CANCELLED: Shakespearean Art in the Turkish Heart: A Lecture on Shakespeare in the Ottoman Empire and Modern Turkey


Tuesday, April 16, 2013, 5:00pm to 6:30pm


CMES, 38 Kirkland Street, Room 102, Cambridge, MA 02138

The Center for Middle Eastern Studies is pleased to present


Talât Sait Halman
Turkish poet, translator and cultural historian; first Minister of Culture of Turkey; Professor and Dean of Faculty of Humanities and Letters, Bilkent University, Ankara, Turkey.

During his lengthy academic career, Professor Talât S. Halman has taught at Columbia University, Princeton University, the University of Pennsylvania, and New York University, where he also served as Chairman of the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Literatures. Currently he is the Dean of the Faculty of Humanities and Letters at Bilkent University in Ankara, Turkey, where he has been teaching continuously since 1998 when he helped found the program in Turkish languages and literature with a goal of introducing new critical approaches. Professor Halman is also a well-known translator into English and Turkish. He has served as a Member of the Executive Committee of the PEN American Center and is currently on the Center's Translation Committee. He has been a long-time member of the Poetry Society of America. And, since 1967 he has been a Member of the Editorial Board of World Literature Today.

In 1971 he served as Turkey's Minister of Culture (the first person to hold this cabinet post), and created the Ministry of Culture. As Minister he coordinated the landmark first American tour in 1971 of the "Whirling Dervishes". In 1976 he oversaw the first American museum tour of historical and cultural artifacts from the Ottoman Sultans' palace. And from 1980 to 1982 he served as Turkey's first Ambassador for Cultural Affairs. Based in New York, he inaugurated a comprehensive program of Turkish cultural activities.

Halman received his BA from Robert College in Istanbul. In the mid-1950s he received his Master's Degree from Columbia University in Political Science, International Relations and International law. His honors include Columbia University's "Thornton Wilder Prize" for lifetime achievement as a translator; an honorary doctorate from the Bosphorus University; a Rockefeller Fellowship in the Humanities; the UNESCO Medal; and "Knight Grand Cross, the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire."

His extensive publications in English include two collections of his poems, Shadows of Love (1979), and A Last Lullaby (1990); Contemporary Turkish Literature (1982), Modern Turkish Drama (1976), Living Poets of Turkey (1989), Turkish Legends and Folk poems (1992), The Tales of Nasrettin Hoca (1988); and various books on the 13th-century Anatolian mystic folk poet Yunus Emre, Mevlana Celaleddin Rumi and the whirling dervishes (with Metin And), and Suleiman the Magnificent, and others.

His books in Turkish include nine collections of his original poems, two massive anthologies of the poetry of ancient times, a book of Ancient Egyptian poems, the selected poems of Wallace Stevens and Langston Hughes, an anthology of living American poets, a book of American woman poets, his verse translations of Shakespeare's Complete Sonnets, a book of Eskimo poems, and a one-actor play featuring Shakespeare.

Contact: Liz Flanagan

As a Title VI National Resource Center, CMES is partially funding this program with U.S. Department of Education grant funds. The content of this program does not necessarily reflect the views or policies of the U.S. Department of Education.