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Angelina Del Balzo

Position and company: Assistant Professor of Humanities, Bilkent University
Country of work: Türkiye
Degree Attained at UCLA: PhD in English
Graduation Year: 2019
What inspired or motivated you to pursue work abroad? Was this always your plan?
I applied widely for faculty jobs in both the US and abroad during the last year of my PhD, but I've always been interested in living internationally. Getting the job in Turkey was perfect since my dissertation research was on representations of the Ottoman Empire in 18th-century English drama. I've been able to experience the culture first-hand, visit locations that appear in those plays, and learn about the periods from Turkish perspectives.
Can you speak a little bit about your career and how it has progressed since graduating from UCLA?
I am a professor at a private Turkish university, teaching in a year-long "Great Books" program. It's fascinating teaching the Iliad to students who often have visited the real Troy on a class trip! In addition to revising my dissertation for publication, I've also started a research project connecting 18th-century depictions of the sultana Roxolana with representations of the historical figure in 21st-century Turkish drama and TV.
How do you think UCLA prepares students to fill positions that have a global reach and influence?
My experience at UCLA was international in nature, which opened me up to the idea of going abroad for my career. I received funding from the Department of English and the Center for 17th-and 18th-Century Studies to present at international conferences and I spent six weeks in France through the UCLA/Université François-Rabelais de Tours research exchange. This support, both personal and financial, gave my research a global perspective that helped me get a job at a Turkish university.

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