On behalf of the School of Languages, Literatures, and Cultures we would like to congratulate Hicran Karatas, a former visiting scholar, on receiving the Scientific Authored Book reward from the Turkish Academy of Sciences. This award aims to encourage textbook writing in Turkish language and translation into Turkish.

          With her country’s scholarship, Hicran Karatas was able to travel to the University of Missouri from Turkey. As a visiting scholar she spent a year under the supervision of Dr. John Zemke at the Center for Studies in Oral Tradition. In the one year she was here Dr. Zemke took her under his wing and with his assistance she was able to carry out her post-doctoral work. She wrote, “When I came to the center, my English skills were only enough to literatür [literature] search. I could join free English classes with the opportunity provided by my supervisor. He also let me join his BA classes, for which I will be indebted forever”. Hicran was able to audit many of John’s courses as well as assist him with the Oral Tradition, a prestigious journal Mizzou had under their wing at the time of her visit, where she was able to learn about the fair review process.

          “The Center for Studies in Oral Tradition was created by John Miles Foley where he began the journal Oral Traditions. It is described as being the center for folklore and legends through language and speaking. It served as a national and international hub for interdisciplinary research and scholarship concerning the world’s oral traditions. Twice a year the journal published free articles that explored the vitality of words spoken, sung, or performed, and the traditions of creative expression in which they thrive” (Zemke, John). The death of John Miles Foley in 2012 raised the question of what was going to happen to The Center. Dr. Zemke at the time had worked in the Center with Foley for 13 years as an associate editor of Oral Traditions so who better to take over the Center and continue the dream Foley created than Dr. Zemke. And Dr. Zemke did just that, “Since 2012, Professor Zemke has represented the University of Missouri at international conferences delivering keynote or plenary lectures at Cheng Kung University, Tainan, Taiwan, the Academy of Social Sciences, Beijing, China, Bertsozale Elkartea, Guipuzcoa, Spain, Rajiv Gandhi University, Arunachal Pradesh, India, and Bodoland University, Assam, India as well as nationally at the Eugene A. Nida Institute for Biblical Studies International Studies in Translation Conference, 2013 in St. Louis, Missouri. He also brokered a Memorandum of Understanding between Rajiv Gandhi University and The University of Missouri Columbia that was signed in May 2014” (Center for Studies in Oral Traditions). The journal was housed at Mizzou from 1986 to 2018. The journal is now housed at Harvard where it continues to publish the study of oral traditions, past and present.

          It was with this Journal and the assistance from Dr. Zemke that Hicran was able to develop the framework of her post-doctoral thesis. Hicran wrote “Thanks to his recommended readings, I gained the ability to analyze the data compiled during my field research in parallel with criminal folklore and subcultural crime theory. Returning to my country, I published my post-doctoral research, A Little Bit Criminal: Folklore of Antiquity Looters [Tr. Azıcık Suçlu: Defineci Folkloru]”. This research went on to receive the award of the Scientific Authored Book reward from the Turkish Academy of Sciences.

          With the news of this award Hicran would love to thank the university as well as Dr. Zemke for the academic support during her career. “I would like to take a moment to express my gratitude to Prof. Dr. John McDonald who taught me Latin, Homer, and the Ancient History of Greek, for which I can't find words to thank enough. I can't express my gratitude to you, your faculties, and the library staff for having me there. With my best regards and warm wishes” (Karatas, Hircran).

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