Penn State Harrisburg American Studies program welcomes visiting scholar

Harika Zöhre will be joining the American Studies program in the Penn State Harrisburg School of Humanities. Zöhre is a visiting scholar from Mersin University, Turkey, where she serves as a research assistant in folklore studies.

She is the program’s first visiting scholar from Turkey, in an initiative of the program to extend its reach globally. The program has previously hosted Fulbright and State Department scholars in American Studies from Russia, Andorra, Germany, and Tajikistan. As part of the transnational initiative, the program plans adding a scholar from China for a year-long residence beginning in January 2015.

Zöhre is currently conducting a fieldwork project on the maintenance of the "Little Istanbul" community in Paterson, New Jersey, advised by Penn State Harrisburg faculty members Simon J. Bronner, distinguished professor of American studies and folklore, and Anthony Buccitelli, assistant professor of American studies and communications. Since May 28, she has been documenting customs and traditions in Paterson and returning to Penn State Harrisburg for advising.

Her study will contribute to Penn State Harrisburg’s ongoing collection of material on ethnic groups and communities of the Middle Atlantic region.

 “I sought out the American Studies program at Penn State Harrisburg because of its reputation for folklore and ethnographic studies and its involvement in ethnic community studies,” Zöhre said.

Working transnationally, she has previously published her study on the observance of Halloween in Turkey.  Her visit is funded with a grant from YÖK: Higher Education Council of Turkey.