Live Updates

Though not required, you are encouraged to update the class on literary short forms you have found, both in books and "in the wild." Submit them here and I'll continually update the page. From weeks 2-11, you can upload quick literary short forms you have found and you will receive extra credit at the end of the semester (1 or more per week for 10 weeks). KEEP YOUR READINGS SHORT. These examples will help us imagine the possibilities of literary short forms out side of the book. LIVE UPDATES! need to be done weekly (one or more per week). Please don't submit a collection of updates at the end of the semester.

1) Please submit by Sunday evening of each week.

2) You need to compelete 4 by the end of the semester.


Since these short forms are unfiltered and in the field, be sure to contemplate the possible consequences of what you share. You will need permission if your short forms include people or private contexts. If you are unsure, always ask and get permission first.

See LIVE UPDATES! below the form

Weeks 1 and 2

Coffee and a Chat

This is a paper placemat with many different short forms and images: "Now's the time for Selfy!" "An opportunity from Nero" "Instant message opportunity" along with the QR code to take a picture and download an application. I'm not sure about the form, but "captions" appear as well as "aphorism" (a wisdom statement), it could even be an "oracle" (God is speaking to me). I was struck by the use of "caption bubbles" to personify the objects as if they are speaking to me, or speech is coming from nowhere. It's from a coffee shop (Nero) and the purpose is to associate the app (Selfy) with coffee: if you buy coffee, you're likely to buy an internet package. Anyone with a mobile phone and money can do both. The messages rely on one's vanity: I'm a general consumer, but the place mat is speaking only to "me" and wants to see "my selfie", which is also the name of the application (Selfy).

Quoting Shakespeare

This is a poster that lists quotes from Shakespeare's works in everyday English. It says it was originally published in The Times Newspaper, but now it hangs on walls across the world (TB Building, Bogazici University, in Istanbul, for example). I find it fascinating that there are so many quotes used but no specific works are cited, only the authority of Shakespeare. Two different colors distinguish the personas on the poster: the author of the collection's (Levin) words are red and Shakespeare's quotes are in black. Most of the quotes are idioms, or unique expressions in English that are not complete thoughts.

Aphoristic Education

"For, something that is dissimilar is being acted upon; having been acted, however, it is like that which acts on it." --Aristotle

Prof. Fritsche wrote 5 quotations (3 of them are visible on the image) and a schematic representation of the first quotation from Aristotle's "On the Soul" (translator unknown but inscribed by the professor himself) on the board in New Hall Building. The material used is board pen and a board (so these quotations did not last long.) We have spent most of the class time with the first quotation because everything else was built on it. The professor used a quotation to explain the fundamentals of Aristotelian Epistemology, and four additional quotations to link the fundamentals to the Aristotelian understanding of sense perception. I am used to being though philosophy via quotations from books, but this is the first time I realized how a short form (quotation) is used by my instructors in their pedagogy. It also brings back the question of why do we need to read a long book if it can be summarized by a few quotations? Or why to write a long piece that can be captured in a few sentences? This also made me think of the class time as a kind of anthology because class time was used as a space to gather wisdom thoughts from Aristotle and share them with comments. (I know I am looking over the opportunity of direct conversation between the anthology editor (instructor) and the reader (students) in this analogy.)

Graduate Students of 2019

This is a poster that presents students who graduated in 2019 from the Western Languages and Literature in Boğaziçi University. It is displayed on the fourth floor in TB which is the floor for the department. I took it as a picture from my cell phone after I left a literature class. Forty-two student’s photos are symmetrically covering most of the poster in addition to a motivational quote “The BEST IS Yet To COME-Class of 2019”* that has hopeful implications for the future (the font may be chosen to emphasise some fun). It is like a memorial to the graduates while it is accessible to undergraduate students. Hence, it serves as a link between the former students and the current ones and as a bridge from past to future. Instead of writing the names of the student, visual appearance serves as a more immediate and intense encounter. Other than the quote on top, only writing that is present on the poster is informative to show the department and university that those students graduated from. When the faces are not recognised by the current students, it may be read as replaceable and indicating that one day their own faces will be under the list of graduate students. It is not just a poster pinned on the board, but it is framed which adds to its formality alongside with the logo of the university.

*"motivational quote" has a literary name: this is an idiom, but also a cliché.

Message Board

This is a picture from a message board found at a coffee shop where anyone can post temporary announcements or information. This section of epigrams show an English language instructor, a football team, and two business cards for curtains and a psychologist. Everything is made of paper and ink--some hand written, some printed--showing temporary mixed media. I'm fascinated with with shift in language in the "iTeam" poster: the "i" is an idiom abbreviation for "internet " since the late 1990s, yet it is redefined as "Istanbul" and "international." However, the only way to connect is through the internet. The audience is anyone.

The picture above shows a quote or aphorism on the wall of a school building. It translates to "Ignorance is the enemy of the public, and teachers are the enemy of ignorance."* It is easy to infer that it was said by Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, as his face and silhouette surround the quote. Putting such a quote somewhere around a school building was, if it still isn't, a frequent practice in the previous decade or so. It successfully incorporates not only a piece of wisdom but also a piece of history in our day-to-day lives, as it is clearly visible from a distance (the photo was taken from inside the metrobus). This way, it can address both the schoolchildren and those who pass by the school or even commute on the metrobus.

*This is an epigram (inscribe on a wall), but the form is proverbial. It is also a rewriting of the proverb by making it specific, "the enemy of my enemy is my friend," which makes it a maxim.

Nietzche on the dancefloor

"We should consider everyday lost which we have not danced at least once"* Friedrich Nietzsche

It is in a night club in Marmaris written at a poster hanged right next to the dj cabin. Orginally this quote is from Thus Spoke Zarathustra, chapter 56 (old and new tables), number 23. Purpose of this aphorism is to urge or to motivate people to dance, have fun and most likely to buy drinks. A more deep reading of function is to give clubbing a deeper sense; dancing as a philosophical obligation directly from one of the most popular and controversial philosopher. Clubbing in the eyes of majority seen as a free-time event deprived of its own cultural settings, not as a sophisticated way of spending time. Dancing is the main activity in club as well as listening to music and socializing. This poster is a mean to think dancing a different context, in a different environment. Which is also an usual place to see aphorisms, proves that aphorisms are everywhere.

*Can you pay attention to the medium: it is written in light.

Week 3


The scenes are from the HBO show Game of Thrones, while the compilation of the multiple scenes is by the YouTube user "d0bermanner". It is a hybrid form.* The character Hodor, in Game of Thrones, only says "Hodor" throughout the whole series. Viewers of the show find out later on that it is an abbreviation for "Hold the door." Although it is extremely short (a single word) and seemingly meaningless, it gains meaning through the intonation and the behavior of the media who is Hodor himself.

*This does not seem to be a literary short form. A name (even if unknown) does not make an aphorism (a complete thought), epigram or other literary form. It could be a pun, but it's unclear. You need to be specific what you mean by "hybrid form." Try to be specific: audio, visual, tactile? What about the medium (computer) or the matieral (metal, silicon, plastics, electricity, sound and light)?

Refugee Anecdotes

My teacher said, "Go back to Syria and don't come back." I went to the restroom and cried. -- 15 years old Merve from Syria

This is a hybrid form consisting of an anecdote and a footnote.* This anecdote is a digression from the discriminatory narrative against refugees. The footnote specifies that the narrator of this anecdote is a child refugee (Merve). This makes the anecdote more realistic and striking. The contrasting colors and big font render the poster more easily recognized among the others. The materials that are used to produce this poster (paper and ink) are vulnerable to rain and being torn down. The medium is a poster, which we encounter in our daily life very often. This can increase or decrease the visibility of the message.

*This is an anecdote that uses quotation for rhetorical effect.

Women's March

"Liberté, Égalité, Kibariyé". It is written by me :D

This was my poster from 8th of March, Women's March. I had attached it on my room's door few months ago as a good memory, but I didn't look at it as a literary short form until now.* It is written on a big white paper with black and pink markers. It is a version of French motto** "Liberté, Egalité, Fraternité". I wrote it because freedom and equality were two of the things we marched for that day, and I wanted to make it funny and remarkable, so that I used a well-known motto and I replaced "Fraternité" with "Kibariyé", who is an iconic Turkish woman singer. It was made to be seen by other women in the march but now anyone who comes to my room can access it :D

*What is the short form? What is the relationship between the language and content (French, Turkish)?
**When might it not be a motto and become another short form? How does the context change the form itself? Are the figures of speech important (3 words, 3/4 syllables).

Weeks 4 and 5

Emphatic Epigram

Its allright..we know --Anonymous

The epigram written on the bathroom cabin resembles the ancient epigrams in the sense that it creates the illusion of a talking image. The crying face addresses specifically to the person who is crying in the cabin (animistic world view).* The epigram also clarifies how to interpret the image, so it can also be a caption. The restroom where the epigram is located is a genderless restroom but mostly used by women (Bogazici University, South Campus, Study Hall Women's Restroom). It is written with a board-marker, which can be erased or will come out in time. (The sense of permanency that epigram has is lost.) It is available to everyone who can enter the campus and knows English. Other epigrams and stickers on the cabin constitute its context (in this case a torn sticker) which can increase or decrease its effect. **

*What is the rhetorical effect of the third person pronoun as well as the size?
**What might these effect(s) be, depending on the audience?

Epigrammatic lists

This is a list I keep on the refrigerator. It is a magnetic notepad with lines on which anything can be written, but it mainly is a list. The effect of this list is a modification of memory: I don't have to remember, I simply need to look. It's temporary, only important until it's not, and then can be discarded. If it were permanent--stone, metal, or other lasting material-- I would not use it for a list but to remind myself of something important from the past, present, and into the future.

There is nothing literary about this list, but it demonstrates the effect of writing on form, audience, and writer. At different times I am the writer and audience, which means I switch between Turkish and English, while ignoring spelling or grammar. Others can see this list, but it is not meant for them and it is usually ignored.

Tell me, "How Does It Feel?"

This is a representation of facial expressions to communicate pain or its absence. It's an epigram since it's a piece of paper taped to a wall. It is also emblematic since it combines images with words (linguistic and semiotic codes). It's found at the hospital and allows for communication about subjective experiences like pain. One can use the words to describe a feeling, a number, or a doctor can see your face and interpret your level of pain based on facial expressions. It takes an enigmatic experience and translates it into an axiom by standardizing a body image and verbal expression through a scale of 0-5. No pain is the smiling "prototype" and the most severe has a frown and tears. There is no room for metaphoric language, yet the entire series of images is metaphoric: pain is represented as a face, number, and word, which is not necessarily the feeling of pain (If I'm fine, I don't say "Zero," when someone asks me and when I hurt, I don't say "Five"). In this specific location, however, language is highly controlled.

Even the sofa?

My God, protect this house and contents from all evil.

I found this in my grandmother's home. I never saw it as a short literary form before. It is a prayer, close to a magic spell or incantation. However, it is also like an emblem with image and text: because of the little angels with open mouths--two holding a song book and the middle angel holding its hands in prayer--it appears that they are singing the prayer. This representation of a singing prayer is silent, but when read by a passerby, is powerful. The materials of wire and wood make it seem handcrafted, or unique, but it's also kitch and cliche: it shows a Western stereotype of angels as white, blonde, and babies, similar to cupid. The innocence of these babies then repesents a pure prayer: I even change my voice to become childlike when I say it. The holly leaves and berries reveal the pagan and Christian influence: these are traditional symbols of eternal life in winter and Christmas.

No drama pls

Save the drama for your mama -Unknown

Because I was sick and haven't left home for so many days, I was hopeless to find something to upload this week. Then I realized my t-shirt :D I wrote and drew this on this shirt, because Rachel in Friends was wearing one of these t-shirts. Because it is written on something, it can be considered as epigram. Also because it is kind of instuctive, it can also be an apothegm which became cliche.* It is written with fabric dye on a pink woman t-shirt. Red lips are framing the phrase. This makes the reader think that this is a woman's speech. Because it is silly and biting, I like to carry it on me, even as pyjamas.

*What is there a gender aspect to the apothegm? What about the medium, matieral, and productional value?

Emblematic post(card)

This is a sale post in the shopping app called letgo. It is posted online in order to sell an old postcard. Related information about the transaction is given under the photos of the product such as its cost in addition to its history. It was sent in Holy Days and it is from the 19th century. It also indicates that the handwriting in the back is original. However, when the product is examined further, the category of postcard becomes problematic. First of all, this is an emblem as it is a combination of an allegorical image of Jesus and a young person with a religious verse; “The desired yoke, O My Jesus, that burden is sweet to the heart that loves you”. Secondly, the medium which is carving the card makes it questionable to call it a postcard. Instead of printing the image and the text on it, carving becomes a part of the image with heavenly figures of clouds and light, which interested me the most about this form. In the bottom of the back side of the card the creator of the work is given: L, Turgis. Yet again the printed message and the handwriting of a personal note and date (which indicates a second author) lead us to categorise it as a postcard. Furthermore, the online post itself can be also considered as an emblem since, it is a combination of an image with an instructive text under. Electronic medium offers an option to contact the seller with two exemplary questions as “Is it still available?” and “Is the price negotiable?”. I took screenshots of the post from the app of letgo. All translations from French are made by Google Translate. (PIC.COLLAGE is the app I used to bring together two images as one)

Bench Tag

Çiğdem Güres Erden BÜ'96

In order to honor the alumni who make donations to Bogazici University, their names are nailed on benches around the South Campus. This use of epigram is similar to the traditional use of epigrams in the ancient world: specifying to whom a monument/tomb... belongs to or is devoted to. The name is carved on a shiny plate. The medium may signify the respect shown to this person. Also, carving the name gives the sense of permanency although the nails can be taken out and the plate can be removed easily. The font used to write the name looks serious and classy. This can indicate the respect shown to the donator as well as the profile that the university wants to hold. The upper case letters are used as to abbreviate the name of the university (BÜ). In Turkish, generally the surnames are written with upper case letters. Also, there is nothing separating the name of the donator and the abbreviation of the school. BÜ'96 looks like the surname of the person. This may signify the attempt to create an inclusive identity that unites school's students and alumni.

Many Voices on a Page

This is a page from the novel “House of Leaves”. There is a title that is simply the chapter number in Roman numerals, then a quote from a photographer followed by a Biblical quote and a Dante reference, and the narrative is shortly interrupted by footnotes. All of these are typed in different fonts. These fonts imitate the authors’ different voices, and this is because we had to invent ways to convey thought and emotion outside the text/content. Also, the second footnote is not a citation of academic sources, but a personal narrative of an editor-collector that becomes part of the overall narrative of the novel. This is unusual for footnotes, but new media prompt us to get increasingly creative.

"House of Leaves" by Mark Z. Danielewski, photograph taken by me.

P.S. I'm not good at giving things titles

"P.S.3 I'd send you memes but my printer is broken." My friend Michał

This is a postscript (P.S.) and it is the third P.S. in the letter. He could have written PPPS (post-post-post-scriptum) but maybe he found that abbreviation uncommon.

This postscript is at the end of the letter he wrote with black ink on white paper. It is in English because it is our main language to communicate with each other and my Polish is poor. It is meant to be read by me, the receiver. This short form is there to indicate an action he could not perform that is sending examples of another short form- a popular one, internet meme, alongside the letter. The statement has a hint of irony because internet memes are meant to be send, received, shared, and made through cyberspace. Michał likes sending me funny memes therefore this statement may fulfill the function of a meme that is making someone laugh or audibly blow some air out of their noses.

Week 6

NEMO can?

"QVIS ERVDIET WITHOVT DOCVMENTA" The name of a book by Elio Montanari, fragment taken directly by Ezra Pound.

It's the title of a photography book by Elio Montanari who had made a presentation or speech about that book in SALT Galata, the title is then placed on the wall and it ends up being aphoristic. This is in SALT Galata and it can be seen by anybody. I was about to go downstairs when I saw shiny metallic letters and it looked like an inscription often found at an old gate except that this was placed in between glasses. For a second I couldn't process what I'd seen because as I read the word "WITHOVT" I thought my mind was playing games on me. If it was all in Latin I wouldn't linger on it as much- I'd just acknowledge it's a question and thus a question mark is omitted and I'd try to make up its meaning as far as my current Latin knowledge allows me to, then move on with my day. But that one word "WITHOVT" prompted me to uncover its meaning right at the place (and do some additional research later in the day), but I somehow managed to end up with more questions. "Who will/shall instruct without documents/some evidence?" is what I got and this is why I wanted to categorize it as aphoristic.

Hayata Dair

-Anda Kalın: Stay in the moment

-Korktuğunuz Şey Başınıza Gelir: What you fear happens to you

-Sevdiğiniz İşi Yapın: Do the job you love

-Bencil Olun: Be selfish

-Hobi Edinin: Have a hobby

-Çevrenizi Çok İyi Seçin: Choose friends wisely

These maxims remind me that we often rely on short statements of truth in difficult or stressful moments. Whether a wise statement, a mystery, or rule for life, brief, memorable, and general truths are comforting and secure when everything else is chaotic and out of our control. Brevity removes the unnecessary and helps us focus on what is important or necessary.

Six months ago, Eren Kismet was diagnosed with a brain tumor and through his treatment and recovery, these are the lessons he shared with his audience.

Week 7

Emotionally Available Waste Collector

“WHAT MATTERS IS SWEEPING AWAY THE WOES It’s easy to sweep the streets” This was on a waste collection vehicle in Büyükçekmece. In addition to being a joke*, it is a municipal motto that became an epigram when it was put on a waste collection vehicle. The surface being a vehicle makes this joke-motto mobile, unlike most epigrams which end up being stationary and gaining a specific sort of aura – the aura of this particular epigram is a mood swing. Why is a municipal vehicle making a generic joke while collecting waste?** Photograph taken by me (with a smart phone).

*This is also a pun on the idiom "to sweep away."

**You could also draw attention to the author and authority that printed this pun. Your title associates it with the driver, but it is a government decision.

Fake Chinese Proverb

"Ay'ı hedefleyin. Iskalarsanız bile en azından yıldızlara ulaşırsınız."- Çin atasözü -- "Aim for the moon. If you miss, you may hit a star." Chinese proverb*

Unlike what the footnote suggests, this is not a Chinese proverb but a quotation from W. Clement Stone. I have seen this billboard while I was waiting for the subway. There were many book advertisements side by side. I think the contrasting colors and the big woman's image on this advertisement, which made me feel as if the woman is looking at me and saying the quotation, grabbed my attention. The quotation is the right length for someone who has a few minutes before the train comes. Also, claiming that this quotation is a Chinese proverb and using this to introduce the book, the advertisement (wrongly) suggests that the book contains wisdom of old Chinese culture.

*The conflict between various short forms places the reader in conceptual conflict: the book's cover has some, then their is the "fake" proverb, as well as the "You are not alone. There is help!" There are also the social media handles at the bottom, which call for action by the reader.

Stamp Here Please!

Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe to assure the survival and the success of liberty.

-John F. Kennedy

This is a quotation from JFK's inaugural address in 1961 that is now printed in every US passport. It was an announcement (Let every nation know) that invoked patriotism, nationalism, and unity through a list of parallel structures, alliteration, and repetition. In a passport, however, the meaning changes since the audience may not speak English and its purpose is "verification" of the user by the government. The quote amplifies the "aura" of the passport . The quote is often covered by stamps at various passport controls.

Tragedy or Comedy?

This is an amphitheater in Caddeboston where graffiti is spray painted on the seats as well as the stage floor. It is a palimpsest of tags, quotes, #hashtags, @twitterhandles, and pictures. The concrete structure has never been used for a public performance since I moved to Istanbul in 2011. Rather, a quick stage is set up right next to this for concerts and public events. It has become overgrown with grass, decorated with graffiti, and exists as a relic of broken concrete. An architectural space imagined as a shared experience has become a gathering place for youth to eat çekirdek and drink beer while leaving a trace of their serious and humorous thoughts.

Dentists Been Living Here For Centuries

"Aqui vive un: Dentista"

It's emblematic. It depicts a dentist and his patient from around the middle ages. I'm currently at the dentist with my close friend accompanying our friend. While waiting I saw this on the wall and it says "Here lives a: Dentist." The dentist said he bought this small picture when he was in Corona, Spain and he added he has indeed been living and working here for over 30 years. The picture used decoratively, looks like it's depicting a dentist and his patient who looks like he's upper class from the middle ages. The colors used are vivid and the picture is framed and I think the base is porcelain. Anyone who comes to see this dentist can see that emblematic furniture. This picture tells me the dentist loves his job and that is very reassuring.

Week 8

Dust Art

This is Graffiti (?), joke, proverb

On the left: “Wash me" "teach me how to wash myself...”; on the right: “you hit and they get stitches, I hit and they get burials”. The left side is definitely a joke referencing the proverb “give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish, and you feed him for a lifetime”. Being written on a dusty car gives it a witty air, but I’m not sure if we can call this a witticism, nor graffito or epigram since it’s definitely on a surface but not permanently. The right side is common graffito with rhyme and wordplay on the word “atarlar”. Both are mobile as long as it doesn't rain and the owner of the car doesn't wash them off, so the artists have little authority over their creations.

All Publicity is Good Publicity?

This is a simple graffito found on the outer wall of a factory in Beylikdüzü. The logo informs us that it’s an Instagram account and transforms this into illegal advertisement, since it’s also an act of vandalism. Funnily enough, the account is private and requires the permission of the owner to follow it, rendering this advertisement half-useless. Writing on walls implies some desperation to gain followers, not pickiness if and when they attempt to follow. Aside from that, the aura is interesting with overgrown ivy framing the graffito, showing that we will shove our modern culture into whatever patch of nature we come across.

Week 9

Mechanical Advertising

I see this wall of scrolling banners between TB, JF, and Engineering everyday. They are epigrammatic because these devices are attached to a wall. The mechanical movements of signs scrolling up and down catch ones eye and force one to look at websites, telephones, food, coffee, movies, and other products. The sheer number of signs in one location implies that it is impossible to recognize them all in one glance. They fade into the background, but the location is strategic between classrooms and student dorms--yet hidden from public view-- to target student audiences while not diminishing the "academic" reputation of the university. You would not find these signs on the main gate, Albert Long Hall, the rectorate, or other symbolic and public buildings.

Memento Mori

"Her canlı ölümü tadacaktır."

"Every soul shall taste death."

This is an epigraph written on the arch above the front gate of the Zincirlikuyu Cemetery that was originally a repeated verse from the Quran. Although the purport of this epigraph is quite clear, its effect changes a lot through the context and the medium of the writing compared to when it appears as a simple verse in the Quran; it transforms from being a religious maxim into being a memento mori symbol for everyone, regardless of their beliefs, as it captures your attention whilst passing by. It transcends its religious effect of warning and becomes a reminder that shows millions of vehicles and pedestrians that they all will, effectively, end up in a cemetery

Also see:

This is from the game “A Hat in Time”. Upon interacting with the radio in the room by clicking on it, we are presented with this piece of flavor text. According to Wikipedia, flavor text is a text that “serves to add realism or characterization to the item in question”. This particular piece mentions “radio broadcasts” which are parodies of three famous podcast titles (“Friends at the Table”, “Welcome to Night Vale” and “My Brother, My Brother and Me”, respectively). I think flavor text functions like a less formal kind of footnote or gloss for games. Here, the game urges the player to look up these titles, referencing works from other media, but only if the player decides to interact with it.

I swear I won't laugh

“Bi’şey söylicem ama gülmek yok” [“I’m gonna tell you sumthin but you can’t laugh”]. This is the title of a slice-of-life book by the Turkish author Mine Sota. It’s spelled the way it would be said in a casual conversation. The phrasing suggests it’ll tell the reader something they’ll want to laugh at. The caricaturized figures in the background enhance this comicality. This casual attitude, along with the title’s length and the silly font, draws attention and increases the likelihood of purchase. The "carpe diem!" in the bottom right corner is the name of the publishing house, inspired by the cliché.

Week 10

For all your intellectual ink needs

I saw these two very different signs for the same tattoo parlor in Kadiköy. One is a wooden arrow created by the city to denote a direction along with other shops in the area. The other is a neon sign at the front of the parlor. Since this week we are discussing tattoos as literary short forms in a university setting, I thought it was appropriate. The tattoo shop's facebook page describes body ink as an "art," as well as shows images of many of the tattoos the artist has done, most of which are visual images though some are of short quotes, signatures, aphorisms, and epigrams.

When the Eagle Speaks, What Does It Say?

I received this email today about unspecified terrorist activities in Turkey. These circulars come once every few months to remind foreigners (me) of dangers abroad. What I found particularly fascinating and uncomfortable about this email (since we're talking about literary short forms) is the strange yet powerful "field guide" format that is used. There is a general location to find "terrorism" in Turkey (countrywide). While in this space, there is a nonspecific holiday event to be observed at specific locations described as "soft targets frequented by Westerners." While in this non-space and non-time, all foreigners are supposed to be aware of terrorism in the field through "vigilance," "awareness," and "media monitoring." I never thought of terrorism as a particular event to be observed in the "field," yet I guess that is what it is. All of this information is approved and authorized by the "United States Department of State" though the hybrid image/text emblem in the upper left corner.

Week 11

Ex Libris: Back! Bugs! Back!

I found this little Ex Libris (a sticker or stamp in a book to mark ownership) in an article about these little sticky-grams. In the majority of the books of the Robert College library, which now belongs to the Boğaziçi University. One funny example is from İ. Gündağ Kayaoğlu, folk-culture expert and researcher-writer. We see a writer surrounded by books with hand written inscription “Yâ Kebikeç” in Arabic on it done in 1985. The word “Kebikeç,” which was thought to be the “Sultan of the Bugs” was inscribed on handwritten manuscript books to protect them from worms. The bugs were believed to be afraid of the Kebikeç and avoid approaching the books with this word on them (Pektas, 2014).

Next time you are in the library, look for these little stickers on the inside of older book covers. Today, we use barcodes :(.

Week 12

14 Kasım 2018 Şerif Ali Kuğu Pastanesi Rezaleti

14 Kasım 2018 ŞerifAli Kuğu Pastanesi Rezaleti - çarşamba akşamı saat 21:00 sıralarında sevgilimle şerifali kuğu pastahanesine oturduk.ikimizde 30 yaşlarındayız.ben çay istedim sevgilim birşey içmeyeceğini söyledi.bu esnada sarılıp birbirimize gelecek planlarımızdan bahsediyorduk aileler nasıl tanışacak vs. çok mutluydum ve bu sırada sevgilimi birkaç kez yanağından öpmüş olabilirim. tam bu sırada önüme hesap bırakıldı ve bırakan adam uzaklaştı oradan. ben de adamı tekrar görünce “ben hesap istemedim neden bıraktınız? “dedim.adam uygunsuz oturduğumuzu ve bu yüzden bıraktığını söyledi.”bir şikayet mi var? “ dedim “nasıl uygunsuz anlamadım?” dedim. elit insanlarsanız uygunluk kısmını ben size açıklamayayım dedi.çıkarken işletme müdürü ile görüşmek istiyorum dedim. yine mustafa adında ki aynı hesabı bırakan adam geldi ve burada öyle iki kişi 10 liraya çay içip istediğimizi yapamayacağımızı söyledi. ben de ona “1000 lira versem istediğimi yapabiliyorum yani dedim.” ağzımı bozdurtma bana, baban yaşında adamım ben dedi. ben de babam yaşımda falan değilsin ben 30 yaşındayım dedim. daha sonra etrafımız garsonlar tarafından sarılınca sevgilimi de daha fazla huzursuz etmemek için oradan çıktım. bir namus bekçisi daha bütün kafenin namusunu kurtarmış oldu yani. not: sözlük gerizekalı dolu olduğu için memleketin niye bu halde olduğunu bir kez daha iyi anladım teşekkür ederim. 30 yaşında ve bilgisayar mühendisi yazmamın sebebi öyle muck muck bir yiyişme olmadığını efendi gibi el ele oturduğumuzu anlatmaktı yani ergen değiliz demekti. eyvallah çok sağolun hepinize beni bir kez daha yanıltmadınız yüzde 50 nerden geliyor konusunda. not: hayatımın aşkını 30 yaşında bulmuşum sevgimi her yerde gösteririm kimseyi ilgilendirmez. (El Perdedor)

This is a genre of writing which I came to call, "rezalet entry genre" at Ekşi Sözlük.

This is an Ekşi Sözlük entry, accessible at (latest 9 Dec. 2019). It registers a complaint by an anonymous Ekşi Sözlük user and publicizes the complaint not only by publishing it in an interactive website, but also by using the word, "rezalet" in its title. (Remember the meaning of the word rezalet here). This particular complaint is an example of a broader genre of "rezalet" titles and entries at Ekşi Sözlük. These entries all give the date of the incident and the party that is complained about (usually a corporation, hospital, etc.). Notice how other contributors join in discussing the quality of the rezalet in question and at times give a score for the rezalet. This way, not only the rezalet genre becomes interactive but it also becomes more established over time through the engagement of other Sözlük users. In my broader work, I look at how this genre becomes established, how the number of rezalet entries increase over time and whether we can point to a correlation between the increase of these seemingly non political rezalet entries and political frustrations felt by a certain segment of the Turkish society.

Unintentional Spellcasting

This is part of a comment thread on a line of a Wattpad story. Wattpad separates paragraphs into sections that the reader can comment on independently of other paragraphs. As we can see, several readers jokingly compare this particular line of dialogue (which we could also call a quotation because Wattpad separates it from others) to an incantation. Also, if this were a physical book, the margins would be full of comments and the page would have post-its stuck on it to host all 47 comments for this single line, not counting the other paragraphs.Screenshot taken on Wattpad.


Is it possible to engage GIFs, Memes, Tweets, Snapchat stories, or other internet ephemera? Look no further than this collection of essays that not only explores newly created internet lingo, but also uses the form of internet language to inflect teaching, research, and well, pixels and stuff. Buzzademia is academic scholarship and teaching materials done with, through, or in response to internet vernacular.

Q: Why would any one want something like this?

A: Because internet.


Week 13 ( is a witticism in the form of an epigraph. I have come across this witticism in the sitting area in front of Dunken Donuts, North Campus (Bogazici University). People usually smoke during breaks in this area and there are cigarette ends nearby. The location hints that this witticism criticizes the smokers. The wit comes from its form that mimics an internet link. I remember in my high school years we used to add ".com" at the end of our sentences for fun, e.g. This implies that this epigram could be written on the wall ten years ago, the permanent markers must be resistant enough. The writer might also be around my age and use this form for nostalgia as well as to create a group sense for rhetorical reasons — those who realize the ".net/.com" vs. who cannot. North Campus (Bogazici University).

Giving Quotes as Gifts

This is a quote from The Catcher in the Rye and also the last line in the book. I drew this to my friend years ago and found it hung up on her wall today. It is a harder paper than a regular A4 and is larger, it's torn from my sketchbook. I used drawing pencils. It is the cover of The Catcher in the Rye with the quote "Don't ever tell anybody anything. If you do, you start missing everybody." written next to it. My intention was to draw the cover only but then I remember adding this quote because I simply like it and there was this huge space left blank. I'm not sure if there's a version of the book cover with this quote. From the way I wrote my "y"s I think I wanted the letters to look more orderly like they appear in print as I remember writing the letters carefully as not to ruin the drawing.

Try Not to Sing It

“Bir iyilik yap kendine.” “Do yourself a favor.”

This short form is a motto because it embodies the brand’s whole promotional approach. Due to the repeated television and radio commercials of this brand, this short form has become the motto of this brand within its target audience. In fact, the readers often find themselves murmuring the tune of the commercial whilst reading the motto. In a closer look, this motto functions as a topos as well through its intended continuation. The motto insinuates that the consumers can do this favor by drinking the brand’s tea. Therefore, the brand successfully merges a patterned saying with their promotional motto.

“The word ‘socialism’ was used by totalitarian systems to deceive people.” (Marycula)

This graffiti is from the East Side Gallery of the Berlin Wall that was made by a Berlin-based street artist Marycula. The graffiti consists of a short writing and an image of Karl Marx. The short writing is a sententia because it offers the artist’s political opinion through a thought bubble that comes out from Marx. The mixture of visual and written media offers an artistic take on the wall's and the city's history through a political opinion.

A Toilet Tragedy

“Tuvalet kağıdı bitmiş, taharet musluğu çalışmıyor, götümü göz yaşlarım ile sildim” “Toilet paper is gone, the bidet is not working, I wiped my ass with my tears”

This is a latrinalia that is inscribed on one of the walls in 1st Men’s Dormitory on South Campus. This short form narrates the particular moment in which the writer is using the toilet when it did not have any available sanitary product. Since this is also a brief account of the writer’s experience, which they humorously inscribed on the wall, this short form can also be considered as an anecdote. The writer talks about a moment of desperation to which anyone can relate; therefore, this latrinalia functions as a humorous warning, too.

Mind the Step

"Die Philosophen haben die Welt nur verschieden interpretiert,es kommt aber darauf an sie zu verändern" - Karl Marx Translation: "Philosophers have only interpreted the world differently; what matters is to change it"

This is a quotation, which is inscribed on a wall at the entrance of Humboldt University of Berlin. I took this photograph during the time I was studying there as an exchange student. It is a quotation as it aims "to give as a reference, to cite as an authority" or "to copy or repeat exact words". Also, it can be considered as an epigraph since it is inscribed on a wall. German speakers can easily understand it and the ones familiar with the university’s history can form a connection between the university and Karl Marx considering Marx studied law at Humboldt University. Moreover, this quotation also functions as the university’s motto cause one can buy from the store inside the university building gifts or university sweatshirts which have the university logo and this quotation on them. It also functions as an epitaph since it aims to honour Marx as a former student. The letters "Vorsicht Stufe” (Mind the step) on the stairs leading to this epigraph also metaphorically asks for tolerance considering Germany's history with the former Marxist regime which turns this epigraph into a matter of discussion among the Berliners.

I need to "rest"

Hey, I love you and I miss you but I need to rest. -Anonymous

Hey, I love you and I miss you but I need to rest. -Anonymous This is toilet graffiti, or in other words, a latrinalia that I found in the genderless restroom of Study Hall in Boğaziçi University South Campus. It is written with a marker and it can be understood by anyone that can speak English. It is written in a casual style with the greeting “Hey”. The person in the cabin leaves her/his message for the next users of the restroom with a witty attitude as the usage of the verb “rest” can be a pun that refers to the restroom itself.

How would Lubitsch do it?

“How would Lubitsch do it?”

I took this photograph while I was at a screening in Kino Babylon in Berlin, Mitte. This epigraph, which is described as “an inscription on a statue, stone or building”, on the wall of this old movie theater attracted my attention the most as it refers to the legendary director Ernst Lubitsch. The question itself “How would Lubitsch do it?” is a famous saying in the world of cinema as Billy Wilder also reveals in one of his interviews that he had the same question inscribed in his office. This question challenges most directors as they want to achieve the same success Lubitsch did. It also makes the audience think over Lubitsch, and his style.

In a Wonderland

“How do you know I'm mad?" said Alice. "You must be," said the Cat, "or you wouldn't have come here.” - Lewis Carroll, Alice in the Wonderland

This is a quotation from Lewis Carroll’s well-known children’s novel Alice in the Wonderland. It can be considered as an epigraph as it is inscribed on a wall. I took this photograph during my visit to Shakespeare and Company bookstore in Paris. The bookstore was covered with different quotations extracted from different well-known literary works. It functions as a decoration for sure, but still, the notion of “madness” in the dialogue between the Cat and Alice made me think over my own presence in that bookstore. Are we the readers or possible purchasers of those books in that bookstore also mad? Considering that we enter into a new realm with every book that we read, one can say that the act of reading seems to be likened to the adventures Alice goes through in the Wonderland. Thus, besides its decorative function, the epigraph also encourages readers to purchase books from the bookstore with the meaning that it underlines.