Sibel Irzık, “Contemporary Turkish Women’s Literature Mourning and Politics”
In recent times, as in all over the world, in Turkey, discussing the possibilities and limits of the function of language, recording and moving to the future, and the social trauma and losses of literature is an important part of literary criticism. In this speech, I aim to discuss how the political losses in the recent history of Turkey, and even the loss of personal politics, can be seen in the reflection of literature and how women writers can install and transform the function of mourning in a literary ways. I will carry out this discussion with examples from the work of Ayşegül Devecioğlu, Aslı Erdoğan, Mine Söğüt and Birgül Oğuz.
Jale Parla, “Bodyless Voice: Metamorphosis in the Turkish Women’s Writing”
With its cultural, economic, political and epistemological transformations, Turkish modernization, which began two centuries ago, invited a series of serious ideological and identity discourses. In this way, it was inevitable that the theme of change in the Turkish novel would meet with a rhetoric that included inquiries on identity and selfhood. The novelists, having similar thoughts with the majority of intellectuals who argued that social change should be controlled by certain policies, related change with identity politics. In reaction to this formative social engineering rhetoric, another group of novelists chose to confront social change with a rhetoric of metamorphosis which implied unplanned, spontaneous, radical and sudden transformations and focused on questioning of selfhood rather than constructions of identity. This orientation which I call “the desire for metamorphosis”, nourished the more radical and creative vein of the Turkish novel with its aspect rebelling against the planned social change. Images, paths and stories of metamorphosis created a rhetoric used by novelists such as sevim Burak, peride Celal, Leyla Erbil, Latife Tekin, Aslı Erdoğan. I think this situation can be explained by the cultural position and history of woman in Turkey. In this study, I will examine the rhetoric of transformation expressed in women writers, especially in degenerative images of metamorphosis such as disappearance, corruption and deterioration. As a sample text, I will use Sevim Burak’s story book Yanık Saraylar (Burned Palaces) published in 1963.
“When Our Lips Speak Together. Some Thoughts on the relations between the Women’s Movement and Feminist Writing in Sweden”