Hannah Seeger Davis Postdoctoral Fellow, 2018-2019
Will Stroebel is a comparatist specializing in Modern Greek and Turkish Literature, Book History and Mediterranean Studies. He received his PhD in Comparative Literature from the University of Michigan in December 2017. His first monograph project, tentatively titled "Reassembling the Greco-Turkish Book, 1910-1960," follows a handful of twentieth-century Greek and Turkish works that moved across multiple formats, editions, bindings, geographies, alphabets or languages, taken apart and reassembled in deeply transformative ways despite the partitions of the nation state. His published or forthcoming work ranges from trauma and media theory to Karamanlidika ballads to twentieth-century Book History. He has editorial experience in both academic and literary journals, alongside years of hands-on organizational and service-work, co-organizing a multi-day conference, a yearlong film festival, and multiple visiting lectures.
This year, my research agenda is primarily centered on the “script politics” of the Eastern Mediterranean, starting from the multiplicity of alphabets that have historically been used for both Greek and Turkish: Greek, Latin, Arabic, and Hebrew. This alphabetic multiformity was supposedly decimated by the region’s nationalist projects, which fixed both Greek and Turkish into their respective standard scripts, yet rather than narrating the death of this multiscript world, my new research traces its resurrection and transformation through contemporary literature. I will do so primarily through a close reading of Mehmet Yaşın’s recent novel Sınırdışı Saatler / Σηνηρδησι Σαατλερ [The Deported Hours] (2003), which revives and repurposes Greek-script Turkish to explore the anarchic textual geography of Cyprus, pushing back against nationalist partition.