Nationalizing the desire : female identity in the novels written between 1909-1928

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Bilkent University
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In this study, it is aimed to examine the decisive role of desire in the acquisition of national identity. The novels which caused a break in the fictionalization of women, such as Raik’in Annesi (1909), Seviyye Talip (1910), Handan (1912), Yeni Turan (1912), Aydemir (1918), Gönül Hanım (1920), Gün Batarken (1920), Kiralık Konak (1920), Çalıkuşu (1921), Kan ve İman (1922), Ateşten Gömlek (1922), Sözde Kızlar (1923), Vurun Kahpeye (1923), Mahşer (1924), Meliha Nuri Hanım (1928) are analyzed in a comparative perspective. In the study, the role of corporeality and desire in the making of the representation of the ideal woman has been mentioned in the context of the period from the modernization of 1908 to the Republic Era to the years of war in which territorial integrity had been vital. This study aims to touch upon alternative identity propositions of the idealized women characters in the world of fiction presented against the identity of woman who had been included in the public life by becoming genderless in the historical reality presented by the social platform. Desire has an emancipatory role of abolishing ascribed identity roles and establishing an alternative identity. In this dissertation, it is aimed to evaluate different data which will eliminate the understanding in the “woman in national literature” works which codify womanhood in the occupational groups in public life, which covers womanhood confined in a genderless area created by militarism and nationalism and covers it in an identity fiction in which womanhood serves the nationalist ideal. Topics that are covered in this study are the emphasis on the corporeality of the TurkishMuslim woman’s identity to which a kind of sanctity is attributed, the woman’s position as the conveyor of the ideology through the way in which she is desired by the opposite sex, the decisiveness of desire in the binary of love and cause, the metaphor of sickness in the inspection of the female sexuality, the position of woman as the object of desire and as the desiring subject and the view of heroines embracing the nationalist discourse on the other identities.

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Desire, Corporeality, Idealized Female Identity, Nationalistic Discourse
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