The Empire that Can't Write Back: Ottoman-Turkish Literature and the Question of Postcoloniality


ACLS Project Development Grants




This project situates Ottoman-Turkish literature within a postcolonial studies framework in order to develop new paradigms for postcolonial theory that are able to encompass Turkey's experience as both an empire in its own right and as a site of European colonial intervention. This project follows a chronological structure, tracing the representation of imperialism in Ottoman-Turkish literature from the rise of the Ottoman novel in the late nineteenth century to mid-twentieth century efforts to record late Ottoman literary history. This framing offers a corrective to the Eurocentrist tendencies of postcolonial scholarship which have predominantly focused on the legacies of European empires and have overlooked the relationship of literature to empire in non-Western contexts.