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Fellows 2022/23

Burcu Alkan

received her PhD at the University of Manchester (2009). Her thesis was published as Promethean Encounters: Representation of the Intellectual in the Modern Turkish Novel of the 1970s (2018). After having worked at various universities, she took up a post as senior research fellow at Justus Liebig University on a fellowship supported by the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation (2017-2020). She specialises in comparative literature with a focus on the modern Turkish novel. She is the co-editor of a two-volume reference work: Dictionary of Literary Biography: Turkish Novelists Since 1960 (2013 & 2016). She also co-edited a volume titled Turkish Literature as World Literature (2021), which locates Turkish literature in the world literary scene as a source of influence and challenges the conventions in world and Turkish literary studies. Alkan is currently working within the field of medical humanities with an interest in the relationship between literature and psychiatry, sciences of the mind, and mental health. In the academic year 2021/22, she is a EUME Fellow.

From Pseudo-Medicine to Freudo-Marxism: The Impact of Psychoanalysis on the Twentieth Century Turkish Novel

This project examines the impact of psychoanalysis as an epistemological field on the modern Turkish novelistic imagination and investigates the transcultural manifestation of psychoanalytical theory in the Turkish literary intellectual sphere. It seeks to go beyond the “psychology of literature” or “literary psychology” approaches towards a new interdisciplinary understanding of literature and psychiatry from the vantage point of the fields of medical humanities and transcultural psychiatry.
The study begins with the introduction of psychoanalytical discourse into the medical field in Turkey and explores the ways in which it evolves, corresponding to the global developments, as an ideational theme in the Turkish novel. The project thus investigates how psychoanalytical theory became a significant contact zone to discuss broader issues beyond psych-fields. Several works are chosen as case studies in order to discuss “the transcultural impact of psychoanalysis on the modern Turkish novel from pseudo-medicine to Freudo-Marxism,” such as those of Peyami Safa (1800-1961), Ahmet Hamdi Tanpınar (1901-1961), Attilâ İlhan (1925-2005), and Leyla Erbil (1931-2013).

Razan Ghazzawi

(they/she) received their PhD in Gender and Sexuality Studies from the University of Sussex, Brighton. They also hold an MA in Gender, Sexuality, and the Body from the University of Leeds, UK, and an MA in Comparative Literature from Balamand University in Lebanon. In their thesis “Pedagogies of Everyday Queer Protests: Rethinking Political Subjectivity and Violence in Syria and Lebanon 2011-2021,” they examine everyday queer and trans encounters at checkpoints, prisons, and queer asylum in the contexts of ‘war on terror’ and the ‘refugee crisis.’ Based on 10 months of ethnographic and autoethnographic fieldwork, this research looks at how notions of protests, violence, and political subjects have relied on heteronormative and binary logic that ignored nonbinary forms of everyday protests. Razan is a EUME Fellow in the academic year 2022/23. They are a former prisoner from the Syrian state and an award winner of Frontline Defender in 2012.

From Carceral Geographies to Racialized Borders: A Queer Feminist Ethnography

From a positionality of an exiled protestor in Europe and a previous political prisoner in Syria, this postdoctoral project traces the journeys of eight self-identified Syrian and Palestinian LGBTQ artists, workers, performers, and refugees from their temporary locations of exile in Lebanon to their refugee locations in Europe. It explores the interlocutors’ temporal encounters with geographies of checkpoints and prisons in Syria and Lebanon on the one hand, and racialized borders of Europe, on the other. In doing so, this project investigates narratives of what Rima Hammami calls “carceral geographies” (Hammami, 2015) and surviving checkpoints, prisons, and asylum journeys from Syria and Lebanon to Europe. In doing so, this project investigates stories of navigating and surviving racialized borders as LGBTQ refugees of color and explores how this experience is securitized and militarized. Furthermore, this project explores emotional labor and care (Raha 2017) as affective forms of protest in the context of military carceral states in Syria and Lebanon and Europe’s ‘refugee crisis.’ This fellowship will be dedicated to interviewing and exploring the journeys of eight self-identified Syrian and Palestinian LGBTQ persons who fled Syria and Lebanon to Europe and how they view their asylum experiences in relation to previous experiences in Syria and Lebanon.

Kaoutar Ghilani

is a EUME Fellow at the Forum Transregionale Studien during the academic year 2022/23. She received her doctorate in Middle Eastern Studies from the University of Oxford as an Ertegun scholar (2022) for her thesis “Discourses of Failure: Arabisation and Nation-Building in Morocco.” She also holds a Bachelor’s degree Cum Laude in Social Sciences and Middle Eastern Studies (2015) and a Research Master’s degree Cum Laude in Political Theory (2017) from Sciences Po Paris. She was a tutor of ‘Politics in the Middle East’ at Oxford and a visiting researcher at the Centre Jacques Berque in Morocco. Her work has been published in the British Journal of Middle Eastern Studies, the Bulletin of Francophone Postcolonial Studies, Review of Middle East Studies, and the Journal of North African Studies. She is currently preparing a monograph on language politics and nation-building in the Maghreb.

Failing the Nation? The Rise and Fall of Arabisation in the Maghreb

Kaoutar Ghilani’s research investigates the disavowal by Maghrebi postcolonial states (Morocco, Algeria, and Tunisia) of a main element of their decolonial nation-building: Arabisation. Replacing French with Standard Arabic in the public space after independence, Arabisation was a key nationalist demand representing an endogenous modernity project for the Maghreb that was distinct from both the West’s and the Middle East’s. Once a largely consensual — or at least not contested — policy associated with decolonisation, Arabisation has nevertheless grown increasingly controversial, especially in education, as claims of its ‘failure’ poured from across the political spectrum. While the discourse bracketing Arabisation with ‘failure’ has entrenched itself in the public sphere, no formal evaluation of the policy has been ever conducted. In 2019, Morocco and Algeria announced a turn towards French and English, respectively, in their education systems. How has the discourse on the ‘failure of Arabisation’ become dominant in the Maghreb and what implications does it have for nation-building? During her time as a EUME fellow, Kaoutar Ghilani aims to expand on her doctoral thesis to write a monograph on the political history of the discourse on the ‘failure’ of Arabisation in the Maghreb. The book traces the circulation of the idea of the Arabisation’s ‘failure’ at a regional level, analyses the political, cultural, economic, and social reasons that have allowed this discourse to become dominant, and studies the ways it has impacted Moroccan, Algerian, and Tunisian nation-building.

Zur Website Fachbereich Philosophie und Geisteswissenschaften
Dahlem Research School
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