I focused my honors thesis on the career development of a Turkish born writer Feridun Zaimoglu. His book Kanak Sprak is a collection of testimonies, recorded by Zaimoglu, on what it means to be a Turkish immigrant in Germany. Written in Kanak Sprak, a creole-like language based on German and infused with urban American slang and Turkish, the book was instrumental in exposing the voices of those on the edge of the society isolated from the mainstream German culture. My honors project tracked Zaimoglu's development as the voice of the Turkish youth and hip-hop culture to an ethnographer and lastly to a pop-icon in the world of arts and German literature.
I pursued a topic that I was genuinely interested in. My honors project allowed me to draw from multiple disciplines such as government and legal studies, anthropology, sociology, film and other interactive media to put together a piece of work that truly reflected my broad spectrum of interests such as German immigration policies, mainstream and underground culture as well as the notion of self-identification among first and second generation immigrant youth in Germany.
This project was by far the highlight of my Bowdoin education. The process of research and molding your thoughts into a finished piece of work not only hones one's writing skills, but also exposes the writer to different styles of writing found in various disciplines. The honors project allowed me to work closely with some of the finest professors in their respective fields of study. The results of our collaborative efforts were not only a significant refinement of critical thinking and writing skills necessary for success in any future endeavor, but a greater appreciation for the process of writing, developing a thesis and executing the project.
Adnan Prsic '05, a double major in German and biochemistry, is working in a biomedical research lab at Harvard and preparing for Medical School. He continues to write and is collaborating on his first research paper in the biological sciences.