Dictionary of Adalet Ağaoğlu from Core Program Students

Kadir Has University’s students of the Core Program, who were the first students to receive the courses of the new education model, brought the first novel of Adalet Ağaoğlu’s Dar Zamanlar trilogy to light again with a creative dictionary project. Freshman Engineering students who took the ‘Critical Reading and Writing in Turkish’ course of the Core Program created titles inspired by this novel, which has an important place in the history of literature due to its inclusion of the social history of Turkey from the 30s to the 60s. 

One of the doyens of literature, Adalet Ağaoğlu, who we lost in 2020, is commemorated with a creative dictionary study prepared by Kadir Has University Core Program students. The students chose the titles from the novel Ölmeye Yatmak, which is the first novel of the master author’s Dar Zamanlar trilogy and refers to many concepts, texts, historical, social and political events, and from their perspectives, transformed the titles they created into a dictionary. The dictionary, which the first-year engineering students prepared under the guidance of course instructor Asst. Prof. Şehnaz Şişmanoğlu in the ‘Critical Reading and Writing in Turkish’ course, also pays homage to Ağaoğlu’s novel, one of the most essential texts in the history of literature, in terms of content and technique, whose voice will continue to reach young people after him. 

A creative dictionary instead of a standard essay assignment!

‘Critical Reading and Writing in Turkish’ instructor Dr. Şehnaz Şişmanoğlu, says the following about their work: “Turning this compulsory Turkish lesson which is given in the first year into a critical reading and writing workshop for students from various departments creates a more productive classroom atmosphere for both students and teachers. In our lesson, instead of giving a standard critical article assignment to students, we found it appropriate to make a creative dictionary study that would reveal the pluralistic nature of the novel and the students’ research potential, where they could feel freer. Everyone researched secondary sources and wrote about various concepts, events, and texts like “ekmek karnesi,” village institutes, Madame Bovary, Turkism, etc.” according to their curiosity and area of interest.”

Engineering students prepared the dictionary.

Dr. Şişmanoğlu stated that all of the students who attended “Turkish Critical Reading and Writing” courses were engineering students, “Their knowledge of literature was limited to the courses they took in high school and their literature knowledge developed over the years. Despite this, they read the novel Ölmeye Yatmak, which was not very easy in terms of content and technique, discussed it in class, and wrote very creative dictionary titles. They could choose the title they wanted from the novel and carry out the research they desired within the framework of certain rules but remaining free in terms of creativity. We aim to continue these positive experiences with different student projects in the coming years.” 

“We aim to educate students who do not stay within the boundaries of their departments and professions.”

Kadir Has University Head of the Department of Core Academics Assoc. Dr. Didem Kılıçkıran, said: “The fact that the hard work we have put into establishing the Core Program has been rewarded in the first year of the program with such a meaningful work shows us that we are not far from our goals. Our dear engineering students, who read and discussed the novels of Adalet Ağaoğlu and produced and wrote ideas about the piece, show how valuable a university environment that does not limit students to the boundaries of departments and professions is, but triggers creativity, free-thinking, and production, and gives hope for a better future.

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