NEWS AND EVENTS: 2012-2013

In April 2013: The Department of English Language and Literature presented a lecture by Assoc. Prof. Dr. RoseAnna Mueller, a faculty member at the Columbia College Chicago, in the Department of Humanities, History and Social Sciences. She worked as the Humanities Coordinator from 1996 to 1999, and is currently the Director of the Women's/Gender Studies Minor. Prof. Mueller came from Chicago to introduce "Women Narrating Latin American Women's Lives", with the goal of inspiring the interest of the Bilkenters in Latin American Literature.

Firstly, Prof. Mueller talked about the Venezuelan author Teresa de la Parra's Three Lectures: Women's Influence in the Formation of the American Soul (1930), which defined women's active roles in Latin American History. De la Parra believed that it was her duty to inform her audience about women's contributions to Latin American History through action in the past and writing in the future. Secondly, Mueller discussed an important literary genre, testimonio which allows women, excluded from society because of class, race and gender distinctions, to have a voice in society.

Mueller also delivered an overview of three melodramatic testimonies of Rigoberta Menchú (Guatemala), Domitila de Chungarra (Bolivia), and Reyita de los Santos (Cuba). In these testimonies, three upper-middle class women depict the harsh lives of three ordinary women, who face race, class and gender distinctions as well as financial problems in their patriarchal societies.

Finally, Mueller talked about the importance of film-making in the depiction of women's lives. The Argentinian filmmaker María Luisa Bemberg's movie Yo la peor de todas is about the life of the intellectual colonial Mexican nun Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz, and the movie Camila tells us the dramatic story of Camila O'Gorman, who fights against her family and society to be with her Lover.

Assoc. Prof. Dr. Mueller's talk, Women Narrating Latin American Women's Lives, can be viewed at

In December 2012: The latest project of the Department of English Language and Literature was the production of "The Salvation of Stephen Dedalus", a new play written and directed by Associate Professor Don Randall. The play is based on James Joyce's novel A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, from which it takes some of its scenes and characters. Most of the dialogues and situations, however, are original. Don Randall played four roles; Assistant Professor Patrick Hart played James Joyce. Acting Chair, Dr. Gül Kurtulus, was the production manager. Some major and minor roles were played by ELIT students, including the title character, played by Berat Melih Kalender. The presentation of several minor roles and much of the backstage support for the play had been undertaken by students of the Department of American Culture and Literature, with the cooperation of Dr Christopher Rivera. Some important roles were performed by students from various other departments, and four international exchange students also participated.

The action of the play takes place in Dublin, in the last years of the nineteenth century. Stephen Dedalus's schooldays are portrayed, along with selected moments of his family life. The play shows scenes of his adolescence, including the precocious and troubling emergence his adult sexuality. Stephen's short-lived but intensely experienced interest in becoming a priest is closely examined. The play ends with Stephen's university graduation and his decision to leave his native land in pursuit of a successful career as a literary artist.

Each of the three productions can be seen at

LIST OF CHARACTERS (in order of appearance)

  • JAMES JOYCE - Patrick Hart
  • STEPHEN DEDALUS - Melih Kalender
  • SIMON DEDALUS (Stephen's father) - Don Randall
  • NASTY ROCHE - Dina Rishmawi
  • JIMMY WELLNES - Ceren Turan
  • MASTER - Ali Kivanç Güldürür
  • WATT - Sarah Heajin Kim
  • FLEMING - Sarah Hasanat
  • PREFECT OF STUDIES - Don Randall
  • MRS DEDALUS (Stephen's mother) - Selen Yilmaz
  • MRS RIORDAN - Bengisu Özkan
  • MR JOHN CASEY - Ahmet Can Vargün
  • 1st WOMAN (prostitute) - Nazli Yalçin
  • 2nd WOMAN (prostitute) - Selen Yilmaz
  • 3rd WOMAN (prostitute) - Asli Emekçi
  • EMMA - Özde Koçak
  • HERON - Erolcan Talas
  • BOLAND - Kaan Can Oyman
  • WALLIS - Ece Kurtulus
  • WOMAN (Salley) - Ceren Turan
  • JOHNNY CASHMAN - Khader F. I. Salama
  • BARMAID - Selen Yilmaz
  • ENNIS - Taylan Topuz
  • LAWLESS - Dina Rishmawi
  • RECTOR - Don Randall
  • EXTRA SCHOOLBOYS - Ayça Tan, Meriç Unarda, Merve Unarda, Seren Bayraktar
  • LUCKY LAWTON - Yusuf Sönmez
  • PRIEST (confessional) - Ali Kivanç Güldürür
  • MAURICE - Sera Abdul Aziz
  • EILEEN - Nimet Poyraz
  • BUCK MULLIGAN - Erolcan Talas
  • TOWSER - Kaan Can Oyman
  • BIRD GIRL - Ceren Turan
  • PROFESSOR - Don Randall
  • McCANN - Ahmet Can Vargün
  • EXTRA UNIVERSITY STUDENTS - Ayça Tan, Meriç Unarda, Merve Unarda, Seren Bayraktar
  • TEMPLE - Serhat Basak
  • STAGE MANAGERS: Öykü Su Akbel, Arda Koç, Ayça Özgüven
  • TECHNICAL SUPPORT: Ahmet Can Vargün
  • TECHNICAL SUPPORT (Lighting and Sound): Betül Erdem
  • COSTUME and PROPS: Gül Kurtulus, Rabia Betül Kubilay, Eda Özsahin
  • MUSIC SELECTION: Don Randall
  • MUSIC ARRANGEMENT: Kaan Can Oyman, Taylan Topuz

On November 27, 2012, Bilkent ELIT graduate Ezgi Kiraçli (2001) delivered a talk on John Milton's epic Paradise Lost as part of ELIT 355 Major Writers of the Renaissance. There were about twenty students in the room (T268), with ELIT's Asst. Prof. Dr. Patrick Hart and Dr. Gül Kurtulus present as well as Kiraçli's advisor, Dr. Peter Starr, who has taught some of the students' World Mythology and Appreciation of Literature in their freshman and sophomore years.

Kiraçli's talk is entitled "Paradise Lost: The Metaphorical Mind of John Milton". The idea that Satan's state of mind in Milton's work shows similarities to that of Milton's was of central importance to her argument. Kiraçli started her speech by giving substantial historical background information about Paradise Lost, explaining the great influence of 17th century English politics on the work.

Ezgi Kiraçli's talk can be viewed at

In November 2012, distinguished Professor Dr. Bülent Bozkurt, a Shakespeare scholar and translator who worked not only on Shakespeare's sonnets and plays but also on John Donne's selected poems, gave a talk entitled "Shakespeare's Eternal Lines and Intriguing Characters" on Wednesday, 7 November at Bilkent University. Prof. Bozkurt was the first dean at Bilkent University's Faculty of Humanities and Letters (1986) and the first chair of the Department of English Language and Literature. From 1986 till 1996, he worked as the Vice Rector for Student Affairs and was the Dean of Faculty of Humanities and Letters until 2005, the year he retired.

His scholarly interest in Shakespeare was materialized through his doctoral dissertation on Othello and the idea of tragedy in the Renaissance. He wrote at the Shakespeare Institute at Birmingham and Stratford-upon-Avon. He taught at Hacettepe University until 1986, when he became part of the academic community at Bilkent University, where he taught courses to graduates and undergraduates mainly on Shakespeare, the Renaissance, metaphysical poetry, translation and mythology.

Dr. Bozkurt's talk can be viewed at

In October 2012, the conference Dickens: Births, Marriages, Deaths, which took place October 19-20, was co-organized and co-sponsored by the ELIT department at Bilkent University and the School of English at Aristotle University in Thessaloniki, with Valerie Kennedy from ELIT Bilkent and Katerina Kitsi-Mitakou from the School of English at Aristotle University as the two organizers as well as a great deal of much-appreciated help from some of the undergraduate and graduate students at Aristotle University.

The two keynote speakers, Michael Hollington and Cathy Waters, are both eminent Dickens scholars. Their papers, "Ji: minor Characters at Dickensian Weddings" and "Dickens, 'First Things' and the Rites of Growing Up", provided insightful and highly entertaining introductions to the two days of the conference.

Other noted Dickens and nineteenth-century scholars at the conference were David Parker, Dominic Rainsford, Catherine Robson, Victor Sage, and Jeremy Tambling. The conference provided an opportunity for scholars from the UK, Greece, Turkey, Germany, the USA, India, and Japan to exchange ideas in a friendly and cordial atmosphere. Members of the Bilkent ELIT department who attended the conference were Ayse Çelikkol, Valerie Kennedy, and Gül Kurtulus. The publication of selected papers from the conference is planned, with editing by Valerie Kennedy and Katerina Kitsi-Mitakou.

See the conference programme for more information.

In September 2012: Dr. Patrick Hart was warmly welcomed to the Department of English Language and Literature. Dr. Hart obtained his B.A. in Philosophy & English Literature from the University of Manchester, winning the Michael Polanyi Prize for the highest graduating grade in Philosophy that year. He then earned his M.A. in 'Literature, Culture and Modernity' at Queen Mary College, University of London, before going on to doctoral study on contemporary experimental British poetry at Kings College, London, funded by a British Academy scholarship. Before completing his doctoral studies he moved to Italy, where he worked as a translator: his co-translation with Dr. Mariangela Palladino (Glasgow) of Elsa Morante's La canzone degli F.P. e degli I.M. in tre parti was published in 2007 by Transference.

He then returned to the United Kingdom, gaining a Masters in Literature in Renaissance Studies from the Scottish Institute for Northern Renaissance Studies (run jointly by the universities of Edinburgh, Glasgow, Stirling and Strathclyde). He received his Ph.D. in English from Strathclyde University in 2011, with a doctoral thesis on Petrarch and his reception in England and Scotland. From 2010 to 2012, he worked as a lecturer in English Language and Literature at Istanbul Kültür University. With Dr. Sebastiaan Verweij (Oxford), he is co-founder and editor of the Journal of the Northern Renaissance, a peer-reviewed, open access journal dedicated to the study of both the cultural productions and the conceptualization of the Renaissance in the north.

Department of English Language and Literature
Faculty of Humanities and Letters
Bilkent University
Ankara, TURKEY 06800
Phone: +90 312 290 19 30
Fax: +90 312 290 10 73
Administrative Assistant: Elif Yalçın