 Cranford Road, Durham, NC 27705
Email Address:   send me a message
Web Page:  

Typical Courses Taught:

  • Turkish 106s, Muslim identities/eurasia Synopsis
  • Turkish 105s, Middle east/historical lit Synopsis
  • Turkish 135, Identity and cultural history Synopsis
  • Turkish 120s, Turkish republic
  • Culanth 132, Representing the middle east Synopsis
Office Hours:

Fridays, 1-3 PM

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

Turkish Studies
International Comparative Studies
Research Interests: Turkish cultural studies (literature, history, & politics); Eurasian and Middle Eastern politics of representation; the novel and national historiography; Islam and secularism, translation studies, identity/subjectivity

Current projects: Orhan Pamuk, Secularism and Blasphemy: The Politics of the Turkish Novel (Routledge, 2013), Reading Occupied Istanbul: Turkish Subject-Formation from Trauma to Trope (in progress) , A Mind at Peace (translation of Tanpinar novel), Archipelago Books, NY, 2009, 2011, Mediterranean Passages from Dido to Derrida, co-editor, UNC Press, 2008

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.

Areas of Interest:

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


Courses taught: Turks & Europe; Geopolitics from Bosnia to Afghanistan; A City of Two Continents, Istanbul; Turkish through Screenplays and Film; Representing the Middle East; Islam, Secularism and World Literature. Regularly teaches in FOCUS.
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"." Cambridge History of Turkey: Turkey in the Modern World IV Cambridge University Press. (Fall, 2008): 35-35. [catalogue.asp]  [abs]
  2. Goknar, E. ""Orhan Pamuk and the ’Ottoman’ Theme"." World Literature Today 80.6 (November, 2006).
Bio: Erdağ Göknar is Associate Professor of Turkish & Middle Eastern 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. His most recent book is _Orhan Pamuk, Secularism and Blasphemy: The Politics of the Turkish Novel_ (Routledge, 2013). 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 occupation of Istanbul. He is the recipient of two Fulbright awards, the Dublin IMPAC literary award (with Orhan Pamuk), and two NEA translation grants. He has been a fellow at the National Humanities Center and the Stanford Humanities Center.

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