Universitat Rovira i Virgili

Ayşenaz Postalcıoğlu (Koş)

Aysenaz Kos is an instructor at the Department of Translation and Interpreting Studies, Boğaziçi University, İstanbul, Turkey. She holds a BA and an MA in Translation Studies from the Department of Translation Studies, Bogazici University, Istanbul. She is a literary translator and was also an instructor at the Department of Translation and Interpreting of Yeditepe University, İstanbul, Turkey, from 2006 to 2008.

Simone de Beauvoir in Turkey: (Her)story of a Translational Journey

Supervisor: Michaela Wolf

Research Summary

The central concern of this study is to explore the translational journey Simone de Beauvoir and her work in the Turkish cultural space and to re-read from a gender-conscious perspective some observable aspects of this rewriting process through paratextual and textual data from the 1950s onwards. Three aspects in Beauvoir's journey are problematized in this study. The first problematic is related to the (in)visibility of Simone de Beauvoir and her work within the Turkish cultural space. While her work has been extensively translated and read since the 1960s, to my knowledge, no reviewers have commented on any translation at all. The second problematic has to do with the fact that Beauvoir was first introduced in the 1960s into the Turkish cultural climate exclusively by (male) mediators who also introduced Jean-Paul Sartre to the Turkish intelligentsia and that, thereby, especially in the 1960s and 1970s, her name was associated with that of Sartre and existentialism, until the 1980s when Beauvoir was finally approached to by Turkish feminists. The third problematic is in fact related with the second one, and it is the time lag in the reception of Beauvoir's feminist side in the Turkish cultural system. Paradoxically, although she was a feminist woman writer, Beauvoir's identity was primarily based on the identity of the male to whom she was related in the receiving culture at that time. If we consider that feminism as an ideology and social movement was not a valid discourse before the 1980s in Turkey, we can say that the necessary context for the reception of Beauvoir and her work was not yet developed on the target side when the translations of her works appeared in the 1960s and 1970s. In line with this, her cultural mediators who could not elude the patriarchal point of views towards woman benefited from her relationship with Sartre, from the scandalous status of her life and works, from the persona and gender of the author, and from the autobiographical features of her work to engage the readers' attention and interest in promoting her books, for commercial purposes. To see the big picture and to contextualize the results, I would also argue that these paratextual and textual materials which played a significant role in the reception of Beauvoir and her work in Turkey give us clues about cultural, social, patriarchal, and ideological stances on "the woman question" within the Turkish cultural climate.   

Minor dissertation

Doctoral thesis


Koş, Ayşenaz. 2013."Sartre'ın Kurmaca-dışı Metinlerinin Yeniden Çevirilerinde Kullanılan Terminolojinin İncelenmesi". Varlık 1267: 42-48.

Koş, Ayşenaz. 2013. "Promoting Simone de Beauvoir and Le deuxième sexe  Through the Male in Turkey", in Prof.Dr. Nedret Kuran Burçoğlu'na Armağan. Disiplinlerarası Çalışmalar, (ed.) Filiz Öğüt Şermet, İstanbul: Korpus, 117-126.

Koş, Ayşenaz. 2013. "Dert Yorumcusu Tercümeyi de Yapabilecek mi?". Kırtıpil 2: 34-35.

Koş, Ayşenaz. 2012. "Sartre'ın Kurmaca Olmayan Metinlerinin Türkçe Çevirilerinde ve Yeniden Çevirilerinde Kullanılan Terminolojinin Bir Çözümlemesi". Proceedings of the 1st International Translation Studies and Terminology Conference.

Koş, Ayşenaz. 2011. "Simone de Beauvoir'ın Türkiye'de Alımlanması". Varlık 1245: 30-36.  

Koş, Ayşenaz. 2010. Migration of Theories. The Journey of Sartrean Existentialism into Turkey through Translation. Saarbrücken: VDM Verlag.

Koş, Ayşenaz. 2010. Reflections of the image of Jean-Paul Sartre in the Turkish intellectual milieu through translation. Translation Studies 3/2, 149-171. 

Koş, Ayşenaz 2008. Analysis of the paratexts of Simone de Beauvoir's works in Turkish, Anthony Pym & Alexander Perekrestenko, eds Translation Research Projects 1. Tarragona: Intercultural Studies Group. 59-68.


2013. "An Analysis of the Terminology in Sartre's Nonfiction Retranslated into Turkish" Presented at the Retranslation in Context Conference held at Boğaziçi University. December 2013.

2011. "Sartre'ın Felsefi Metinlerinin Türkçe Çevirilerinde ve Yeniden Çevirilerinde Kullanılan Terimcenin Bir Çözümlemesi". Presented at the 1st International Translation Studies and Terminology Conference hosted by Kırıkkale University, Kırıkkale, Turkey.  October 2011.

2008. "Promoting Simone de Beauvoir and Le Deuxième Sexe Through the Male in Turkey". Presented at the 3rd International IDEA Conference, Studies in English hosted by Ege University, İzmir, Turkey. April 2008.

2005. "Analysis of the Paratexts of Simone de Beauvoir's Works in Turkish". Presented at the Graduate Conference New Research in Translation Studies held in Tarragona, Spain. October 2005.

Viva: January 27, 2016

Examining committee:

Mirella Agorni (Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore)

José Santaemilia Ruiz (Universitat de València) 

Anthony Pym (URV)