|Aims and Scope
The word Edebiyât means "literature" in Arabic, Persian, Turkish, Urdu (shall we go on?). We use the Turkish spelling which after all requires no transcription, since it's already in the Latin alphabet.
The journal began in 1974 when Roger Allen (University of Pennsylvania), Walter Andrews (University of Washington) and William Hanaway (University of Pennsylvania) had the inspiration to begin a journal whose dialogue would cross boundaries in two ways. First, it went beyond a disciplinary habit that emerged whenever specialists dealt with Middle Eastern literature: an insistence on philology and history, a determination to study each tradition as if they were rare insects. We are all thankful to the philological tradition, which indeed is necessary to us, but there is a dialogue available which extends into the disciplines of literary criticism. Second, Edebiyât insisted on combining studies of all the Middle Eastern languages in one forum. (Allen is an Arabist, Andrews a Turkologist and Hanaway a specialist in Persian.). Professor Hanaway was the general editor, and those of us who read the journal regularly felt it represented a whole new direction in the field, perhaps the outline of a new field altogether.