Dr. Merve Tabur

Dr. Merve Tabur

Comparative Literature

Merve Tabur is lecturer in Comparative Literature at Utrecht University. She also works as a researcher affiliated with the ERC-funded CoFutures project at the University of Oslo. 


Merve is a scholar of comparative literature and environmental humanities whose research examines representations of environmental destruction in speculative fiction, film, and the visual arts from the Middle East and its Anglophone diasporas. She works with Arabic, Turkish, and Anglophone sources that tackle issues such as climate change, extractivism, extinction, and environmental justice. Her research critically engages with the discourse of the Anthropocene and demonstrates how cultural production in the Middle East challenges and redefines universalist conceptualizations of the term. Her current book project examines conceptions of futurity and environmental justice in the Middle East from a comparative perspective. 


Merve has received her Ph.D. in Comparative Literature from Penn State University, where she has taught comparative literature, world literature, English composition, and Arabic language courses. Before joining Utrecht University, she was a postdoctoral researcher in the Department of Culture Studies and Oriental Languages at the University of Oslo. She is a co-creator of the "Unraveling the Anthropocene: Race, Environment, and Pandemic" podcast series, run by the Liberal Arts Collective at Penn State. Merve has also translated academic books and articles on topics such as gender politics, cultural history, and literary theory. 



Ph.D.  Pennsylvania State University, Comparative Literature

MA  Dartmouth College, Comparative Literature

MA  Bogaziçi University, History

BA  Bogaziçi University, Sociology and History



Peer-reviewed articles

"Settling the Desert, Unsettling the Mirage: Urban Ecologies of Arab and Gulf Futurisms in Ahmed Naji's Using Life." Utopian Studies, vol. 35, no. 1, 2024, pp. 187-208. https://doi.org/10.5325/utopianstudies.35.1.0187

“Once Upon a Time in the Anthropocene: Myths, Legends, and Futurity in Turkish Climate Fiction.” Middle Eastern Literatures, vol. 26, no.1, 2023, pp. 76-98. https://doi.org/10.1080/1475262X.2023.2223161

"A View from the Moon: Allegories of Representation in Tawfiq al-Hakim and H.G. Wells." Alif: Journal of Comparative Poetics, vol. 39, 2019, pp. 63-90. https://www.jstor.org/stable/26596424


Select translations


Ertürk, Nergis. Grammatology and Literary Modernity in Turkey. Oxford UP, 2011.

'Honor': Crimes, Paradigms and Violence Against Women. Eds. Lynn Welchman and Sara Hossain. Zed Books, 2005. [Translated with Ayten Sönmez, Canan Tanir and Sinem Sekercan.]

McCants, William F. Founding Gods, Inventing Nations: Conquest and Culture Myths from Antiquity to Islam. Princeton UP, 2012.

Scott, Joan W. The Politics of the Veil. Princeton UP, 2010.