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Jeannette Okur

LecturerPh.D., Ankara University, 2007

Lecturer, Turkish Program Coordinator
Jeannette Okur



modern Turkish/Turkic literature, film and cultural studies, teaching culture and literature in the foreign language classroom, comparative literature, translation studies


Dr. Jeannette Okur has coordinated the Turkish Studies program at the University of Texas at Austin since 2010. Drawing upon extensive experience teaching not only Turkish, but also German and ESL, she continues to develop new curricular materials for Turkish language instruction at the Novice, Intermediate and Advanced proficiency levels.  As co-recipient of a 2015 UT Curriculum Innovation Grant, she is currently authoring print and online instructional materials for Turkish-language learners at the Intermediate-Mid to Advanced-Mid proficiency levels.  Dr. Okur’s research interests lie in the fields of comparative literature and literary translation, and she teaches Middle Eastern Studies courses, such as Love in the East and West, Turks in Europe, Urbanization in the Middle East:  Case Studies in Turkey, and Women Filmmakers in the Middle East.  She also organizes a regular Turkish film series, the UT Turkish-Ottoman Lecture Series, and a weekly Turkish conversation table.


EUS 347 • Turks In Europe

36535 • Spring 2013
Meets MWF 100pm-200pm PAR 101
(also listed as ISL 372, MEL 321)

In the last century, international markets, political conditions, and the desire for “a better life” have spurred mass migration to “First World” nations, creating a myriad of new socio-cultural and political-economic constellations as well as serious structural challenges.  Interactions between Europeans and Turks, for example, are not new, but seem have increased in variety and complexity since the post-World War II era, when European countries began importing Turkish labor. Today over 9 million Turks live, work and study in Europe, some with full citizenship rights, others with permanent or temporary visas; and their presence has impacted not only European economies, but also European politics, media, education systems, social structures, cultural norms, the arts scene, and even language.  Students in this course will first examine local and transnational forces that have driven (and continue to drive) Turkish-European interactions, and then focus on key issues that have emerged in the context of 20th century Turkish migration to and settlement in Europe as well as in the context of Turkey’s more recent bid to join the European Union.  In addition to texts by sociologists, political scientists and cultural anthropologists, students will analyze Turkish-European literary and cinematic depictions of the distinctive economic, socio-cultural, and political changes associated with the migration of Turks to Europe and their transition from guest worker to transnational citizen. Among the topics to be discussed are: social processes and cultural adaptation; the education of second-, third- and fourth-generation migrants; the relationship of civil society and Islam; ethnic communities and ethnic business; citizenship and political participation; asylum movements and xenophobia; and attitudes toward the European Union.  Class sessions will be discussion-based and focus on a critical analysis of the arguments presented in the readings and films. This course has no prerequisites.


Required Full Texts:

  1. Abadan-Unat, Nermin.  Turks in Europe: from guest worker to transnational citizen.  New York : Berghahn Books, 2011.
  2. Öner, Selcen.  Turkey and the European Union: The Question of European Identity.  Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield Publishing Group, Inc., 2011.
  3. Ören, Aras.  Please, No Police.  Trans. Teoman Sıpahigil. Austin, TX: Center for Middle Eastern Studies, University of Texas at Austin, 1992.
  4. Özdamar, Emine Sevgi. The Bridge of the Golden Horn. Trans. Martin Chalmers. London:  Serpents Tail, 2009.
  5. Additional texts available on Blackboard.


Students' course grade will be based on active participation in class discussions (20%); satisfactory completion of (8 out of 10) reader response papers (40%); the quality of their “Turks in Europe Snapshot”, a short oral presentation on a historical event or contemporary issue related to Turks’ experience in or contributions to Europe (10%); and a final (critical essay) exam (30%).

Curriculum Vitae

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