Section Menu

Ela Gezen

Assistant Professor

(413) 545-6678

Personal Website

517 Herter Hall

Ela Gezen’s research and teaching focus on 20th century German and Turkish literature and culture, with emphases on literatures of migration, minority discourses, historical and theoretical accounts of transnationalism, and literary and cultural theory. Currently she is working on the completion of her book manuscript Literary Encounters: Bertolt Brecht, the Turkish Left and Turkish German Culture since 1960, which reconstructs the central role of Brecht reception in Turkish and Turkish-German literature. She has also begun preliminary archival research for a second project on the Turkish communist writer and intellectual Nazım Hikmet, focusing specifically on his involvement in GDR-based activities in support of the Turkish Communist Party, his collaborations with East German literary figures, like Stefan Heym, Bertolt Brecht, Alfred Kurella, and Anna Seghers, and his unique position in the GDR’s public sphere.


PhD 2012, Germanic Languages and Literatures, University of Michigan Ann Arbor
MA 2005, Central Eurasian Studies (Turkish Studies), Indiana University Bloomington
BA 2001, American, French, and Turkish Studies, Freie Universität Berlin

Selected Publications

Invited Guest Co-Editor, Colloquia Germanica, Special Issue – Transnational Hi/Stories: Turkish-German Texts and Contexts 44.4 (2011, published December 2014)

Invited Guest Co-Editor, Jahrbuch Türkisch-deutsche Studien, Special Issue – Turkish-German Studies: Past, Present, and Future (2015)

“Aras Ören and the (West)German Literary Left.” Invited contribution for Literature Compass 13.5, Special Issue on Labor Travels, Art Forms, (2016): 324– 331.

“Brecht on the Turkish Stage: Adaptation, Experimentation, and Theatre Aesthetics in Genco Erkal’s Dostlar Tiyatrosu.” German Life and Letters 69.2, Special Issue on Bertolt Brecht (2016): 269–284.

Research Areas

  • 20th and 21st century German and Turkish literature, theater and music
  • Minority studies
  • Bertolt Brecht
  • Cultural studies
  • Transnationalism
  • Orientalism

Courses Recently Taught

German 365: Berlin - Global City [GenEd: G]
German 425: Advanced Composition and Conversation
German 697MV: Interrogating Germanness
German 697TG: Transnational Hi/Stories: Turkish German Texts and Contexts
German 797W: Minorities and Minority Discourses in Germany since 1990