Transnational Feminisms and Contemporary Turkish Women Writers in English Translation: Theories, Texts and Practices


Monday, November 02, 2020, 15:30 p.m.


Zoom Meeting Info:
Meeting Room 140
Meeting ID: 935 1634 7871
Passcode : 856917



Problematizing monolithic and totalizing articulations of “woman” and oppression, transnational feminist theories underline the diverse, intersectional and multiple workings of local and global issues in women’s lives. Comparative and contextual frames foregrounded by transnational feminisms also value the formations of resistance and solidarity within and across borders. In this seminar, I discuss that approaching literary texts through a transnational feminist lens can facilitate strong sites of feminist praxis and activism that could build bridges across cultures. I refer to several contemporary Turkish women writers, such as Aslı Erdoğan, Sema Kaygusuz and Ece Temelkuran, translators and publishers to draw attention to the concerns noted in the circulation, perception and reception of Turkish literature abroad which often reveal various forms of bias and reductionist perspectives such as Eurocentrism. Emphasizing the multi-layered contexts and diverse themes of the selected texts in translation, I also argue that transnational feminist engagement with literature and translation can help us show the ways sexism, authoritarianism, capitalism and Eurocentrism, among others, create different forms of oppression and resistance that would challenge biased, inaccurate and stereotypical representations of women and/in Turkey. This interplay of transnational feminisms, literature and translation invites us not only to explore the challenges transnational communication encounters but also to create scholarly and pedagogical activities that would decolonize academia and the publishing industry, and form nuanced networks of solidarity.


Şule Akdoğan earned her PhD from the Middle East Technical University in 2016 with a dissertation titled “Local Feminisms: A Comparative Analysis of Feminist Literary Theory and Practice in the 1970s in Britain, America and Turkey.” She was a Visiting Research Fellow at the University of Warwick from September 2018 to September 2020. She also worked as an instructor in the Department of English Language and Literature at Bilkent University from February 2017 to August 2018. Her current research interests include transnational feminisms, feminist literary theory, women’s writing, Turkish literature and comparative literature. Her most recent publications include “World’-Travelling and Transnational Feminist Praxis in Women Who Blow on Knots” which has been published in Frontiers: A Journal of Women Studies for the special issue: “World-Making and World-Traveling with Decolonial Feminisms and Women of Color.”