• E. Efe
  • E. Efe
  • Associate Professor, Middle Eastern Languages and Literatures
  • Phone: 848-445-4306
  • Office hours: By arrangement
  • Room #: 6167
  • Office address: 15 Seminary Place, College Avenue Campus
  • Education:
    • 2014, PhD, Columbia University, Department of English and Comparative Literature/Institute for Comparative Literature and Society.


    • 2019-, Senior Research Associate, St Edmunds College, Cambridge.
    • 2018, Sir Mick and Lady Barbara Davis Fellow, Woolf Institute, Cambridge.
    • 2017, Research Fellow, Jamia Millia Islamia (New Delhi).
    • 2011, Visiting Fellow, Sciences-Po (Paris).
    • 2010, Visiting Fellow, Gutenberg (Mainz).
    • 2007, Presidential Fellow, Columbia.
    • 2006, ICLS Fellow, Institute for Comparative Literature and Society, Columbia.
    • 2006, Marjorie Hope Nicolson Fellow, Department of English and Comparative Literature, Columbia.

    Editorial Board / Advisory Work:

    • 2008-2015, Member of Board, The Institute for World Literature, Harvard.
    • 2003-2013, Member of Board, European Network for Cultural Journals (Vienna).
    • 2006-2010, Editor, Varlik Publishing House (Istanbul), Modern Political Thought Series.
    • 2002-2006, Chief Editor, Cogito, Philosophical Quarterly (Istanbul).


  • Areas of Research/Interest:

    Literary Theory; World Literature; Politics of Literature; Religion and Literature; Cultural legacy of the Ottoman Empire; Oriental Jewry


  • Efe is a highly accomplished scholar and educator. His academic journey has been marked by outstanding achievements in research, teaching, and service, making him a valuable asset to the department and the wider academic community.

    With a trans-disciplinary focus, Efe's scholarship resides at the intersection of literary theory, cultural criticism, and the comparative study of literature and religion. His research stands out for its meticulousness and critical insight, offering unique perspectives on a diverse range of subjects, spanning western and non-western literatures. His groundbreaking work has been commended by renowned scholars in the field, affirming its significance in shaping contemporary debates in the humanities.

    Prior to joining Rutgers, Efe had already established himself as an influential scholar and translator. He has published several edited books, essays, and articles, earning acclaim and recognition worldwide. His proficiency in multiple languages, including translations of his own writings, has further bolstered his international reputation as a bridge between various scholarly traditions.

    A testament to his dedication to both scholarship and service, Efe has served on numerous committees within his department, contributing to its growth and development. He has also played a pivotal role in organizing conferences and workshops, bringing distinguished scholars from Europe, the Middle East, and South Asia to Rutgers. These events have not only enriched the academic environment but also provided valuable learning experiences for his students.

    Beyond the classroom, Efe has been an active mentor, initiating the "Rutgers Seminar in Literary Criticism," a cross-disciplinary undergraduate initiative where students engage in critical discussions on theoretical and philosophical texts related to literature. This mentoring approach empowers students to participate more freely and enhances their understanding of complex materials.

    One of Efe's most significant contributions has been his involvement with the Institute of World Literature (IWL) at Harvard University, where he served as a founding member and a member of the governing board. Through this association, he facilitated partnerships between Rutgers and IWL, enabling students to participate in the prestigious annual summer school held in Cambridge and other global centers.

    Efe's scholarly impact is evident in his influential book, Istanbul 1940 and Global Modernity: The World According to Auerbach, Tanpinar, and Edib. The monograph delves into the work of Eric Auerbach and his impact on modern Western humanities while examining the contributions of non-Western intellectuals like Ahmet Hamdi Tanpinar and Halide Edib Avinar. This ambitious work has been praised for redefining the boundaries of global modernity and world literature.

    As a dedicated teacher, Efe brings his research expertise into the classroom, offering students a transformative learning experience. His pedagogical contributions extend beyond traditional teaching, enriching students' education through extracurricular events and experiential opportunities.

    Unanimously recommended for tenure, Efe garnered praise from external reviewers, who laud his wide-ranging scholarship, intellectual adeptness, and theoretical fluency. His innovative and insightful work makes him a valuable addition to any academic community, and his dedication to teaching and service cements him as an exemplary faculty member.

    In summary, Efe is a distinguished scholar, dedicated teacher, and active contributor to the academic community. His diverse research, teaching, and service record showcase his exemplary qualities, making him a valuable asset to the Department of AMESALL and Rutgers University as a whole. With his promotion to Associate Professor with tenure, the department has gained a superb and enduring colleague whose contributions will continue to shape the fields of comparative literature and cultural studies for years to come.

  • Books:

    Edited Volumes:

    • Dunya Edebiyati Deyince [The Stakes of a World Literature] (Istanbul: Varlik, 2009). [With contributions by Orhan Pamuk, Gayatri Spivak (Columbia), David Damrosch (Harvard), Aamir Mufti (UCLA), and Bruce Robbins (Columbia), among others.]
    • Teo Grünberg, and E. Efe Çakmak (ed.), Felsefe ve Felsefi Mantık Yazıları [Essays in Philosophy and Philosophical Logic] (Istanbul: YKY, 2005).

    Selected Articles:

    • “Tree Rings of Middle Eastern Poetry.” In The Cambridge Handbook of Literature and Plants. Ed. by Bonnie Lander Johnson. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 2023.

    • “Bastards and Arabs.” In Ottoman Arabic. Ed. Esther-Miriam Wagner. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 2021.

    • “Dogs of Modernity.” In Animals, Plants, Landscapes: An Ecology of Turkish Literature. Eds. Irmak Ertuna-Howison and Hande Gürses. London: Routledge, 2019.

    • “Auerbach, Madness, and the East.” In Journal of Political Theology (Taylor & Francis). Special Issue on Literature and Religion (2019).

    • “Turks with a Waw.” In Intellectual History of the Islamicate World (Brill). Special Issue with the Proceedings of “Allographic Traditions of the Middle East” (2018).

    • “Halide Edib and Mahatma Gandhi: Literary Modernity in India and Turkey.” In Past Connections, Contemporary Debates: India and Turkey. Ed. Jassal Smita. London: Routledge, 2017.

    • “Pamuk and ‘New Turkish Literature’.” In Approaches to Teaching the Works of Orhan Pamuk. Eds. S. Türkkan and D. Damrosch. New York: Modern Language Association of America, 2017.

    • “How to turn Turk.” Belgrade Journal of Media and Communication 3, 5: 69-89, 2014. Translated into Swedish.

    • “The Humility of Thought: An Interview with Friedrich A. Kittler," boundary 2 39:3 (2012). Translated into Swedish.

    Selected Journalism:

  • Courses: