Taking as its backdrop the
reception of Orhan Pamuk’s novels in the “West” as meta-commentaries on the “clash of civilizations”, this paper discusses a Derridean approach to the
value of teaching literature in general and teaching literature for cultural
understanding and global citizenship in particular. This approach implicates a
double shift in education perspective: from the cultivation of narrative
imagination to a translational approach to literariness and from Nussbaum’s
definition of cosmopolitanism as development of love for humanity across
concentric circles of identification to a cosmopolitan framing of acts of
literature and translation. This double shift is elucidated in the paper
through a double gesture: first, the engagement with
Derrida’s concepts of iterability, repetition, acts of literature; second, the performative’s
break from context is interlayered with a performative reading of Orhan Pamuk’s
novel My Name Is Red. The paper calls
for an educational philosophy of literature in education that addresses the self-reflexivity of the text rather than
story line, form rather than content of narrative imagination, and politics of
translation rather than translation of cultural others. Cultural literacy and
culturally engaged readings of literature could learn from such an interlayered
performative reading how to preserve translation alive in the other, and, vice versa, how to reenact
adventures of translation towards challenging familiar and reified forms of
cultural identity and not only orientalist images of “mullahs”.
Cite this paper
Gregoriou, Z. (2013). My Name Is Red: Acts of Literature and Translation in the Margins of Cultural Literacy. Creative Education, 4,
36-44. doi: 10.4236/ce.2013.44A006
 Attridge, D. (1992). Introduction: Derrida and the questioning of literature. In D. Attridge (Ed.), Acts of literature (pp. 1-32). London: Routledge.
 Bell, L. A., & Roberts, R. A. (2010). The storytelling project model: A theoretical framework for critical examination of racism through the arts. Teachers College Record, 112, 2295-2319.
 Benhabib, S. (1996). The intellectual challenge of multiculturalism and teaching the canon. In M. Garber et al. (Eds.), Field work: Sites in literary and cultural studies (pp. 1-17). London: Routledge.
 Derrida, J. (1979). Living on/borderlines. In H. Bllom et al. (Eds.), Deconstruction and criticism (pp. 102-103). New York: Seabury Press.
 Derrida, J. (1992). An interview with Jacques Derrida: This strange institution called literature. In D. Attridge (Ed.), Acts of literature (pp. 33-75). London: Routledge.
 Derrida, J. (1998). The ear of the other: Otobiography, transference, translation: Texts and discussions with Jacques Derrida, Christie McDonald and Claude Lévesque. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press.
 Egan, K. (1985). Imagination and learning: A response to Maxine Greene. Teachers College Record, 87, 155-166.
 Gay, G. (2000). Culturally responsive teaching. New York: Teachers College Press.
 Göknar, E. (2004). My name is Re(a)d: Authoring translation, translating authority. Translation Review, 68, 52-60.
 Greene, M. (1995). Releasing the imagination: Essays on education, the arts, and social change. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass, Inc.
 Huntington, S. P. (1996). The clash of civilizations and the remaking of world order. New York: Simon & Schuster.
 Majid, A. (2008). The postcolonial buble. In R. Krishnaswamy, & J. C. Hawley (Eds.), The postcolonial and the global (pp. 134-156). Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.
 Nussbaum, M. (1990). Love’s knowledge: Essays on philosophy and literature. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
 Nussbaum, M. (1996). For love of country: Debating the limits of patriotism. Boston: Beacon Press.
 Nussbaum, M. (1997). Cultivating humanity: A classical defense of reform in liberal education. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.
 Nussbaum, M. (2002). Education for citizenship in an era of global connection. Studies in Philosophy and Education, 21, 289-303.
 Pamuk, O. (2001). My name is Red. New York: Alfred Knopf.
 Pamuk, O. (2002). Interview with Orhan Pamuk, PBS, Second Hour, March 21, 2002.
 Papastephanou, M., Christou, M., & Gregoriou, Z. (2012). Globalisation, the challenge of educational synchronisation and teacher education. Globalisation, Societies and Education, 10, 1-24.
 Spring Harbor Press (2003). My name is Red: A novel by Orhan Pamuk. Book review.
 Stefan-Cole, J. (2001). My name is Red by Orhan Pamuk. Free Williamsburg.