DAVID SELIM SAYERS is a scholar of Ottoman and Turkish Studies with a focus on history and literature. He is a co-founder and core faculty member of the Paris Institute for Critical Thinking (PICT).
David is a permanent faculty member at the École Nationale des Ponts et Chaussées (ENPC). His previous posts include Lecturer at HEC Paris (2019-22) and Sorbonne Nouvelle – Paris 3 (2019-20), University Professor (visiting) at the University of Vienna (2017-18), Research Fellow at Justus Liebig University Giessen (2016-17), and Lecturer at San Francisco State University (2013-16). He received his Ph.D. in Near Eastern Studies from Princeton University, his M.A. in Turkish Literature from Bilkent University, and his B.A. in Theology from the University of Cambridge. A native speaker of English, German, and Turkish, David has taught university courses in all three languages as well as French.
David’s publications include the books The Wiles of Women as a Literary Genre (Harrassowitz, 2019) and Tıfli Hikayeleri (Bilgi University Press, 2013) as well as the translated volumes The Struggle for Modern Turkey (Bloomsbury, 2019) and Muhacirname: Poetry’s Voice for the Karamanlidhes Refugees (Istos, 2016). His scholarly introductions to the work of Sabahattin Ali and Sabiha Sertel have been published by Penguin Classics and Bloomsbury, and his articles have appeared in academic and literary journals alike. David has also commented on Turkish current affairs in the media, including the ABC television show Good Morning America.
In November 2021, David co-authored the academic exposé, “The Real Academy in Exile,” with Evrim Emir-Sayers for the PICT journal, The Faculty Lounge. Sparking a major debate on clique formation in contemporary academia, the article received extensive discussion in international media ranging from the German daily newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung to the state-run Turkish news agency Anadolu Ajansı. Since Fall 2022, David has been co-translating works of Turkish poetry, including by Alevi-Turkish folk poet Âşık Veysel and Kurdish-Turkish poet Ahmed Arif, in The Faculty Lounge.
As editor-at-large, David works on virtually every piece of writing published by PICT, including the PICT Manifestos, the journals The Faculty Lounge and The Thinking Cap, the annual critical review dePICTions, and the PICT Books imprint. David is series host of the PICT podcast, The Last Ottoman.
To find out more about David, check out his:
- East vs. West: The Conquest of Constantinople
- English Literature in Paris
- Gender in the Middle East
- Nonfiction: Writing Creatively
- Paris Bookstore Tour
- PICT Aegean Summer School
- Politics and Cinema: The Republic of Turkey
- The City: An Unfinished Story
- Writing Is Rewriting
PICT Public Lectures
- PICT Faculty Lectures II: Ingmar Bergman Across the Disciplines
- PICT Faculty Lectures V: Spydentity Politics: How International Spy Movies Create Global Ethnic Hierarchies
- Critical Thought in and Beyond the University
- Hope, Fear & Tech: Perspectives on Technology from the Humanities
- A Brief History of the Turkish Republic, or the Life and Times of Sabiha Sertel (The Faculty Lounge)
- Dark Earth (The Faculty Lounge)
- Gender, Sex, and Printing Press in Ottoman Constantinople (The Faculty Lounge)
- Gezi Spirit: The Possibility of an Impossibility (The Faculty Lounge)
- I’m on a Long and Narrow Road (The Faculty Lounge)
- In America (The Faculty Lounge)
- L’esprit Gezi : La possibilité d’une impossibilité (French PICT)
- Let My Friends Remember Me (The Faculty Lounge)
- No Map Can Stop the Bats from Crossing the Border (The Faculty Lounge)
- Sick in the City (dePICTions)
- The Messenger (The Faculty Lounge)
- The Moon Is Dark (The Faculty Lounge)
- The One Who Sees This World Is You (The Faculty Lounge)
- The Real Academy in Exile (Censored) (The Faculty Lounge)
- The Reluctant Conjurer: A Wiles-of-Women Tale from Ottoman Constantinople (The Faculty Lounge)
- Thirty-Three Bullets (The Faculty Lounge)
- Tıflî Hikâyeleri (PICT Books)