On the ground in Turkey: Repression Gets Personal, 28 November 2013. Interviewed by Facing Tear Gas/War Resisters League.
Presentations and Talks
After Gezi, After the Elections, After ISIS: Politics in Turkey Now: A Conversation, CUNY Graduate Center, 20 October 2014
I moderated this panel which presented a conversation about the current political context in Turkey, in the wake of popular protests (Gezi and its follow-ups), parliamentary and presidential elections (which have strengthened the hand of the ruling AK Party), and regional politics (particularly the horror of Syria and the rise of ISIS). This panel was organized by the Middle East and Middle Eastern American Center at CUNY, and co-sponsored by the Committee for Globalization and Social Change; Center for Place, Culture, and Politics; Jadaliyya E-Zine; the Middle Eastern Studies Organization and the Postcolonial Studies Group at the CUNY Graduate Center. The panelists were Burcu Baykurt, Ayça Çubukçu, Duygu Parmaksizoglu, Aslı Iğsız and Emrah Yildiz.
GEZI Resistance: A Blossomed Creativity in Revolutionary Potential, Art of Defiance, Collective Culture, Reorganisation and Urban Jargon
Panelists: Cihan Tekay, Burak Arikan, Fulya Peker, Esra Akcan; moderated by Ceren Erdem.
“Resistance Everywhere”: The Gezi Protests and Dissident Visions of Turkey: A Panel Discussion, CUNY Graduate Center, 14 March 2014
This panel took as its starting point a discussion of the Gezi Park protests, which erupted in Istanbul in late May 2013 and led to ongoing resistance throughout Turkey against the government. Panelists explored the aftermath of the protests, accounting for the events that followed the summer’s protests. My presentation reflected on the death of 15-year old protester Berkin Elvan, analyzing the reconfiguration of life and death as a tactic of governance in neoliberal Turkey. My fellow panelists were Elizabeth Angell, Emrah Yildiz, Asli Igsiz, Jay Cassano, Elif Sari and Louis Fishman. This panel was moderated by Anthony Alessandrini and co-sponsored by the Committee on Globalization and Social Change; Center for Place, Culture and Politics, Jadaliyya E-Zine; the Narrating Change Seminar; and Tadween Publishing.
A Roundtable Discussion: The Gezi Protests and Dissident Visions of Turkey, Harvard University, 3 March 2014
Talk Title: “Engendering Biographies & Bibliographies: Women’s Movement, Critical Media Practice, and Gezi”
This roundtable took place on March 3, 2014 at the Center for Government and International Studies at Harvard University. The event coincided with the launch of the JadMag volume, “Resistance Everywhere”: The Gezi Protests and Dissident Visions of Turkey, published by Jadaliyya, where I am a co-editor of the Turkey page, and Tadween Publishing. My presentation traced the history of feminist and women’s movements in Turkey, reflecting on the role of the body as a site of resistance in the Gezi protests. My fellow panelists were Bassam Haddad, Elizabeth Angell, Ceyhun Arslan and Emrah Yildiz. The panel was moderated by Cemal Kafadar, Vehbi Koç Professor of Turkish Studies, Department of History, Harvard University.
Talk Title: “The State, Global Capital, and Women Workers in Turkey: A Case Study of the 2006-2007 Novamed Strike”
I presented this paper which builds on my MA thesis work on an all-women strike in a Turkish Free Trade Zone at the Middle Eastern, South Asian and African Studies (MESAAS) Graduate Conference, 27-28 February 2014. My fellow panelists were Claudie Fioroni, Matan Kaminer and Li Xiaoyue, and our discussant was Timothy Mitchell, Professor and Chair of MESAAS at Columbia University.
This panel took place on December 4, 2013 at the Center for Place, Culture, and Politics at the CUNY Graduate Center. I helped organize this panel which sought to explore the relationship between the higher education system and militarization in the U.S. and globally, and ended up filling for one of the speakers who could not make it. My talk explored the history of the political and military relationship between the U.S. and Turkey. My fellow panelists were David Harvey, Ashley Dawson, Faris Al-Ahmad Zwiran and Ali Issa.
Emergence and Transformation: From Social Problems to Social Movements, 112th Annual Meeting of the American Anthropological Association, 24 November 2013
Talk Title: “Between Global Capital and Patriarchal Unionism: Women, Labor and Collective Memory in Turkey”
The labor movement in Turkey had a defining moment in 2007 when a 15-month long strike by workers employed in Novamed, a subsidiary of an international medical device giant in Antalya Free Trade Zone (FTZ) was victorious. In Turkey as in other developing countries, FTZs symbolize neoliberalization of the economy and the feminization of labor. Thus, the Novamed strikers’ resistance was framed in the dual context of a global uprising against global capital and of women against patriarchy, and the strike’s glory signified a major breakthrough for unions and women workers in Turkey. However, these same workers found themselves without union recognition and without a contract three years later. Undertaken with feminist priorities, this research seeks to shed light on the gendered limits of Turkish unionism through probing the collective memory of women workers and solidarity activists in light of the failure to renew the strike contract. To do so, I draw on the collective memory of the strikers and solidarity activists to ask: What was the extent and limits of the Novamed strike’s challenge to patriarchal unionism at a moment when women workers emerged as the agents of resistance within the Turkish labor movement? How do the workers remember the strike, an event which has become part of a larger history, of which they were the main agents/actors? What can the competing meanings of the strike tell us of the differences in perspective between the women workers, unionists and feminist solidarity activists?
Rethinking Gezi Through Feminist and LGBT Perspectives, The New School for Social Research, 5 October 2013
Talk Title: “A Short History of Feminism in Turkey and Feminist Resistance in Gezi”
I co-organized this panel at the Talk Turkey Conference: Rethinking Life Since Gezi which took place at The New School for Social Research on 4-5 October 2013 and was moderated by Nil Uzun. I participated in the panel as a co-presenter with Zeyno Ustun. A transcript of this talk has been published by Jadaliyya.
16th Sociology Student Conference, Yüzüncü Yıl University, Van, Turkey, 5-7 May 2010
Talk Title: “Passive Revolution: Islamist Movements in Turkey From 1970s to Present”
Brooklyn Museum, Brooklyn, NY, 2008-2009
Representation and Resistance in Contemporary Art: Selected works of art from 21: Selections of Contemporary Art from the Brooklyn Museum
Introducing Highlights from The Black List Project: an exhibit by Timothy Greenfield-Sanders and Elvis Mitchell
Black History Month Talk: Black Artists in the Brooklyn Museum’s Contemporary Art Collection
Reconsidering Islamic Art: Selected works of art from Brooklyn Museum’s Arts of the Islamic World Collection