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Çimen Günay Erkol

The Profile of Women Writers


In our research project, which aims to analyze the profile of women writers in Turkey, we attempted to collect bio-bibliographical information on women writers, and considered data on their educational status, their occupation, their father’s occupation, the genres to which they contribute, their foreign language abilities etc. and we analyzed the distribution of this data to years. A quantitative analysis is carried out, and albeit their shortcomings in giving a thorough understanding of social and cultural processes, quantitative analyses can nevertheless play a crucial role in problematizing the established judgements that form the “women’s literature” canon. For instance, to see how certain statistical data has changed over the years, can shed light on previously neglected phenomena about the literary production of women writers. Statistical distributions not only provide a panorama but also give a perspective about the institutionalization and commodification of literature and its transfer to new generations and different cultures. For example, comparisons on place of birth and place of residence of women writers help us to identify the cities which are the country’s literary centers. The distribution of genres and the variation of this distribution over the years, help us to understand the dynamics of gender in literature and the historical development of these dynamics. This paper evaluates statistical data and opens a discussion on the factors affecting the visibility of women’s literary tradition.

Ask, September 2012

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