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I received my PhD in Germanic Studies from the University of Texas at Austin. A specialist in 20/21st century German film studies, I teach courses on all aspects of German language, culture, and film at Grinnell. These include German cinema and survey courses on German cultural productions of the 20th/21st century. In Fall 2013, I taught a Tutorial (a first-year seminar) on Fatih Akın and Multiethnic German Cinema.
My primary research area is on German cinema with a particular focus on Turkish German studies. Currently, I am working on the first (English language) monograph on Fatih Akın and his cinema, (tentatively entitled) The New Sound of Europe: Fatih Akın's Cinema in Context. Focusing on Akın's distinctive visions of regional and local aspects in Europe, I argue that his cosmopolitan films challenge existing notions of Europe and Europeanness. With his aesthetics of heterogeneity–as I call it–Akın's cinematic Europe questions particularly notions of a clear-cut and national Europe. One of the major innovations of Akın's cinema is his subtle exhibit of changing sounds of Europe. This cinematic Europe threatens, in particular, fantasies of homogeneity and monolingualism.
This study also includes an analysis of a larger European context by juxtaposing Akın's use of cinematic space, language, and music to other European directors such as Mathieu Kassovitz, Yamina Benguigui, Michael Haneke, and Stephen Frears, whose films display aspects of transnational cinema. I argue that minority filmmakers such as Akın or Benguigui, but also filmmakers who are commonly not solely associated with minority cinema such as Frears, Haneke, and Kassovitz display a multi-ethnic, cosmopolitan Europe that disseminates images and sounds of a fundamentally changed Europe, a Europe which exists and operates well beyond the borders of "Fortress Europe."
“The Sound of Fatih Akın’s Cinema: Polyphony and the Aesthetics of Heterogeneity in The Edge of Heaven” German Studies Review 37.2 (2014). 337-356.
“Wut - Who is Enraged? Violence in the ‘Victim Society.’” Türkisch-deutsche Studien, Jahrbuch 2013: Jugendbilder - Repräsentationen von Jugend in Medien und Politik. Eds. Şeyda Ozil, Michael Hofmann und Yasemin Dayıoglu-Yücel. Göttingen: V&R Unipress, 2013. 95-112.
“Mehmet Kurtuluş and Birol Ünel: Sexualized Masculinities, Normalized Ethnicities.” Turkish German Cinema in the New Millennium: Sites, Sounds, and Screens. Eds. Sabine Hake and Barbara Mennel. Oxford: Berghahn Books, 2012. 136-148.
“Fatih Akın’s Filmic Visions of Europe: Spatial and Aural Constructions of Europe in Im Juli (In July, 2000)” East, West and Centre: Reframing post-1989 European Cinema. (Traditions in World Cinema Series). Eds. Todd Herzog and Michael Gott. Edinburgh: Edinburgh UP. 79-93. (in press)
“Film Histories Remixed: Fatih Akın and the Creation of a Transnational Film History.” Transnational Hi/Stories: Turkish-German Texts and Contexts. Special Issue of Colloquia Germanica. (in press)
“Reframing Islam: The Decoupling of Ethnicity and Religion in Turkish-German Media.” Islam in Germany. Special Issue of Colloquia Germanica. (in progress)
My book reviews have appeared in Monatshefte, German Quarterly, H-German, and ARSCJ.
Guest Editor/Special Issue
Co-guest editor (with Ela Gezen). Transnational Hi/stories: Turkish-German Texts and Contexts. Special Issue of Colloquia Germanica. (In press)
Art, Life, and Politics in Post-Wende Germany
Turkish, German, European: Fatih Akın’s Cinema & Multiethnic Germany (First-Year Tutorial)
Deutsche Kulturgeschichte: Literatur, Film und Kunst: 1871-heute
Gender, Sex, and Ethnicity in German Cinema: A Survey
From Berlin to Hollywood: German Cinema and Its Impact on Hollywood Films, 1920s-1960s