News and events

Acts of Literary Creation: An Undergraduate Conference

19 April 2024

From storytelling and architectural design to moviemaking and economic production, the act of creating is intimately tied to our senses of self and community. What is creativity? What constitutes a creation? What constitutes a creature? What are the political implications of the act of creation? How might an attention to creativity impact our understandings of the history of literary thought?

Conference details

Keynote speaker: Prof. Mine Özyurt Kılıç (ASBU), “Narrative Acts of Empathy: Literature as a Medium for Emotional Engagement”


Bilkent Philosophy and Literature Colloquia

We collaborate with Bilkent’s Program for Cultures, Civilizations and Ideas and the Universities of Rijeka and Wisconsin-Madison on the topic of “philosophy and literature”. We feature a range of invited talks, some of which take place on Zoom and some live. Click here to subscribe to these events and receive the links to the Zoom events. For further information, you may contact the organisers: Andrea Selleri at , Patrick Fessenbecker at , or Atti Viragh at .

Spring 2024 Events

Fall 2023 Events

Spring 2023 Events

  • David S. Coombs (Clemson University): “Walter Pater and Literature as a Sensory Experience”. 1 March 2023.
  • Daniel Katz (University of Warwick): “Good Sameness: Ben Lerner’s Song of the Fungible.” 5 April 2023.
  • Eileen John (University of Warwick): “Moby-Dick and Money as an Ethical Test.” 10 May 2023.

Fall 2022 Events

  • Iris Vidmar Jovanović (University of Rijeka): “From Banned to Burnt for the Public Good: On the (Im)morality of Literature”. 12 October 2022. Abstract
  • C. Thi Nguyen (University of Utah): “Art as a Shelter from Science”. 28 October 2022. Abstract
  • Timothy Bewes (Brown University): “Free Indirect: The Novel in a Postfictional Age”. 9 December 2022.

Spring 2022 Events

  • Joshua Gang: “Derek Jarman and Everything That is the Case.” 1 April 2022. Abstract
  • Andrea Gadberry, “To Be Determined: On Literature’s Causes”. 28 April 2022. Abstract
  • Joshua Landy, “I’m like a Helicopter: For a Two-Point Theory of Creative Imagery”. 10 May 2022. Abstract

Fall 2021 Events

  • Dominic McIver Lopes, “Aesthetic Injustice: What It Is and Why It Matters.” 9 September 2021.
  • Robert Pippin, “Do the Arts Contribute to Philosophy?” 5 October 2021.
  • Roger Maioli, “Enlightenment Relativism: A Reassessment”. 21 October 2021.
  • Matthew Sussman, “Virtue Aesthetics”. 25 November 2021.
  • Toril Moi, “Wittgensteinian Literary Criticism? An Investigation of Stanley Cavell’s Essay on King Lear.” 6 December 2021. Abstract


Humanities Seminar Series

We host a series of talks by Ankara-based scholars illustrating some of their work in progress, with the aim of facilitating collaboration across faculties and universities for scholars interested in any field in the humanities. For more information, you may contact Andrea Selleri at

Fall 2023 Events

Spring 2023 Events

  • Kara McCormack (AMER): “Home. Family. Future: Authenticity, the Frontier Myth, and Dawn of the Planet of the Apes.” 22 March 2023.

Fall 2022 Events

  • Esra Almas (EDEB): “Strangers in a Strange Land: Jewish Memories of Istanbul”. 28 September 2022.
  • Seda Bahar Pancaroğlu (TOBB University): “Bringing back from the dead: Questioning Authors’ Agency in Postcolonial Biofiction”. 2 November 2022.


“Literature and Sustainability” lecture series

In 2022, as part of Bilkent’s “Year of Sustainability,” the Departments of English Language and Literature and American Culture and Literature hosted a lecture series on “Literature and Sustainability.”

  • John Parham (University of Worcester): “News from Somewhere: How Nineteenth-Century Writers Imagined Sustainability.” 4 April 2022.
  • Vesna Kuiken (University at Albany, State University of New York): “Life on the Rocks: Celia Thaxter on Ecological Memory.” 21 April 2022.
  • Priscilla Ybarra (University of North Texas): “Sustainability or Reciprocity?: Why Stories Matter.” 10 May 2022.