June 10, 2009
Assist. Prof. Charles Sabatos
TURKISH IMAGES IN CENTRAL EUROPEAN LITERATURE AND POPULAR CULTURE
Assist. Prof. Charles Sabatos received his Ph.D. in Comparative Literature at the University of Michigan. His main fields of research are Central European and American literature, especially the modern novel. He has published articles in journals as Comparative Literature Studies, Europe Asia Studies, and Middle Eastern Studies, as well as translations from Czech and Slovak literature into English.
Assist. Prof. Charles Sabatos currently teaches American and world literature in the English language and literature department at Yeditepe University. He talked about the way that Central European (Czech, Slovak, Polish, and Hungarian) writers used images and stereotypes of the Turks to develop their national identity, particularly during the decline of the Ottoman Empire in the nineteenth century. He argued that in each stage of its adaptation across genres, the underlying symbolism of the Turkish “other” -from historical event to folklore, poetry to popular culture- has changed in relation to the decline of imperial power in Central and Eastern Europe and the growing sense of modern national identity. He also gave examples of songs and paintings to illustrate the Turkish image.