Professor K. Pelin Basci earned her Ph.D. from the University of Texas-Austin in 1995. Before joining the PSU faculty in 1997, she taught at Ankara University, Faculty of Letters, and at the University of Texas-Austin. Professor Basci's areas of expertise include women and gender in Turkey and the Middle East, and the Turkish novel, specifically issues of identity, gender and nationalism. Her personal website is accessible here.
Professor Basci publishes regularly and is a frequent presenter. Her recent work includes, "Advertising 'the New Woman': Fashion, Beauty, and Health in Women's World," to be published in International Journal of Turkish Studies; a forthcoming book review of House With Wisteria. Memoirs of Halide Edib in Middle East Studies Association Bulletin, by Halide Edip Adıvar; Computer-based Turkish Proficiency Assessment Tool, with Carl Falsgraf at the Center for Applied Second Language Studies at University of Oregon; and a first-year Turkish workbook, currently in use in PSU classrooms. In addition, Professor Basci edits The AATT Bulletin, the only national journal on Turkish language instruction. Works in progress include a book on nationalism, gender and the Turkish novel, and an article on nationalism and Turkish historical fiction, both to be completed in 2007.
PSU is home to one of fourteen Turkish Studies programs in the United States and is unique in that its focus is explicitly the modern period, although other periods are covered. Within this context, Professor Basci both acknowledges that the exploration of what divides East from West currently is a hot topic and exposes the fallacy of this thinking. In her view language and literature encapsulate the human experience and tell us more about what unites us than what separates us. She teaches that, in fact, we are all very connected. There is no experience that cannot be translated into every culture at every level, from religion to pop culture, and while many disciplines study societies, the conclusions are only conjectural unless one studies the language.
Professor Basci is an innovative and tireless teacher of Turkish language and culture, as well as an active contributor to the community. Her recent presentation at a Peace Corps reunion at PSU, "The Other Turkey: Nationalism and the Turkish Historical Novel, 1960s to the Present," was attended by about 160 former volunteers with long-standing ties to Turkey.
An additional program that melds language, culture and community is "Turkish for Tots," where young heritage learners of Turkish meet on Saturdays to explore the language through art, music and play. Professor Basci founded the program, developed the curriculum and has been the coordinator since its inception in August 2003.
In the classroom Professor Basci is energetic and engaging, but also challenging. She believes teachers should be a source of inspiration and encouragement, and if she accomplishes that then she is a success. Learning, however, is the student's task.
Name: K. Pelin Basci
Title: Associate Professor, Contemporary Turkish Studies
office: 451K NH