Past Event

The Making of “Europe Knows Nothing about The Orient"

March 24, 2021
7:00 PM - 8:30 PM

12 pm NYC & 7 pm Istanbul 

About the Talk
Following the conversation on the content and context of Europe Knows Nothing about the Orient, this panel will discuss the complex production of the book from its early inception through the final translation.

About the Book 
A century before the publication of Edward Said’s Orientalism, a passionate discourse emerged in the Ottoman Empire, rebutting politicized Western representations of the East. Until the 1930s, Ottoman and early Turkish Republican intellectuals, well acquainted with the European political and cultural scene and charged with their own ideological agendas, deconstructed tired clichés about “the Orient.” In this book, Zeynep Çelik recontextualizes Eurocentric studies, unearthing an important episode in modern Middle Eastern intellectual history and curating a selection of primary texts illustrating the debates.


Aron Aji, a native of Turkey, Aji’s translations include three book-length works by Bilge Karasu: Death in Troy; The Garden of Departed Cats (NTA, 2004); and A Long Day’s Evening, (NEA Literature Fellowship; short-listed for the 2013 PEN Translation Prize). 

Rana Alpöz is the Executive Director of the Koç University Press. Graduated from Ankara University's Faculty of Communications, she worked for Can Publishing House, Alfa Publishing Group, and Doğan Egmont Publishing Group. She has been working for Koç University Press since 2015. 

Zeynep Çelik is an adjunct professor of the History Department at Columbia University and distinguished professor emerita of Ottoman and Middle Eastern History and Architecture at New Jersey Institute of Technology.

Sibel Doğru worked as an editor, rights and acquisitions specialist, and publishing coordinator at Doğan Egmont, Turkuvaz Kitap, and Koç University Press. She earned her BA degree at Istanbul Bilgi University in Comparative Literature.  

Ayşen Gür is a journalist, freelance writer, and translator. She translated more than 40 books into Turkish. Her particular line of work is the translation of Turkish scholars' works about Ottoman history written originally in English or French.

Copies of the book in English may be purchased here
Copies of the book in Turkish may be purchased here.