Date of Award

Spring 5-15-2021

Author's School

Graduate School of Arts and Sciences

Author's Department

Comparative Literature

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Degree Type



This dissertation argues that contemporary Anglophone and Turkish authors use innovative representations of authoritarian violence, trauma and survival, allowing us to engage in urgent political and eco-ethical discussions about the questionable scholarly tendency to universalize a Western model of trauma and trauma therapies. In this dissertation, I examine the implications of this universalization for the study of atrocities and mass violence cross-culturally and globally. Through my readings of Anglophone and Turkish literature in tandem with one another, I examine a diverse set of texts from the Anglophone postcolonial context, on the one hand, and from the post-Ottoman Turkish context, on the other hand, offering a broadly encompassing analysis of literary trauma beyond Western psychoanalytical and deconstructivist orientations. In order to analyze trauma as a global—and more importantly as an earthly—phenomenon in these two groupings of literature, I develop the theoretical paradigm of “traumatic survivance,” which describes the wide narrative nexus of trauma, survival, and resistance in trauma fiction. In my close examination of the complexities and contingencies of traumatized human subjects and their wounded environments, I draw from and build on the theories and insights of critical posthumanities and new materialism, which constitute a large part of the emergent scholarship on environmental humanities in the twenty-first century. I claim that “traumatic survivance” allows for a unique form of storytelling in trauma fiction that is based on human and nonhuman entanglement as well as a complex constellation of technological and informational structures. Thereby, my dissertation broadens the established focus on psychoanalytical approaches within trauma studies and introduces culturally specific and ecologically nuanced perspectives to literary trauma, asking us to think in novel ways about the aesthetics of trauma and survival in non-Western contexts.


English (en)

Chair and Committee

Erin E. McGlothlin

Committee Members

J. Dillon J. Brown, Sibel S. Erol, Melanie M. Micir, Anca A. Parvulescu,

Available for download on Tuesday, May 21, 2041