Başak Çandar is Assistant Professor of World Literature at Appalachian State University, North Carolina. She completed her PhD in Comparative Literature at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor in 2014. She holds a BA in English and Hispanic Studies from Macalester College.
Her doctoral thesis, titled “Representations of State Violence in Twentieth Century Turkish and Spanish Literature,” examines the formal and ethical challenges of representing state violence fictionally, using examples from the twentieth century Turkish and Spanish literature. Her work also explores the dynamics between official (national) narratives and literature, discussing the national identities of Turkey and Spain and their formation vis-à-vis the image of Europe.
As a EUME Fellow, she will work on a book manuscript based on her dissertation, focusing on comparison as methodology and placing the Turkey-Spain comparison within the World Literature framework. She is especially interested in expanding her work on literature during transitions from military regimes to democracy in the 1970s and 80s.
Saleem Al-Bahloly has just completed a PhD in the Department of Anthropology at the University of California, Berkeley. He has an A.B., also in Anthropology, from the University of Chicago. With a focus on the Middle East, his research concerns the other histories of modern art outside the context of its formation in Europe between the fifteenth and nineteenth centuries. He is in particular interested in the relation between those other histories and the histories of political violence. His dissertation, “The Freedom of Despair: Art and Violence in the Middle East, 1941-1979,” examined the establishment of a practice of modern art in Baghdad, in the context of both the public sphere, that had emerged with the new Iraqi state, and a wider cultural revival across the former Arabic-speaking provinces of the Ottoman Empire. It traced the development of a particular form of critique in this practice of art as that public sphere was collapsing in the sixties and seventies, a critique that responded to a new kind of violence that was appearing not only in Iraq but across the Arab world.
Refqa Abu-Remaileh is an Alexander von Humboldt postdoctoral fellow (2014-16). Her academic research revolves around the intersections between modern Arabic literature and film. She received her PhD and MSt in modern Middle Eastern Studies from the University of Oxford (2010, 2004) and her BA in English Literature from the University of British Columbia (2002). Abu-Remaileh’s doctoral thesis examined the creative works of two Palestinian citizens of Israel: the novels of Emile Habibi (1922—1996) and the films of Elia Suleiman (1960—). After completing her PhD, Abu-Remaileh worked with the Oxford Research Group’s Middle East Programme, a conflict-resolution organization focusing on the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. She created a new strategic thinking group involving Palestinian citizens of Israel.
She was previously a EUME fellow at the Forum Transregionale Studien (2012-13) and will continue to be affiliated with the Forum for the duration of her postdoc. She is also hosted by the Philipps Universität Marburg's Center for Near and Middle Eastern Studies (CNMS) , working closely with Prof. Friederike Pannewick. She is currently completing a book project expanding upon her doctoral dissertation and her new project looks at the aesthetics of resistance and subversion in the works of the post-Oslo generation of Palestinian writers and filmmakers.