Arslan, Ceylan Ceyhun

Harvard University, Koç Üniversitesi

Research Topic: Ambivalences of Ottoman Modernity: Nahda, Tanzimat, and World Literature

Dr. Arslan received his Ph.D. from the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations at Harvard University in 2017 and will start working as an Assistant Professor of English Language and Comparative Literature at Koç University in 2018. As an ANAMED Fellow, he is working on his book project, “Ambivalences of Ottoman Modernity: Nahda, Tanzimat, and World Literature,“ which undermines the typical scholarly view that nahda—which refers to Arab cultural revival or “awakening”—and tanzimat—which refers to both statewide imperial reforms and the late Ottoman Turkish literature—were two separate movements that took shape solely under the Western influence. To show that these movements were instead constitutive of each other, his monograph re-examines nahda and tanzimat under the larger umbrella term “Ottoman modernity” and re-contextualizes modern Arabic and Turkish literatures of the nineteenth and early twentieth century within a multilingual Ottoman cultural milieu instead of their respective national communities. “Ambivalences of Ottoman Modernity“ also proposes that fundamental notions in the world literature scholarship need to be revised for a nuanced understanding of the late Ottoman Empire, hence giving a close reading of Arabic and Turkish literary texts to provide new theoretical perspectives on translation, intertextuality, and world literature.