Native of Istanbul but wanderer at heart, Dr Burcu Alkan received her PhD in English and American Studies at the University of Manchester in 2009. She wrote her PhD, “Representations of the Intellectual,” under the supervision of Professor Terry Eagleton and Dr Howard Booth. Between 2010 and 2012, she worked on a TÜBITAK-funded research project, “Women’s Writing in Turkey,” supported by the EU/COST Action. She is the co-editor and one of the writers of Dictionary of Literary Biography 373: Turkish Novelists Since 1960 (2013, ISBN: 978-0787696481) and Dictionary of Literary Biography 379: Turkish Novelists Since 1960, Second Series (2016, ISBN: 978-0787696542). After having worked at various universities in Turkey, she came to Justus Liebig University, Giessen on a fellowship supported by the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation. She is currently a senior research fellow to Professor Greta Olson at the English Department and working on a monograph on suicide in modernist literature.
Dr Alkan’s work covers a diverse range of topics. The cultural materialism of her MA and PhD research, in time, evolved into a broader interest in the concept of the intellectual. This trajectory later branched out to include Faustian narratives and their demonic, magical world of the self and the soul. Meanwhile, the psychoanalytical elements of her research culminated in a greater curiosity about mental pathologies. Consequently, she co-organised the “Trancultural Dialogues in Medical Humanities Workshop,” held in Istanbul, in 2016. She is primarily working within the field of medical humanities with a particular interest in the relationship between psychiatry and literature. This diversity in her work, she says, comprises of the pieces of a puzzle, the complete picture of which she yet discerns only but shall be able to make sense of in many years of research to come.