I am a historian of Western Turkish literature and literary culture who is trained as a philologist my interests include formulations of gender in Ottoman and Modern Turkish literatures, literary circles and literary competition in Anatolian Turkic city-states and the Ottoman Empire within a large frame of literature as a consistent and pervasive human experience. My courses on Ottoman and Modern Turkish cultures and literatures as well as language courses in Ottoman Turkish and advanced level modern Turkish language incorporate verbal and visual texts to investigate the role of literature and arts in the formation of societies.
Western Turkish came into being in the 13th century Anatolia as a written medium and became the official and literary language of the Ottoman Empire and continued to be one of the foundational aspects of Turkishness in the Republic of Turkey. The time period, I am interested in starts with the early Anatolian texts and continues until today with a focus on 13th to 16th century literary and official texts. While working on Anatolian/Ottoman Turkish texts, I also examine the role of Arabic and Persian literary cultures on Anatolian vernacular cultures and imperial literature of the Ottoman Empire as well as involve comparison with medieval world literary traditions. My work on modern Ottoman and Turkish literary culture draws on the world literature framework with references to modern European and other Middle Eastern literary cultures.
Currently, I am working on three articles that tackle issues of gender and racialization in Ottoman literary texts with a focus on the place of literary production in the lives of Ottoman political elite and intellectuals. I also continue my work on an edition and translation of an early 16th century Ottoman Turkish prosometric literary text on sexuality and illegitimate sexual acts that is based on my dissertation. I am also at the early stages of a monograph project on 'gazel' form and its transmission and function among the Ottoman governing and intellectual elite.
My graduate teaching involved not only Ottoman and Turkish studies, but literary and historical study of the Near and Middle East due to my interest in historiography and methodologies and through my graduate course on Methodologies in Near and Middle Eastern Studies.
- "Early, Yet Already Late: Literary Musings on Historical Questions." Journal of the Ottoman and Turkish Studies Association, vol. 7 no. 1, 2020, p. 55-57. Project MUSE muse.jhu.edu/article/762063.
- "Les gitons d’Istanbul à la fin du XVIII e siècle: Extrait du Hubanname d’Enderunlu Fazıl bey," co-authored with Irvin Cemil Schick, in Les Ottomans par eux-memes, edited by Elisabetta borromeo and Nicolas Vatin (Paris, France: Les Belles Lettres, 2020): 89-98.
- Enderunlu Fazıl's Istanbul: Istanbul Beyond the Human Mind
- “A Radical Discourse of Desire: Küsnâme,” Yıllık: Annual of Istanbul Studies 1 (2019), 166-169. Download PDF (7 MB)
- Kuru, Selim S. "Sex in the Text: Deli Birader's Dâfi'ü 'l-gumûm ve Râfi'ü 'l-humûm and the Ottoman Literary Canon." Middle Eastern Literatures 10, no. 2 (August 2007): 157-174.
- Kuru, Selim S., "Generic Desires: Homoerotic Love in Ottoman Turkish Poetry," in Homoerotic Desire in Islam and Christianity: 12th-20th centuries edited by Umberto Grassi (Rome, Italy: Viella English Series, 2020).
Research Advised: Graduate Masters Theses
- Windhauser, Bret. "Pushing Boundaries: Israeli-Palestinian Smuggling Across Border Walls" (2020). Thesis.
- White, Marita, "Edible Landscape: Agricultural and Social Gardens in Topkapı Sarayı, 1453- 1800" (2017). Thesis.
- Facer, Christopher, "Holding Multiple Nationalism: Perspectives of an Albanian Ottoman" (2017). Thesis.
- Harrington, Lydia, "Architecture and Nation-Building in Mid-20th Century Urban Turkey and Iraq" (2014). Thesis.
- Altug, Bedii, "The 1991 International Contemporary Turkic Alphabets Symposium and its Contributions to the Turkic Alphabet Reform" (2014). Thesis. Yücel Koç, Melike, "Emotion Language and Emotion Narratives of Turkish-English Late Bilinguals" (2011).Dissertations and Theses. Paper 208.
- Klempner, Peter, "Metamorphosis of the Performing Arts: Understandings of Sexuality and Nationalism in the 19th Century Ottoman Empire" (2013). Thesis.
- Burton, Josef, "Complicating Youth in Contemporary Turkey: Cultural Activism and a New Muslim Youth Identity", (2013). Thesis
- NELC Major Piper Coyner Awarded UW President's Medal - May 26, 2020
- Nowruz 2020: A Message from NELC - PISP - March 20, 2020
- On gazel, ethno-geography and desire: Two talks and a short article by Selim S. Kuru - January 6, 2020
- End of the Year Reception - June 12, 2019
- 5th year of cooperation with the NELC-PISP Iranian Film Initiative at SIFF and films from our region at the Festival - May 6, 2019
- Nowruz at UW - April 30, 2019
- Turks in Germany: A Panel on a Documentary Film - November 29, 2018
- DEATH OF POLITICS: Turkey in 21st Century with Professor Reşat Kasaba - September 24, 2018
- NELC-PISP Presents Third Iran Film Initiative in collaboration with SIFF 2018 - May 17, 2018
- Graduate Student Conference in Middle East Studies - May 9, 2018
- Streetwise Istanbul with Meghan Sayres - April 11, 2018
- University of Washington inaugural Nowruz Celebration on Radio Iranshahr - March 22, 2018
- Ece Temelkuran: Turkish and Ottoman Studies Program Annual Lecture Series 2018 - March 21, 2018