Travels in Turkey

TURKISH 5241: Travels in Turkey

Turkish culture, politics and religion seen through the eyes of foreign travelers in the period from the 14th to the 20th centuries.  Prereq: 2241, 2701 or grad standing. Not open to students with credit for 641.

Travel is often a metaphor for an inner journey of personal development, or for conquest by way of knowledge of the unknown. In travel literature as a genre, positions taken by writers with regard to their material tend toward one of these poles; the subjective journey to self-discovery, or the objective fact-finding mission. This is no less the case in memoir, especially when written in a foreign language as a means to convey information about one's country to foreigners. This course will analyze the purposes of travel writing and one memoir in the case of Turkey, paying attention to the problematics and cliches of Turkey as the bridge between East and West, the site of transition between old and new - the Ottoman Empire and the Turkish Republic, Islam and secularism, the Middle Ages and modernity - and the political model for Mid-East nation states.
Credit Hours