Laurent Mignon is Associate Professor of Turkish language and literature at the University of Oxford, a Fellow of St Antony’s College and Affiliate Professor at the Luxembourg School of Religion and Society. He is the author of, among others, Ana Metne Taşınan Dipnotlar: Türk Edebiyatı ve Kültürlerarasılık Üzerine Yazılar [Footnotes Moving to the Main Text: Writings on Turkish Literature and Interculturalism] (Istanbul, 2009), Hüzünlü Özgürlük : Yahudi Edebiyatı ve Düşüncesi Üzerine Yazılar [A Sad State of Freedom: Writings on Jewish Literature and Thought] (Istanbul, 2014) and Uncoupling Language and Religion: An Exploration into the Margins of Turkish Literature (Boston, 2021).
Uncoupling Language and Religion is an invitation to rethink our understanding of Turkish literature as a tale of two “others”. First, the book looks at the contributions of non-Muslim authors, the “others” of modern Turkey, to the development of Turkish literature during the late Ottoman and early republican period, focusing on the works of largely forgotten authors. Then, it discusses Turkey as the “other” of the West and the way authors writing in Turkish challenged orientalist representations. Thus, this book prepares the ground for a history of literature which uncouples language and religion and brings to the fore the ethnoreligious diversity that existed within the Turkish literary field, while emphasising that the intellectual history of (Ottoman) Turkey cannot be reduced to a conflict between Islam and secularism, as is too often portrayed in the media.
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