Defne Bilir

Adjunct Faculty

Office: 332 Diffenbaugh

Phone: 850-591-4184


Defne Bilir is an instructor of Arab Cinema and Culture, and the Coordinator of the Arabic Division Outreach Program. She earned her Ph.D. in Interdisciplinary Humanities (Middle Eastern and Cultural Studies) at Florida State University, where she has developed and taught courses in Middle Eastern and cultural studies. Her dissertation title was Twentieth-Century Western Scholarly, Artistic, and Journalistic Perspectives on the Middle East: Bernard. The primary motivation for undertaking this study was to contribute to the understanding of how the modern Middle East has been perceived, studied, and represented by the West. Defne is a native Turkish speaker, and her qualifications include a B.A. in Turkish Language & Literature and an M.A. in Modern Turkish Literature. Apart from teaching, Defne is also serving as a Research Associate in the School of Communication at FSU, where she conducts her research on the photojournalistic discourses in the image-word representations of David Douglas Duncan and the editorial coverage of Life Magazine on the Middle East and South Asia. She is also working on a research project that focuses on the representations of female body and space in Arab cinema.

Research interests:

  • Western artistic and journalistic perspectives on the Middle East and South Asia
  • Middle Eastern cinema with a specific focus on Arab and Turkish Cinemas
  • Photojournalism and Visual Media Analysis


  • Grants for Engage Learning
  • UROP Research Materials Grants
  • Robert B. Bradley Library Research Grants
  • Faculty Research Library Materials Grants


  • Course Development Award

Courses Taught at FSU:

  • IFS 3009: Through an Arabic Lens: the Intersection of Film and Culture
  • ABT 3520: Arab Cinema and Culture
  • FOL 3930: Arab Cinema
  • HUM 3321: Multicultural Dimensions of Film & 20th Century Culture
  • HUM 3930: Traditions and Rituals in the Middle East
  • HUM 3930: Middle Eastern Culture
  • HUM 3930: Modern Middle East