Assistant Professor, Middle Eastern Languages and Literatures
Office: 15 Seminary Place Room 6167, College Avenue Campus
Office Hours: By arrangement
Office Phone: 732-445-0275 (Office Administrator's line)
Efe received his PhD from Columbia University, where he studied at the Department of English and Comparative Literature and the Institute for Comparative Literature and Society. Before coming to Rutgers he taught in Frankfurt and Istanbul, Paris and New York, mostly philosophy of literature and religion. Among his awards and fellowships are a UNESCO fellowship, the Marjorie Hope Nicolson doctoral fellowship and an ICLS fellowship at Columbia University. He's a member of the founding board of Harvard University's Institute for World Literature. He works mostly with Turkish (Ottoman and modern), Ladino (Judeo-Espagnol), and Italian, also French and German.
Efe published edited volumes and a number of pieces in cultural journals across Europe. He is a translator as well, of Joseph Conrad and J. M. Coetzee, among others. He currently works on a book project on the very melancholy Turkish humanist Ahmet Hamdi Tanpinar's literary historiography for the "Muslim Orient," which puts Tanpinar in conversation with Erich Auerbach. Tanpinar and Auerbach contributed together to the establishment of the European humanities in Turkey at Istanbul University in the 1940s. He has a second book project on one of Tanpinar and Auerbach's co-collaborators at Istanbul University, namely Turkish feminist, humanist and novelist Halide Edib. Edib's work in Delhi and Beirut, Istanbul, Paris and New York enables him to rethink a deeply political history of modern literature "in most of the world."
Originally trained as a historian of European medieval philosophy and an English philologist, Efe's teaching interests range from philosophy and politics of literature to media history and political theology. In the past he taught courses such as "Politics of Literature" and "Orientalism and World Literature." At Rutgers he offers courses in AMESALL and Comparative Literature. He designed courses such as "Literature and Religion," "Ottoman Middle East," and "Ottoman Africa" for AMESALL. He also taught "Introduction to the Literatures of the Middle East" and "Crossroads." Among his course offerings is "Orhan Pamuk," an experimental seminar dedicated to Nobel laureate Pamuk's fiction. "Orhan Pamuk" requires no secondary literature on Pamuk's writings, thus also addressing the question of how and what to learn from literature qua literature.
AMESALL Courses (Past and Present)
- Introduction to the Literatures of the Middle East
- Ottoman Middle East
- Ottoman Africa
- Literature and Religion
- Orhan Pamuk