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Selim Sırrı Kuru

Associate Professor
Director of Turkish and Ottoman Studies Program
Graduate Program Coordinador
Selim Kuru

Contact Information

(206) 543-4959
Denny 220F
Office Hours: 
by appointment through email


Ph.D., NELC, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA, 2000
M.A., Boğaziçi University, Sosyal Bilimler Enstitüsü, İstanbul, Turkey, 1993

I am a historian of Western Turkish literature and literary culture who is trained as a philologist my interests include formulations of gender in Ottoman and Modern Turkish literatures, literary circles and literary competition in Anatolian Turkic city-states and the Ottoman Empire within a large frame of literature as a consistent and pervasive human experience. My courses on Ottoman and Modern Turkish cultures and literatures as well as language courses in Ottoman Turkish and advanced level modern Turkish language incorporate verbal and visual texts to investigate the role of literature and arts in the formation of societies.

Western Turkish came into being in the 13th century Anatolia as a written medium and became the official and literary language of the Ottoman Empire and continued to be one of the foundational aspects of Turkishness in the Republic of Turkey.  The time period, I am interested in starts with the early Anatolian texts and continues until today with a focus on 13th to 16th century literary and official texts. While working on Anatolian/Ottoman Turkish texts, I also examine the role of Arabic and Persian literary cultures on Anatolian vernacular cultures and imperial literature of the Ottoman Empire as well as involve comparison with medieval world literary traditions. My work on modern Ottoman and Turkish literary culture draws on the world literature framework with references to modern European and other Middle Eastern literary cultures.

Currently, I am working on three articles that tackle issues of gender and racialization in Ottoman literary texts with a focus on the place of literary production in the lives of Ottoman political elite and intellectuals. I also continue my work on an edition and translation of an early 16th century Ottoman Turkish prosometric literary text on sexuality and illegitimate sexual acts that is based on my dissertation. I am also at the early stages of a monograph project on 'gazel' form and its transmission and function among the Ottoman governing and intellectual elite.

My graduate teaching involved not only Ottoman and Turkish studies, but literary and historical study of the Near and Middle East due to my interest in historiography and methodologies and through my graduate course on Methodologies in Near and Middle Eastern Studies.  



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