We welcome Dr. Melih Levi to our department…



PhD (2020) Stanford University; Comparative Literature

B.A (2015) Amherst College; English Literature

Research Interests

the poetic image, literary modernism, The New York School, German expressionism, abstract expressionism, anxiety, melancholy and affect


Zoom talk by Dr. Melih Levi: “Gesturing Beyond the Avant-Garde: Frank O’Hara and the Performing Self”, June 25

Department of Western Languages and Literatures presents a zoom talk by Dr. Melih Levi: ”Gesturing Beyond the Avant-Garde: Frank O’Hara and the Performing Self” on June 25 at 2 pm.


FEF Meeting Room 2 is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.

Time: Jun 25, 2020 02:00 PM Istanbul


Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 954 2613 8697


Abstract: Legacies of the avant-garde in post-war America provide compelling case studies for understanding early departures from modernist conceptions of objectivity and impersonality. These departures also announce the onset of confessionalism in lyric poetry and the aesthetic  appreciation of personality attributes like authenticity, truthfulness, reliability, and sincerity. The New York School poet Frank O’Hara is often celebrated for the urban, spontaneous and performative style of his “I do this, I do that” poems and his effortless movement between diverse perceptions. But his earlier experiments with various avant-garde techniques (those of Surrealism in particular) reveal deeper and lengthier attachments in the object-world. Though the fluidity of Surrealist assemblages prepares O’Hara’s poetry for a swift responsiveness in urban contexts, the Surrealist interest in disguise and distortion puts pressure on his direct and plainspoken performance. As a result, his speakers consistently worry that undue emphasis on the activity of the self may end up turning the self into yet another object of study. How does O’Hara overcome this anxiety and perform a dynamic sense of self that resists being turned into a linguistic construct? We will observe that O’Hara stages purposeful encounters with modernist art to imagine what it would take to escape modernist claims of impersonality, as well as turning to gestures and painterly grammars to increase the resourcefulness of plain language.


Application for Double Major Program

If you are applying to the double major program with Western Languages and Literatures, please email a one-page statement of purpose in English, a recent transcript, and the double major application form to the double major adviser Hande Tekdemir at by September 3, 2020. You can find the application form here:

Interviews with double major applicants have been scheduled for Monday, September 14, at 11:00. Please note that the interviews are likely to take place on Zoom. More information will be announced later. For further inquiries, please e-mail Dr. Tekdemir.





Application for the Minor Degree

If you are applying to the minor degree in English Literature, please e-mail one-page statement of purpose in English and a recent transcript to the minor degree coordinator, Dr. Myrto Drizou ( by September 3, 2020. You can find the details on the degree here:

A written exam has been scheduled for Friday, September 11, at 12:00 and interviews with applicants who have successfully passed the exam will be held on Monday, September 14, at 12:00. Please note that the exam and interviews are likely to take place on Zoom/Turnitin. More information will be announced later. For further inquiries, please e-mail Dr. Drizou.