Image result for ayse celikkol bookImage result for valerie kennedy book edward saidHenrietta Liston's Travels


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Our department is an active centre of academic research, with faculty involved in a variety of research projects across many periods and forms of literature. You can find out more about the research interests and publications of individual department members by visiting our People page. Below are a few examples of some of the recent and ongoing research activities within the department:



Approaching Constantinople: The Turkish Travel Journals of Henrietta Liston (1812-1820)
A joint venture between the National Library of Scotland and academics from the departments of English Literature and of History at Bilkent University, the Approaching Constantinople project introduces the travel writings of Henrietta Liston’s writings to a wider readership. Married to Robert Liston, the British ambassador to the Ottoman Empire in the early nineteenth century, Henrietta kept detailed journals of her time travelling through the Mediterranean and her years living in Istanbul and exploring the city and the surrounding territories. The book has now been published by Edinburgh University Press. Continue reading

Articles and book chapters

Dr Valerie Kennedy’s recent book chapter on “Edward Said and Resistance in Colonial and Postcolonial Literatures” is available here. Her article “Eastern Exoticism: Thackeray as Tourist and Anti-Tourist” has been published here.

Dr Jonathan Williams’s articles “Thomas Gray’s Elegy and the Politics of Memorialization” and “Deathly Sentimentalism: Sarah Fielding, Henry Mackenzie” can be found, respectively, here and here.

Dr Andrea Selleri’s articles on the history of the idea of the author in the long nineteenth century can be found here, here, here and here.

Dr Ayşe Çelikkol’s article “World Ecology in Martineau’s and Gaskell’s Colonial Pastorals” can be found here. Her essay “Capitalism in the Pastoral Mode and Hardy’s Far from the Madding Crowd” is available here.

Dr Patrick Hart’s recent article on poetic voice and parentheses in the Petrarchan poetry of William Drummond of Hawthornden can be found here. His essay on ‘Stage, Screen, and Streaming in a Pandemic’ can be found here.

Dr Timothy Sean Wright’s articles “Ruined Time and Post-Revolutionary Allegory in Nthikeng Mohlele’s Small Things“, “Melancholy Freedom: Movement and Stasis in Sibs Shongwe-La Mer’s Necktie Youth” and “Surviving the African Anthropocene: Dilman Dila’s Mutational Aesthetics” can be found, respectively, here, here and here.



Dr Valerie Kennedy’s article “The Ottoman Empire in The Spirit of the East and Eothen: Two Versions of Romantic Orientalism” is forthcoming in Nineteenth-Century Prose.

Dr Ayşe Çelikkol’s article “Secularity and the Limits of Reason in Swinburne’s ‘Hymn to Proserpine’ and ‘Hymn of Man'” is forthcoming in Victorian Literature and Culture. Her article “Capitalism in the Pastoral Mode and Hardy’s Far from the Madding Crowd” is forthcoming in Nineteenth-Century Contexts.

Dr Andrea Selleri’s article “Oscar Wilde and the Freedom of the Will” is forthcoming in English Literary History.



Egypt: Discourses of Travel, Exploration, and European Power from 1798 to 1956 (or from Napoleon to Nasser). Dr Valerie Kennedy is editing a collection of essays for Cambridge Scholars Publishing. The book will offer a series of chapters analysing representations of Egypt from the various Orientalising perspectives of English and French travellers, novelists, scientists, archaeologists, and imperial administrators from Napoleon’s Egyptian Expedition to the end of the period of British influence in 1956. Dr Kennedy will contribute a chapter on “The Traveller versus the Tourist: Kinglake and Thackeray in Eygpt”. Submissions are open on the publisher’s website, under the headings “history” and “regional studies”.

The Author in Victorian Literary Culture. Dr Andrea Selleri is completing a monograph on the history of the idea of the author between Romanticism and Formalism. The book will show that in Victorian criticism the Romantic idea that poets express their soul through poetry developed into a more eclectic concern with the concrete circumstances of writers’ lives, which extended from poets to dramatists and novelists. But with the development of alternative aesthetic ideals over the period, especially among Aestheticist writers at war with the prevalent morality, the method came under sustained fire. This dynamic laid the groundwork for early twentieth-century Modernist poetics. Some shorter outputs of this research can be found above.

Melancholy’s Wake: Feeling and Social Life, Milton to Johnson. Dr Jonathan Williams is currently working on this book project, which argues that writers in eighteenth-century Britain deployed the feeling of melancholy as a figure for and a way of coming to terms with some of the contingencies of their historical presents.

Journal of the Northern Renaissance. The Journal of the Northern Renaissance (JNR) is a peer-reviewed, interdisciplinary, open-access online journal dedicated to the study of early modern Northern European cultural production. It has received financial support from Oxford and Edinburgh University as well as from the Society of Renaissance Studies. Its founder and editor is Patrick Hart, a member of the ELIT department, and its home here at Bilkent reflects the university’s wider commitment to open access.