I’m back!

Since a few months, I was waiting for an amnesty for ex-PhD students.  Yesterday the law regarding the amnesty passed through the turkish parliament. This means that I’ll be allowed to return to my old PhD program… after a break of almost 10 years!

A lot of things changed meanwhile. Back in 1998 I prepared myself to write a thesis on film. I had an advisor at that time that was an expert on turkish cinema. She wanted me to write a dissertation that revolves around the concept “turkish film” and “democracy”. But that was not exactly what I wanted. I wanted to write a thesis on the “political horizon” that was depicted in popular turkish films of the 1990s and what their discourse tells us about the future of turkish society. I wanted to make a “projective” analyses of contemporary turkish film based on approaches taken from Sigfried Kracauer’s From Caligari to Hitler and D.M. Thomas’ novel The White Hotel. My position would have been somewhere between Marxism, Anarchism and Deconstruction. I planned to build each chapter around a binary opposition: folk-intellectuals, civilian-soldier, man-woman, west-southeast, anatolia-metropolis, decadence-substance etc and wanted to look at films in regard to how they use these binary oppositions to describe the ideal society they envision… from here I wanted to re-draw the general picture of society that popular turkish films idealized and ask myself which social classes and groups are ignored in this picture (or rendered obsolete)? Who were the ones that should fear about their future if our society doesn’t get away from this “hate culture” that marked it so dangerously?

My advisor didn’t like this subject. She found it too complex and wanted me to stick to the topic “the concept of democracy in turkish film”. This her wish, however, took away my last bits of motivation. A year later or so, I resigned from my former position at the Ankara University and did not follow any longer my interest into the PhD program I was part of. Instead I moved to Cyprus and started to work as an instructor. A year later I devoted myself completely to the dream topic of my childhood: video games! I entered a completely new and different learning process. I wrote my last article on turkish film in 2003. After that, I never ever got back to the topic.

Now I’m back!… But not to cinema. I’m back in order to write a PhD on video games! I wanted to do this under an architecture department… but now, after the amnesty, I’ll do it under a communication studies department. But it will not really matter. I’m more than ready to write it. I can’t wait to get it finished!

Oh, and I’ll have a new advisor ;)

5 Responses

  1. That’s brilliant news! Congratulations!

    Life is funny sometimes, isn’t it? Sometimes, things that seem like set-backs actually put us that much closer to what we really want to do.

    I had an experience similar to yours. Like you, I am now much happier being able to work on a PhD that focuses on digital games and design.

    Good luck to you on this new chapter in your life!

  2. Hello Deirde :)

    I’m happy that we could get past it and are now finally doings the things that make us happy. Thanks a lot for your good wishes… I will enjoy every minute of this new process!

    Do you have a blog or a website where I could find something on your PhD and your other interests? Would be great to know about it…

    Thanks again for the support! See you!

  3. Altug,

    I plan to have my website completed by the end of the year.

    I’m still considering whether or not to have a blog. There is so much information out there and as I also freelance, I need to ensure that I have sufficient time to write quality pieces, focus on my own research and do some consulting.

    Most likely, I will have a blog and try to commit to writing a post each fortnight or monthly.

    I’ll keep you posted when things go ‘live’!

    Keep well.

  4. Good to hear… I hope you get it all done within the timeframe you have in mind. I’m sure you will write quality stuff, why wouldn’t you?

    For my part, I think this blog helped me a lot to focus on my interests. It works as some sort of “though base” for me right now. I enjoy to “be here”, because it feels to me like it reinforces my connection with game design and game studies. (Actually I only re-mediate me to myself, but it even feels like therapy at times). I cannot estimate yet what the implications of the pleasure I get here will be in the long term, but at the moment my drive to make this “place” better helps me to stay focused. I definately helped me to find a rythm, which was really necessary to me.

    Maybe it will have a similar positive impact on you too, when you have your own blog up and running.

    Anyway, thanks for stopping by. And I hope I can do that soon too!

    Take care!

  5. Altug,

    [RE: blog as place to help focus your thoughts and reinforce your connection to your core interests] It was good to hear you write that. It’s absolute essential to write on a regular basis for the reasons that you mentioned.

    But it is also important not to become so consumed- to step away from the screen. Take the fingers off the keyboard. To unplug. And just sit around and ‘be’. I’m still trying to get that balance.

    Gotta pace myself!

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