Students in our department take part in a wide range of activities outside the classroom, including plays and other dramatic productions, film nights, poetry readings, creative writing workshops, and seminars. Many of these activities are student-led, while others are organised or facilitated by members of faculty. We also run a series of Faculty Seminars, at which members of the department and invited speakers from around the world present their latest research.

Members of the department also organise and/or participate actively in a number of cross-faculty workshops, including the Humanities Reading Group and the Medieval and Early Modern Working Papers Group (BilMEM).

Below are some photographs from past department activities involving students and faculty:

Poetry Readings
The department has held a number of poetry readings in recent years, at which faculty and students have recited or performed together. Usually held in Bilkent Library’s Gallery, these events have often showcased work that had its beginnings in the department’s creative writing workshops.

Drama Workshops
Since Prof. Talat Halman founded the department it has had a special relationship to Shakespeare and his works. The department has held a number of talks and performance workshops dedicated to Shakespeare – in the images below you can see students’ performances and adaptations of scenes from Hamlet, Antony and Cleopatra, and other plays.

Dramatic Productions
Triestine Joyce, by Don Randall – an original play by a former member of faculty, set during James Joyce’s sojourn in Trieste.

The Salvation of Stephen Dedalus – an adaptation to the stage of James Joyce’s A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, written and directed by former member of faculty Prof. Don Randall, and featuring faculty and students acting alongside each other.

Blood Wedding – a 2012 production of Federico García Lorca’s play directed by Erdi Mamikoğlu, then a student of the Department of Performance Art, and Dr Gül Kurtuluş of the Department of English Language and Literature as Stage Director.

The Importance of Being Earnest – a 2009 production of Oscar Wilde’s play directed by Dr Gül Kurtuluş of the Department of English Language and Literature.

Arms and the Man – a 2009 production of George Bernard Shaw’s play directed by Dr Gül Kurtuluş of the Department of English Language and Literature.


Visiting Speakers
The Department of English Language and Literature regularly hosts visiting speakers. Most of our visiting speakers are academics who come to present and discuss their latest research, but we also invite speakers from beyond the academic world, such as journalist Hümeyra Pamuk and photographer  Ümit Bektaş, who came from Reuters News Agency to discuss the relation of image and text with students taking an elective in ‘Literature and Photography’.

Since 2021, the ELIT department in collaboration with the Program for Cultures, Civilizations and Ideas and the Department of American Culture and Literature, and since 2023 the Universities of Rijeka and Wisconsin-Madison, host a number of invited talks. Click here for more details.