1st Edition

Health, Literature and Women in Twentieth-Century Turkey Bodies of Exception

By Şima İmşir Copyright 2023
    212 Pages 3 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Health, Literature and Women in Twentieth-Century Turkey offers readers fresh insight into Turkish modernity and its discourse on health, what it excludes and how these potentialities manifest themselves in women’s fiction to shape the imagination of the period. Starting from the nineteenth century, health gradually became a focal topic in relation to the future of the empire, and later the Republic. Examining representations of health and illness in nationalist romances, melodramas and modernist works, this book will explore diseases such as syphilis, tuberculosis and cancer, and their representation in the literary imagination as a tool to discuss anxieties over cultural transformation. This book places Turkish literature in the field of health humanities and identifies the discourse on health as a key component in the making of the Turkish nation-building ideology. By focusing on the place of health and illness in canonical and non-canonised fiction, it opens a new field in Turkish literary studies.


    Chapter One: Who is Inside? Who is Outside? Limits of the Healthy and Sturdy Nation

    Chapter Two: The Making of the Healthy Woman: Halide Edib and the Politics of Medicine

    Chapter Three: Almost a Man, But Not Quite: Medicine and Gender in Melodrama

    Chapter Four: Adhered to the Flesh: Lived Bodies in Modernist Literature after 1960



    Şima İmşir is an assistant professor in Comparative Literature at Koç University. Her teaching and research ranges from medical and health humanities, illness and literature to comparative modernisms, gender and postcolonial studies.