My research revolves around the constitutive role of ruins, as a specific genre of objects, in the spatial organization of politics at multiple scales and in a historical continuum. As the constructed cultural progenitor of western Europe, the Mediterranean region occupies a special place in discussions of heritage with its extensive ruin landscapes. The search for the material remains of antiquity motivated much of travel eastward, shaping the archaeological imaginary in the discipline’s early days. I focus on the shifting trajectory of the meaning of ruins as they move from one context to another. I am specifically interested in the imperial encounters of the 19th century on what is now the Turkish Aegean and the afterlives of ruins in new sociopolitical frameworks. I am also interested in the territorial imagination of homelands and borderlands in relation to politics of death, dying, and martyrdom.
I received my B.A. in English Literature with a double major in Philosophy from Bogazici University. I completed an M.A. in Cultural Studies at the same university with a thesis on the formulation of urban space and urban citizen in the coursebooks of “Istanbul courses.” I hold another M.A. in Near Eastern Studies from New York University, where I focused on the mobility of a Seljuk sultan’s tomb in Syria, presently a Turkish territory outside national borders, in its relation to nationalism and place-making. I have two poetry books published in Turkish, one of which is the recipient of the prestigious Yasar Nabi Nayir Youth Award.