Justin Neuman’s “Religious Cosmopolitanism? Orhan Pamuk, the Headscarf Debate, and the Problem with Pluralism” originally appeared in Issue 77 of the minnesota review.
Ka, the protagonist of Orhan Pamuk’s novel Snow (2005), is an Istanbul-born secular intellectual who “couldn’t see how [he] could reconcile . . . becoming a European with a God who required women to wrap themselves in scarves,” and so, in dismissive fashion, he “kept religion” and its “bearded provincial reactionaries . . . out of his life” (96). Returning to Turkey after a dozen years in Germany as a poet in exile, Ka travels to the eastern Anatolian city of Kars, where he encounters a range of Islamic practices and performances among the observant members of the population: a Kurdish sheikh, the Islamist mayoral candidate, young men labeled radicals and terrorists, and the leader of a group of girls protesting the ban on headscarves at the local university. As he discovers, however, these locally specific and globally networked forms of religious experience are a far cry from the Atatürk-era conception of Islam as the parochial antithesis of modernity and worldliness. Continue reading
Okay, not really. But we are giving away a free copy of Issue 75 to two U.S. readers, and there are two ways you can win:
1) Follow our blog through WordPress. Current WordPress followers are already eligible for this giveaway.
2) Leave a comment on this post telling us what kind(s) of content you’d like to see on the blog.
You can enter twice by both following and leaving a comment, though you can only win once. We will randomly select the two winners at 9 a.m. Eastern on Tuesday, March 20, 2012.
Rachel Ida Buff’s essay, “Duluth,” appears in Issue 77 of the minnesota review.
Interviewed by Christopher Linforth
How long was the gestation period of “Duluth”? When did you feel this was a story that needed to be told?
“Duluth” is based on a true story, so it is about a friend I had who really did up and disappear. I wondered about that for a long time before I started to write about it. I wrote a draft of the piece about a decade ago, but I was an assistant professor at the time in a fairly hostile work environment, and I was completely in the closet about what I think of as my “real writing.” So I only showed it to a few friends and hid it in a file in my computer. Continue reading