Course Contents


LIT 201 Introduction to Literary Theory I

This course aims to introduce students to theories in literature. The course will focus on analytical methods for approaching texts, and apply them to selected works. Starting from the epic and rhetorical genres that emerged in the Greek and Muslim world, the course will trace methodological developments to approaches such as historicism and structuralism.

Readings: Literary Theory: An Introduction, Terry Eagleton


LIT 220 Mythology 

This course acquaints students with the various origin stories of the universe and of human civilization. Course readings are chosen from myths transmitted from, and representative of the mythologies of Ancient Greek, Roman, and Near Eastern civilizations.

Readings: Theogony, Metamorphoses, Gilgamesh, Beowulf


 LIT 203 Genres and Modes

Genre plays a crucial role in helping us understand and categorize literature and other cultural products. In this course students will be introduced to these genres and will learn how these genres have developed through time. The course will also discuss when and in which geographical regions these genres came about, and how the issue of representation has found expression. The course will also investigate how genre influences content and style

Readings: Genre, John Frow


LIT 202 Introduction to Literary Theory II

This course familiarizes students with established and emerging theories in literature and culture, and is designed to help them apply these theories to literary texts. In addition to material that deals with structural elements of the text, such as formalism and poststructuralism, students will engage with theories that help the reader situate them in their social, historical, and even physiological contexts, as well as help him or her recognize the ideological structures these works interact with.

Course prerequisite: LIT 101

Readings: Literary Theory: An Anthology, 2nd Edition eds. Julie Rivkin and Michael Ryan


LIT 204 Survey of English Literature

This is a survey course of British, Irish, and American literature from the Medieval Period to the Twentieth Century. Selected texts are predominantly those that have gained international renown as canonical works of English literature, and are representative examples of genres including poetry, novel, essay, epic, and romance. Students will analyze textual engagements with the nature of human relationships, as well as of the relations between humans and nature, civilization, and religion.

Readings: The Norton Anthology of English Literature, 8th Edition (Single-Volume)



LIT 210 Poetry and Poetics 

Poetry is perhaps one of the hardest categories of writing to define, and is composed of many genres and forms. This course acquaints students with a selection of world poetry and theories of poetic expression—poetics—that engage with elements of style, technique, content, purpose. The selection includes poems representative of various Eastern and Western literary traditions, including ghazal, mathnawi, sonnets, epic and romance poetry. Students will read them comparatively, taking into account the developments, transformations, and intercultural transmissions of different genres rooted in specific cultural and geographical contexts; for example, the popular twenty-first century form of American ghazal poetry.

Readings: Early Islamic Poetry and Poetics, ed. Suzanne Pinckney Stetkevych

The Making of a Poem: A Norton Anthology of Poetic Forms, eds. Eavan

Boland and Mark Strand



LIT 230 Ancient Greek Drama

This course will familiarize students with the structure and content of Ancient Greek tragic and comic theatre, including their associated stage traditions. Close attention will be paid to plot development over space and time, and to the symbolic meanings of recurring character types who are designed to produce calculated emotional effects on the audience. For example, what are defining characteristics of the tragic hero, one of whom provided the name for the modern psychoanalytic concept of the “Oedipus complex;” furthermore, when and for what purpose does the chorus—the voice of the people, citizens—appear on stage? Which social issues do comedies deal with, and how? The most fundamental theme in this course, however, is how Ancient Greek theatre envisions human relations to nature and to Mt. Olympus; in other words, what is world order as can be understood in these texts?

Readings: The Poetics, Aristotle



LIT 206 Survey of Turkish Literature

This course introduces main periods of Turkish literature; its oral and written narratives by investigating topics, forms and genre specialties of each period through selected works. The course aims at familiarizing students with main movements, authors, themes and concepts of Turkish literature.

Readings: Türk Edebiyatı Tarihi, Mehmet Fuat Köprülü

Eski Türk Edebiyatı Tarihi, Mine Mengi


LIT 240 The Novel

The course will trace the forms the genre of the novel has taken starting from its first examples. Three novels from different periods will be studied closely in the context of their production and their historical moment. The close reading will pay special attention to elements of the novel such as character, plot and description. The discussion will also involve responses to the novel form.

Source: Don Kişot’tan Günümüze Roman, Jale Parla


LIT 250 Literary Nonfiction

In this course works of literary nonfiction will be investigated. Elements of literary nonfiction will be introduced and students will able to do practices in the genre.  Nonfiction’s relation with experience and other genres will be studied. Selected literary criticisms of nonfiction will be close-read and the texture between idea, place, and event will be discussed. Stylistic peculiarities and tropes of literary nonfiction will be set and it will be made possible for the students to distinguish these aesthetic differences

Readings: A Room of One’s Own, Virginia Woolf

Yaşadığım Gibi, Ahmet Hamdi Tanpınar

Literary Nonfiction, Stephen Minot


LIT 260 Shakespeare

In this course students will engage in close readings of Shakespeare’s work. Shakespeare’s works are usually divided into the categories of tragedy, comedy and history plays, and these categories will be discussed through the playwright use of language, metaphor and repeating character types. Other Shakespearean themes that will be discussed will be kingship, father-son/daughter relations, and the image of the Turk

Readings: Hamlet, Othello, Merchant of Venice, The Tempest


LIT 301 Literature and Civilization: Near East and Africa

This course aims at enabling students to read Near Eastern and African culture critically and comparatively through art and literature.  The main questions will be concerned with themes belonging, topics like nationality, tradition, education, religion, history, language, gender and state.  What do say about peoples of region’s conception of self, other and the world?  The continuities and transformations as products of different eras and genres of certain cultural zones will be explained and the role of authorship will also be addressed.

Readings: Modern Literature in the Near and Middle East, R. C. Ostle



LIT 310 Literary Criticism

This course aims at introducing students the critical methods used to assess literature and other cultural works. Students will read works of criticism and enhance their conceptual vocabularies through these readings, and be able to develop their own critical apparatus and expression. The students will have a deep and functional knowledge on reading methods, so that at the end of the semester, they will have acquired the reasoning capacity on how different methods of criticism effect and transform each other.

Readings: Norton Anthology of Theory and Criticism



LIT 320 Digital Humanities

This course introduces the fundamentals and latest developments on what constitutes the vast, fast-paced field of digital humanities, in the light of the social and technological changes that necessitated its development. Which completed and on-going projects stand out for achieving particular goals, and for what reasons; what material and methods were used in these projects? How are the digital humanities transforming the way we traditionally work in humanities disciplines, and what is the field’s room for application in Turkey? Students are expected to think about creating their own digital humanities projects, ideally geared towards addressing a gap or necessity in the discipline and/or subject area they work in.

Readings: A New Companion to Digital Humanities, eds. Susan Schreibman and Ray Siemens



LIT 302 Literature and Civilization: Asia

This course aims at enabling students to read Middle and Southern Asian cultures critically and comparatively through art and literature.  The main questions will be concerned with themes belonging, topics like nationality, tradition, education, religion, history, language, gender and state.  What do say about peoples of region’s conception of self, other and the world?  The continuities and transformations as products of different eras and genres of certain cultural zones will be explained and the role of authorship will also be addressed.

Readings: This Earth of Mankind, Pramoedya Ananta Toer

World Literature, L. R. Bascara

The literatures of Asia & Africa, Duka, C. R.



LIT 330 Narratology

This course explores the variety of narrative voices that the reader encounters in works of literature. It questions how different types of narrative voices affect the reading experience. It engages in comparative readings of first and third person narrations, and what kind of epistemologies are implied by different narrative choices such as authorial and unreliable narrations.

Source: Narratology, Mieke Bal


LIT 340 Survey of Social Commentary Fiction

This course focuses on Anglophone poetry and prose in which a prevailing social problem, involving gender, race, class, religion, etc., is dramatized through its effect on their characters. As a literary mode, social commentary fiction is more a mid-nineteenth century phenomenon, but poets and novelists both before and after this period, such as Percy Shelley in the eighteenth century, Charles Dickens in the nineteenth, and a jump forward to Margaret Atwood in the twenty-first, can similarly be observed to pinpoint particular social issues that they see as responsible for the ‘malfunctions’ of the structure of society they live in. The course aims to acquaint students with literary approaches to documenting and dealing with the social effects of human actions and institutional policies. Students will perform close readings of selected texts, so as to gain awareness of the subtle and imaginative ways in which knowledge pertaining to the social sciences can be discovered.

Readings: The Excursion, William Wordsworth

Hard Times, Charles Dickens

The Handmaid’s Tale, Margaret Atwood



LIT 401 Encounters with Modernity in Literature

This course aims to understand the varied manifestations of the influence of modernity on world literatures. The course takes the industrial revolution, colonialism and world wars as important components of the modern age, and traces the marks of these in various literatures. Apart from Woolf and James Joyce who were interested in how the modern predicament affected consciousness, non-European writers such as Ahmet Hamdi Tanpınar and Kobo Abe who problematize a single mode of being in the modern world will be read in conjunction.

Readings: To the Lighthouse, Virginia Woolf

Dubliners, James Joyce

Saatleri Ayarlama Enstitütsü, Ahmet Hamdi Tanpınar

The Woman in the Dunes, Kobo Abe


LIT 410 Postcolonial Theory and Fiction

In this course, texts written during or after the fall of colonial empires, which takes place in or are about colonized geographies will be examined.  To which colonial narratives are these works responding and what is the future they imagine?  Furthermore, selected works written during colonization will be studied with the help of post-colonial criticism which reveals the kind of life that was made possible by colonization for the colonizers.

Readings:  The Empire Writes Back, Ashcroft, Griffiths and Tiffin

Jane Eyre, Charlotte Bronte

Shadow Lines, Amitav Ghosh

LIT 420 Translation: Theory and Practice

This course will examine the role of translation both in literature and social life with attention to historical background. Various translation theories will be studied. Through the selected examples of translation, questions like which texts are selected for translation in a given culture and period, and the power relations between source and target languages/cultures will be investigated.  Translations between Turkish, Arabic, English, as well as other common languages in the lecture hall will be performed and choices made during translations will be discussed.

Readings: Translation, Susan Bassnett

Bell, Roger T. Translation and Translating, Theory and Practice, Longman, 1991



LIT 402 Postmodern Futures

The course will investigate the postmodern methods used both in producing and analyzing literary and cultural products. Central concepts such as deconstruction, semiotics and simulacra will be considered and defined through their historical development. Apart from texts, visual culture will also be considered through these concepts. There will be a special emphasis on postmodernism’s connection to modernism. The relationship between postmodern narratives and claims of ‘end of history’ will be considered through selected narratives.

Readings: Postmodernism: Critical Concepts, Victor Taylor and Charles Winquist

Empire of the Senseless, Kathy Acker


LIT 430 Memory Studies

The course will be an introduction into history of the concepts of memory. Starting from Greek and Islamic traditions, way of preserving narratives and cultural heritage will be investigated. Current developments in memory studies will be explored in conjunction with field of trauma studies, with close interdisciplinary ties with psychology

Readings: Memory: Anne Whitehead

Speak, Memory, Vladimir Nabokov






LIT 205 Children’s and Youth Literature

This course aims to familiarize students with the structure, content, and dynamics of children’s and youth literature: what they are, their types, their divisions according to specified age groups, cultural variations, the nature and importance of illustration. Students will be taught to recognize the reflections of social norms and the author’s ideological perspective in texts representative of their fields, and will approach them through a selection of literary methodologies so as to analyze the relations between language, aesthetics, and plot.

Readings: Çocuk Edebiyatı Üzerine Eleştirel El Kitabı, Rebecca J. Lukens, Jacquelin J. Smith Cytthia Miller Coffel, Çev. Cenk Pamay, İstanbul Erdem Yayınları, 2018.

99 soruda Çocuk Edebiyatı, Komisyon, İstanbul Çocuk Vakfı Yayınları, 2000.

Çocuk ve Gençlik Edebiyatına Giriş, Winfred Kaminski, Çev. Yılmaz Baş, Ankara MEB Yayınları, 2009.

I.Ulusal Çocuk Kitapları Sempozyumu Bildiriler Kitabı, Sorunları ve Çözüm Yolları, Ankara  A.Ü. Eğitim Bilimleri Fakültesi Yayınları , 2000.

II.Ulusal Çocuk ve Gençlik Edebiyatı Sempozyumu Bildiriler Kitabı, Ankara, Ankara Üniversitesi Eğitim Bilimleri Fakültesi Yayınları, 2006.

Children’s Literature Criticism and The Fictional Child, Karin Lesnik-Oberstein. Oxford Clarendon Press, 1994.




LIT 207 Editorship and the Publishing Industry 

This course serves as an introduction to the basics of editorship and the printing and publishing industry. Students will specifically engage with the following topics: the history of the publishing industry and traditional publications, the types of publications, new methods of publishing and their applications both in Turkey and abroad, the dynamics of the publishing sector, sales and PR models, means of production and storage, publishing ethics and copyright laws, what it means to be an international publisher, and what it means to be an editor.

Readings: A Guide to Book Publishing, Datus C. Smith, Jr. University of WashingtonPress, 1989.

El Yazmasından Kitaba Yayıncılığın Serüveni, Yayıncılıkta İstanbul Vizyonu Sempozyumu Bildiriler Kitabı. İstanbul, Basın Yayın Birliği Derneği, 2011.

  1. Ulusal Yayın Kongresi Bildiriler Kitabı, Ankara Kültür ve Turizm Bakanlığı, 2010.

LIT 215 British Romanticism

The British Romantic Era broadly refers to the period of time between 1780 – 1830, and the literary and intellectual works produced in England, Scotland, Ireland, and even North America during this period produced lasting effects on the Anglophone literary tradition. These works were not only produced in a turbulent atmosphere of social, political, economic, and technological revolutions, they also contributed to the birth of new social and political movements, including the abolition of slavery. This is a survey course of British Romantic poetry and prose, in which thematic emphasis will be on what is meant by the concepts of revolution, identity, and gender.

Readings: British Literature, 1780-1830, 1st Edition, eds. Anne Mellor and Richard Matlak; Romanticism: An Anthology, ed. Duncan Wu



LIT 255 Image of the Turk in World Literature

Representation of Turks in narratives like fables, poetry, travel writing, memoirs and fiction is the topic of this course.  These representations will be examined in terms of social and economic status, gender relations, physical and character-based peculiarities and customs & manners that are imagined in these narratives. The representation of Turks, in terms of ‘perception of the Other’ in the works of German, Spanish, American, English, Arabic, French and Greek writers will be explored. During the discussions of selected texts, the conditions leading to these imageries, the Readings of perception, including religious and linguistic aspects will be taken into account.

Readings: Imagining ‘the Turk’, Bozidar Jezernik

Western Images of Turkey, Kamil Aydın



LIT 270 Introduction to Spenser

The Elizabethan era in England is marked by a series of transformative political, theological, commercial developments, and Sir Edmund Spenser is one of the foremost poets whose works reflect as well as contribute to the social, cultural, and moral values of this era. In this course, we will read a selection of his most notable poetry, and emphasis will be on his epic romance, The Faerie Queene. In this work, Spenser offers his Elizabethan readers an ideal model of personhood in England as a nation. Students will analyze Spenser’s conception of what constitutes a virtuous person and citizen, and will be asked to think about how this conception compares to ideas and ideals of productive citizenship today.

Readings: The Faerie Queene, Edmund Spenser

The Cambridge Companion to Edmund Spenser



LIT 280 Don Quixote

This course is a close reading of Cervantes’s Don Quixote. The book has been considered the prototype of both the classic and postmodern novel. Students will have the chance to identify the use of literary concepts they have learned in other departmental courses. There will be special emphasis on genre, how a single work can make use of several genres at the same time, calling to question the border between different types. The book’s influence on the novel genre as a whole will also be considered

Readings: Don Quixote, Miguel Cervantes


LIT 315 The Romance Mode

The romance mode in Western literary traditions roughly aligns with the mathnawi mode in Islamic civilization, and this course aims to familiarize students with representative examples of the mode written in different cultural and geographical contexts. Students will close read texts that envision forms of earthly and divine Love, to see the connections and differences between these forms across cultures. How has the human mind and soul been conceived and written, and do the answers change, if they do, according to the cultural atmosphere in which they were produced? What is the significance of soul, and how is it conceived in terms of forming a human being’s personal and social identities?

Readings: Empire of Magic, Geraldine Heng

“Magical Narratives” Fredric Jameson



LIT 325 Modernism

In this course modernism is taken as a mode of representation in written and visual narratives. Modernism’s links to tradition will be investigated, with particular references to the human predicament as described by Darwin, Marx, Freud and Nietzche. The course will investigate modernist texts through the prism of this new way of looking at the human in mind.

Readings: Modernism, Peter Childs

The Waste Land, TS Eliot



LIT 326 Survey of Arabic Literature

Beginning with Jahiliyyah Poetry, the course will survey the main periods of Arabic literature: early, classical, post-Abbasid and modern.  Texts from Near East, Egypt, North Africa and Andalucia will be examined in terms of main movements, themes, genres, areas of influence, continuity and differences. The role of political, social and scientific developments in the emergence of literary forms in Arabic Literature will be discussed.

Readings: Arabic Literature to the End of the Umayyad Period, R. B. Serjeant

Arabic Literature in the Post-Classical Period, Roger Allen


LIT 350 Ulysses

James Joyce’s novel Ulysses is one of the best examples of how modernism engages with tradition. The novel will be read closely for the language it uses and intertexuality. The analysis of the text will reveal how the genres of the epic, theatre, romance and parody can be accommodated within the genre of the novel. Apart from a focus on genre and style, the text will be read through different schools such as postcolonial, feminist and Marxist theory and Ulysses will be a text that enables to students to practice the critical apparatus they have acquired.

Readings: Ulysses, James Joyce


LIT 370 Autobiography

Is it possible for a writer to speak of anything outside of his/her own field of experience? The course approaches all narratives through this question, and considers autobiography not only as a genre but also a method of writing. The forms autobiography has taken from the early days of narrative and writing will be explored along with contemporary expressions. There will be a special emphasis on the narrative voice, and selected texts will be examined in conjunction with categories of narratology. Autobiography will also be assessed in terms of the role it plays in identity construction.

Readings: Autobiography, Linda Anderson


LIT 360 Travel Literature

The course aims to introduce the students to the concepts and debates concerning travel literature. The genealogy of travel literature will be examined as it is an important component of orientalist literature and discourse. Special emphasis will be placed on the relationships that the traveller constructs between himself/herself, the location, and the native. These relationships will be examined particularly through power, class and gender relations. The readings will also consider the conjunction of autobiography and travel writing

Readings: Travel Writing, Carl Thompson

Seyahatname, Evliya Çelebi

Seven Pillars of Wisdom, T E Lawrence


LIT 380 Gender and Literature

In this course, gender and literature are examined in a twofold manner. First, the course is interested in the formation of gender in literary works by taking into account identity-formation processes in public and private spaces. Second, the course tackles preconceptions related to masculinity, femininity and creativity.  Topics will be discussed through seminal texts about literature and gender theory selected from different geographies and periods.

Readings: Literature and Gender, Lizbeth Goodman 

A Room of One’s Own, Virginia Woolf

Madwoman in the Attic: The Woman Writer and the Nineteenth-Century Literary Imagination, S. Gilbert and S. Gubar

Wide Sargasso Sea, Jean Rhys

Woman’s Body, Woman’s Word: Gender and Discourse in Arabo-Islamic Writing, Fedwa Malti-Douglas

“Gender-in(g) Biography: Ahmet Mithat (on Fatma Aliye) or the Canonization of an Ottoman Male Writer,” Hülya Adak



LIT 415 Languages and Identities: African Novels Written in English and French

Physical structures and forces of colonialism may disappear, but can the same be said for the mental and cultural structures that colonial ideologies create? What are their impacts on cultural and literary expressions of identity? In his book, Decolonizing the Mind, Ngugi wa Thiong’o critically engages with these questions, tracing the historical causes and prevalence of African literature written in colonial languages by African writers. This course introduces students to internationally acclaimed African fiction written in English and French, and explores the expressions of postcolonial and multilingual identities in selected texts.

Readings: Ngugi wa Thiong’o, Decolonizing the Mind: the Politics of Language in African Literature



LIT 421 Shakespeare in Translation

In this course selected Shakespeare plays will be read in parallel with their different Turkish translations. These translations will include early ones such as

by Selahattin Eyüboğlu and Halide Edib Adıvar, and with more contemporary ones.  Translation theories, and especially the concept of ‘untranslatibility’ will be considered in the choices that the translators have made. Analyzing translations from different periods will also give students an understanding of how the Turkish and English languages have transformed in time. Special attention will also be paid to ‘cultural translation’, encouraging an assessment of preconceptions and the cultural policies of different periods.

Readings: Hamlet, William Shakespeare, çev. Sabahattin Eyüpoğlu (1965)

Coriolanus, William Shakespeare, çev. Halide Edib Adıvar (1945)

Translation, Susan Bassnett


LIT 422 Comparative History of Foreign Language Teaching and Learning 

In this course, development of foreign language teaching and learning throughout history;  developed and reformed theories, methods and techniques; resources and applications; profiles of teacher and learner and its place in the curriculums of education are addressed and the contemporary shifts in the field and the academia are investigated.

Readings: Foundations of Foreign Language Teaching: Nineteenth-century Innovators, A.P.R. Howatt and Richard C. Smith

Modern Language Teaching: The Reform Movement, A.P.R. Howatt and Richard C. Smith



LIT 425 British Sentimental Fiction

The critical focus of this course is on the evolution of English sentimental fiction through the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Students will define the characteristics, history and purpose of sentimental fiction by examining examples of the literary genre, including Henry Mackenzie’s immensely popular Man of Feeling. Sentimentality is an intellectual and natural philosophical concept as much as it is an emotional one in eighteenth century Britain, with serious impacts on particular societies and age groups. The course contains the aim of close reading the ways in which structures of morality and social feeling are construed, so as to understand how these novels themselves both consolidate and react to said structures. Readings will be accompanied by texts of cultural criticism, and the course will end by extrapolating the present influences of the genre. This course also works with Gothic fiction, a genre very conducive to cultural critique, and that is still alive and well today.

Course books: The Culture of Sensibility in Eighteenth-Century: Sex and Society in Eighteenth-Century Britain, G.J. Barker-Benfield



LIT 432 Ottoman Muslim Women Writers

After an initial study of issues related to women’s writing and historiography, this course explores the process of Ottoman women’s involvement in public writing before and after the 19th century, the role traditional and modern educational institutions, development of public press and a changing discourse regarding women played in this process, and the family, literary and political circles writing women came from or participated in. It treats women’s literary productions in terms of content, form and genre characteristics. The course also compares the public position of Ottoman women as writing individuals with that of contemporary foreign women writers and Ottoman male writers.

Readings: A Social History of Late Ottoman Women: New Perspectives, Duygu Köksal and Anastasia Falierou

“On the Margins and Between the Lines: Otttoman Women Poets from the Fifteenth to the Twentieth Centuries,” Didem Havlioğlu

“The Limits of Feminism in Muslim-Turkish Women Writers of the Armistice Period (1918-1923),” Elif İkbal Mahir Metinsoy


LIT 433 City in Literature

City: the main structure of civilization, the center of ‘umran’, the concrete manifestation of social values and realities. How is the city imagined or what it imagines in different times & places and by which forms is it narrated? How do descriptions of the city, as the product of human consciousness and as its capacity, in turn, describe the human?  In this course students will explore symbolic, social and personal meanings of big cities from the view point of natives and foreigners, through novels and non-fiction from various geographies.

Readings: Beş Şehir, Ahmet Hamdi Tanpınar

Aziz İstanbul, Yahya Kemal

Samarkand, Amin Maalouf

Granada, Radwa Ashour

City of Quartz: Excavating the Future in Los Angeles, Mike Davis




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