ELIT Semineri: “Bringing back from the dead: Questioning Authors’ Agency in Postcolonial Biofiction”, Seda Bahar Pancaroğlu, 17:30 2 Kasım (EN)

You are cordially invited to the first instalment of the new Humanities Faculty Seminar Series.

Speaker: Seda Bahar Pancaroğlu (TOBB ETÜ)

Date: Wednesday 2 November 2022
Time: 17:30 – 18:30
Place: G-160 (humanities building)

Title: Bringing back from the dead: Questioning Authors’ Agency in Postcolonial Biofiction
Abstract: Taking real historical figures and transforming a historical figure into a literary device, biofiction is a boundary-crossing genre that brings the past and present together on the narrative axis. By interweaving biography and fiction, biofictions offer scepticism towards biography and challenge the legacy of the historical figure in question. Particularly, when the revisited historical figure is an author, the text opens up to further debates. The text functions as an arena where artistic and authorial agencies combat. As such, biofiction has been used as a strategic narrative tool by postcolonial authors. By resurrecting canonical authors from the past and fictionalizing them, postcolonial writers have managed to reverse the discursive agencies and offer a deconstructive interrogation of colonial history. Two significant examples of this inclination are Peter Carey’s Jack Maggs and Caryl Phillips’ The Lost Child. Looking at these novels in particular, this talk aims to reveal the discourse beneath the reimagination of the Victorian authors Charles Dickens and Emily Brontë, and demonstrate how Carey and Phillips challenge the author’s agency and authority.

Biographical note: Seda Bahar Pancaroğlu holds an MA in English Language and Literature from Ankara University with her thesis on Postcolonial Narratology in Neo-Victorian Literature. She is currently pursuing a PhD in English Literature and Cultural Studies at Çankaya University and working as an instructor at TOBB University of Economics and Technology where she teaches English literature, and English for academic purposes. Her research interests are mainly postcolonialism, memory studies and narrative theory.