Snow in Wisconsin (2013-2014)

Snow in Wisconsin connected teachers and students throughout the state in the study of a novel by Nobel Prize-winning Turkish novelist Orhan Pamuk. Snow was published in Turkish in 2002 and translated to English by Maureen Freely in 2004. A novel rich in character, themes, and historical and political complexity, Snow opens doors to interdisciplinary inquiry like few contemporary novels and provides a forum for critical investigation that challenges and inspires. Great World Texts in Wisconsin educators taught Snow in interdisciplinary teams at high school classrooms around the state with year-long support from UW-Madison faculty and staff.

Teaching Resources

Teachers participating in the program attended a two-day workshop for educators on Sept. 9-10, 2013, featuring talks by campus experts, workshopping activities and discussions, cultural and curricular presentations. In the spring semester participating teachers gathered in Madison again, this time joined by other educators state-wide and community members to discuss and strategize practices and possibilities in teaching world literature. The free, public, all-day conference was led by Great World Texts coordinators and Doris Sommer, founder of Cultural Agents and Pre-Texts, and Ira Jewell Williams, Jr., Professor of Romance Languages and Literatures and African and African American Studies at Harvard University. Sessions were also led by UW-Madison faculty and staff, and veteran teachers in the Great World Texts program.

Teaching Guide

Conference Program

Keynote Speaker: Student Conference and Public Lecture

Orhan Pamuk is the Nobel Prize-winning author of Snow. He was named among world’s 100 intellectuals by Prospect magazine and, in 2006, TIME magazine chose him as one of the 100 most influential persons of the world. Snow was selected as one of the best 100 books of 2004 by The New York Times  and went on to win the Le Prix Méditerranée étranger in 2006. Pamuk met with students and answered student questions at our student conference on Monday, December 2, 2013. That evening, Pamuk also delivered a free public lecture co-sponsored by the Wisconsin Union Directorate Distinguished Lecture Series.

Support for Snow in Wisconsin

Snow in Wisconsin was an initiative of the UW-Madison’s Center for the Humanities, supported by the A.W. Mellon Foundation; UW-Madison Libraries; The Evjue Foundation; the Center for German and European Studies; the Anonymous Fund of the College of Letters & Science; Distinguished Lecture Series; the Center for Russia, East Europe, and Central Asia (CREECA); and Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction.



Supporting Materials

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Orhan Pamuk

  • Orhan Pamuk. “From the Snow in Kars Notebooks.” Other Colors: Essays and a Story. New York: Vintage, 2008.
  • Orhan Pamuk. “Dostoyevsky’s Notes from the Underground: The Joys of Degradation.” Other Colors: Essays and a Story. New York: Vintage, 2008. 136-141.
  • Orhan Pamuk. “On Trial.” The New Yorker. Dec 19 2005.
  • Orhan Pamuk. “Literary Character, Plot, Time.” The Naïve and Sentimental Novelist. Trans. Nazim Dikbas. Cambridge and London: Harvard UP, 2010. 57-87.
  • Orhan Pamuk. “Words, Pictures, Objects.” The Naïve and Sentimental Novelist. Trans. Nazim Dikbas. Cambridge and London: Harvard UP, 2010. 87-119.


  • Orhan Pamuk talks to Simon Schama. Financial Times, April 16 2013.
  • Orhan Pamuk on Taksim Square, the Effects of ‘Breaking Bad,’ and Why the Future of the Novel Is in the East By Pankaj Mishra in New Republic, July 29, 2013
  • Orhan Pamuk, The Art of Fiction No. 187, Pamuk’s Paris Review interview, Fall/Winter 2005. Interviewed by Ángel Gurría-Quintana.
  • Interview with Charlie Rose. March 13 2011. Video clip.

World Literature

  • B. Venkat Mani, “Unpacking Orhan Pamuk’s Library: A Dialogue with World Literature.” Introductory Essay, Teaching Snow in Wisconsin, Instructor’s Guide, 2013-2014.
  • David Damrosch. “Introduction.” What is World Literature? Princeton, N.J.: Princeton UP, 2003.
  • Andrew Mellon World Literature/s Research Workshop. University of Wisconsin-Madison. Links to password-protected readings.
  • UNESCO’s Index Translatorium. UNESCO database for translation world-wide.
  • “Orhan Pamuk’s Novels Translated into more than 60 languages.” From the official Orhan Pamuk Website. 
  • “Turkish Publishing on the Rise: It’s More than Orhan Pamuk.” Publishing Perspectives. 2013.
  • The Nobel Prize website.
  • Verma, Smitha. “Pamuk Adds Spark to Jaipur Literary Fest Brawl.” The Telegraph. (Calcutta, India). January 22 2011.
  • “Star-Studded Jaipur Literature Festival.” January 22 2011. Video.
  • Ertürk, Nergis. “Those Outside the Scene: Snow in the World Republic of Letters.” New Literary History  41: 3 (Summer 2010): 633-651.

Turkish Literature

  • Erdağ Göknar, “Secular Blasphemies: Orhan Pamuk and the Turkish Novel.” Novel: A Forum on Fiction 45:2 (2012): 301-326. Or as an excerpt from his monograph, Orhan Pamuk, Secularism and Blasphemy: The Politics of the Turkish Novel. Routledge, 2013. 184-204.
  • Sarah Atiş, “Turkish Literature.” Oxford Encyclopedia of the Modern Islamic World. Vol. 4. New York: Oxford UP, 1995. 245-254.
  • Ahmet Ö. Evin, “Turkish Literature.” Encyclopedia of World Literature in the 20th Century. New York: Frederick Ungar, 1984. Rev. Ed. Vol. 4. 474-480.
  • Azade Seyhan, “Seeing History through Snow.” Tales of Crossed Destinies: The Modern Turkish Novel in Comparative Context. MLA, 2008. 99-111.
  • Short bio and poetry by Necip Fazıl Kısakürek, from Brave New Quest: 100 Modern Turkish Poems. Trans. and Ed. Talat S. Halman. Syracuse UP, 2005. Click here for additional poems by Necip Fazıl Kısakürek available online, in translation by Walter Andrews.
  • Bibliography by Andy Spencer, UW-Madison Libraries: Modern Turkish Writers in English Translation


  • Feroz Ahmad. “Politics and Islam in Modern Turkey.” From Empire to Republic: Essays on the Late Ottoman Empire and Modern Turkey. Vol. 2. Istanbul: Istanbul Bilgi UP, 2008.
  • Ioannis N. Grigoriadis. “Islam and Democratization in Turkey: Secularism and Trust in a Divided Society.” Democratization. 16: 6 (2009): 1194-1213.
  • Çihan Tuğal. “Nato’s Islamists: Hegemony and Americanization in Turkey.” New Left Review. 44: 2 (2007): 5-34.
  • “Inside Islam: Dialogues and Debates,” a collaboration between Wisconsin Public Radio and UW-Madison. No longer active, but links remain live.
  • University of Georgia’s Islam Resource Page. Great starting point for information about Islam.
  • Edward Said. “Introduction.” Orientalism. New York: Pantheon, 1978.
  • Edward Said. “Interview.” Interview with Said about Orientalism.  Video.
  • Edward Said. “The Myth of the Clash of Civilizations.” Lecture at UMass-Amherst, 1998. Video.


  • Alev Çinar. “Clothing the National Body: Islamic Veiling and Secular Unveiling.” Modernity, Islam and Secularism in Turkey. Minneapolis and London: Minnesota UP, 2005.
  • Mohja Kahf. “From Her Royal Body the Robe was Removed: The Blessings of the Veil and the Trauma of Forced Unveilings in the Middle East.” The Veil: Women Writers on its History, Lore and Politics. Ed. Jennifer Heath. Berkeley and Los Angeles: UC Press, 2008.
  • Sabrina Tavernise, “In Turkey: is tension about religion? Or class rivalry? Or both?” The New York Times. Feb 22, 2008.
  • Bettül Akkaya Demirbaş. “Women still awaiting full freedom to use headscarf.” Today’s Zaman. Oct 12, 2012.
  • “The Qur’an: Differing Interpretations of the Divine Word: 1.” Women and Islam in the Middle East: A Reader. Ed. Ruth Roded. New York and London: Tauris, 2008. From the surahs in the Qur’an that discuss veiling and the status of women.
  • Margot Badran. “Islamic Feminism: What’s in a Name?” Feminism in Islam. Oxford: OneWorld, 2009.


  • Erik J. Zürchner, “Turkey since 1980.” From Turkey: A Modern History. London and New York: Tauris, 2004. Click here for bios of persons mentioned in Zürchner’s chapter.
  • Erik J. Zürchner, “The Armenian Question.” From Turkey: A Modern History. London and New York: Tauris, 2004.
  • “Who are the Kurds?” The Washington Post. 1999. Should be accompanied by: “Timeline: PKK conflict with Turkey.” Al-Jazeera English. Last modified March 21 2013.
  • Karl Marx, Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Napoleon (1851-2).
  • Orhan Pamuk opens the Museum of Innocence in Istanbul in the spring of 2012.
  • Sibel Erol, “Reading Orhan Pamuk’s Snow as Parody: Sameness as Difference.” Comparative Critical Studies 4:3 (2007): 403-432.

The 2013 Taksim Gezi Park Protests

  • Kimmelman, Michael. “In Istanbul’s Heart, Leader’s Obsession, Perhaps Achilles’ Heel.” The New York Times. June 7 2013. Video.
  • “Timeline of the Gezi Park Protests.” Hürriyet Daily News. 2013.
  • Shafak, Elif. “The View from Taksim Square: Why is Turkey in turmoil?” The Guardian. June 3, 2013.
  • Christie-Miller, Andrew. “Occupy Gezi: From the Fringes to the Center and Back Again.” The White Review. 2013.
  • Henton, George. “In Pictures: The Taksim Square Book Club,” Al Jazeera English. June 24, 2013.
  • Asef Bayat. Excerpts from Life as Politics: How Ordinary People Change the Middle East. 2nd Ed. Stanford, CA: Stanford UP, 2013. 12-13, 110-111, 142-150 and 311-316.
  • “2011: Occupy Wall Street.” The New York Times. Dec 30 2011. Video.
  • “2011: The Arab Spring.” The New York Times. Dec 30 2011. Video.
  • Danforth, Nick. “Occupy Gezi and the Kurdish-Turkish Conflict.” Dissent: A Quarterly of Politics and Culture. June 11 2013.

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Participating Schools

In 2013-2014, nearly 50 educators at 15 high schools around the state participated in Snow in Wisconsin.

  • Bangor High School, BANGOR
  • Bonduel High School, BONDUEL
  • Clark Street Community School, MIDDLETON
  • Cochrane-Fountain City High School, FOUNTAIN CITY
  • Community High School, MILWAUKEE
  • Janesville Academy, JANESVILLE
  • Kohler High School, KOHLER
  • Lodi High School, LODI
  • Madison East High School, MADISON
  • Necedah Area High School, NECEDAH
  • New Horizons Charter School, MILWAUKEE
  • Osseo-Fairchild High School, OSSEO
  • Southern Door High School, BRUSSELS
  • Washington High School, MILWAUKEE
  • St. Francis Xavier High School, APPLETON