Emrah Khayyat – History at the End of the World
In 1940s, three professors at Istanbul University pondered the end of the world as they knew it and the beginning of a new era in the former lands of the Ottoman Empire: Eric Auerbach, a German Jew in exile and the founder of comparative literature; Ahmed Hamdi Tanpınar, one of the founding fathers of modern Turkish literature; and Halide Edib, feminist activist, humanist and a corporal in Turkish War of Independence. From the vantage point of war-time Turkey, they sought to discover the literary, religious, and historical forces that led civilizations to the brink of annihilation, charting a new course for the future of humanity. Their work provides us with a window into the conflicts and clashes that continue to inform humanism today.
Emrah Khayyat is a professor of African. Middle Eastern, South Asian Languages and Literature at Rutgers University. Before Rutgers, he taught in Frankfurt and Istanbul, Paris and New
York. He works mostly with Turkish (Ottoman and modern), Ladino (Judeo-Espagnol), Italian, French, German, and Arabic. He published edited volumes and numerous pieces in cultural journals across Europe. His more recent writings came out in boundary2 and The Intellectual History of the Islamicate World, among others, and he is the author of Istanbul 1940 and Global Modernity (Rowman & Littlefield, 2018).