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Keyman Modern Turkish Studies Program Podcast

Keyman Modern Turkish Studies Program Podcast is a platform scholars of contemporary Turkey to talk about their academic work and its social and political implications. It's hosted by postdoctoral fellow Deniz Duruiz. To know when the latest episode has been posted, follow us on Soundcloud , StitcherGoogle Play , Spotify and iTunes.

Podcast Episodes

Podcast: Seçil Yılmaz

In the latest Keyman Podcast episode, Keyman postdoctoral fellow Deniz Duruiz has a conversation with Seçil Yılmaz, a historian of the late Ottoman Empire and the Middle East and an expert on epidemics, discussing her research on syphilis in the late Ottoman Empire, early modern ideas of contagion, governmental techniques of regulating mobility, burial and mourning practices, gender, sexuality, and class in relation to health and disease. Seçil pointed out many parallels and differences between biopolitics today and at its time of inception, providing many valuable lessons from the history of epidemics!

Seçil Yılmaz is an assistant professor of history at Franklin and Marshall College. She specializes in the social and political history of the Ottoman Empire and modern Middle East with a focus on gender, sexuality, and medicine. Her research concentrates on the social and political implications of syphilis in the late Ottoman Empire by tracing the questions of colonialism, modern governance, biopolitics, and gender. Her other projects include research on the relationship between religion, history of emotions, and contagious diseases in the late Ottoman Empire as well as history of reproductive health technologies and humanitarianism in the modern Middle East. She is currently revising her dissertation “Love in the Time of Syphilis: Medicine and Sex in the Ottoman Empire, 1860-1922” into a book manuscript. Before joining Franklin and Marshall College, she held Mellon Postdoctoral Fellowship at the Society for the Humanities and Near Eastern Studies at Cornell University as a part of the 2016 cohort on the theme of “Skin” and the 2017 cohort on the theme of “Corruption.” Her research appeared in the Journal of Middle East Women’s Studies and she is currently the co-curator of the podcast series on Women, Gender, and Sex in the Ottoman World at Ottoman History Podcast.

Podcast: Salih Can Açıksöz

In this episode, I had a wonderful conversation with Salih Can Açıksöz on his book Sacrificial Limbs: Masculinity, Disability, and Political Violence in Turkey published by University of California Press in 2019. Can conducted ethnographic research with Turkish disabled conscripts who fought against Kurdish guerrillas in Turkey and Northern Iraq. We talked about the social dynamics of universal conscription, ultranationalist politics, and the embodied experience of being a soldier, and then, becoming a disabled veteran in relation to gender, class, and national politics in Turkey.

You can purchase the book at the UCPress website:

Use source code 17M6662 at checkout for 30% off.

Salih Can Aciksoz is an Assistant Professor of Anthropology at UCLA. After receiving his Ph.D. in Anthropology from the University of Texas at Austin in 2011, he served as a Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow at the College of William and Mary and an Assistant Professor of Middle Eastern Studies at the University of Arizona. His first book “Sacrificial Limbs: Masculinity, Disability, and Political Violence in Turkey” (University of California Press, 2019) centers on disabled veterans of Turkey’s Kurdish war. Chronicling veteran’s post-injury lives and political activism, the book examines how veterans’ experiences of war and disability are closely linked to class, gender, and ultimately the embrace of ultranationalist right-wing politics. Dr. Aciksoz’s new book project, “Humanitarian Borderlands: Medicine and Terror at Turkey’s Syrian Border,” focuses on humanitarian prosthetics and emergency field medicine along and across Turkish-Kurdish-Syrian border. The work explores how new forms of medical care and ethics emerge in a zone of political violence through a contest over the meanings of health, humanitarianism, and terrorism. In addition to these two long-term projects, Dr. Aciksoz has written on PTSD, assisted reproduction technologies for people with disabilities, crowd control technologies, prenatal genetic testing, and the gender politics of populist movements. His work has appeared in journals including Current Anthropology, Medical Anthropology Quarterly, Culture, Medicine, and Psychiatry, and the Journal of Middle East Women's Studies in addition to online venues such as Jadaliyya.


Podcast: Ayşe Parla

In this episode, our guest was Ayşe Parla, and we had a very interesting conversation with her about her new book Precarious Hope: Migration and the Limits of Belonging in Turkey published by Stanford University Press in 2019. We discussed how migrants from Bulgaria inhabit a liminal position between desirable migrants defined as racial kin and economically precarious subjects, whose belonging to the Turkish nation is constantly renegotiated.

Assistant Professor of Anthropology at Boston University. Her research and writing on transnational migration, hope, precarious labor, dispossession and the governance of difference is situated at the intersections of the politico-legal and the affective-moral realms in Turkey, its borderlands and diasporas. Her first book, Precarious Hope, explored the limits of belonging in Turkey from the perspective of Turkish migrants from Bulgaria who are ethnically privileged but economically precarious, and for whom citizenship is promised even if not guaranteed.

Podcast: Elise Massicard

In this episode, we talked to Élise Massicard about her research on muhtars, the neighborhood or village headmen in Turkey. Elise’s interest in muhtars in Turkey dates back to several years before President Erdoğan started to gather thousands of muhtars at his presidential palace, address them in person to acknowledge the importance of their position. Elise’s research problematizes the view of the Turkish state as a strong bureaucratic machine detached from society by showing the in-between status of muhtars as both small bureaucrats presiding over the neighborhood and as elected officials serving their constituents. Elise shows that this in-between status of complementing bureaucratic rationality with personal relationships is neither a deviation from the norm, nor a failure of modernization, but lies at the very center of the Turkish state tradition dating back to Ottoman times.

Élise Massicard is a faculty member and associate research fellow at the French National Center for Scientific Research, Sciences Po. She works on comparative political sociology, mainly on Turkey. Her research focuses on relationships between space and politics, which she inquires through social movements, the sociology of institutions, state-society relations, and everyday politics. Thereby, she explores the autonomy of politics from other social fields. Through qualitative in-depth studies, she focuses on the analysis of actors, and the way they are entrenched spatially and socially, but also the circulations - including transnational.

Podcast: Ceren Lord

Podcast: Ceren Lord

Ceren Lord, British Academy Postdoctoral Research Fellow with Middle East Studies at the Oxford School of Global and Area Studies, discusses her book, Religious Politics in Turkey: From the Birth of the Republic to the AKP, in which she questions the view of the grassroots Islamist movements as natural challengers of the authoritarian secular state in a novel way based both on her archival research and the interviews she conducted with state officials, influential religious figures, and the employees of the Presidency of Religious Affairs (diyanet).

Podcast: Can Candan

Podcast: Can Candan

Can Candan, acclaimed independent documentary filmmaker and professor of film and media studies, discusses the changing conditions of academic and artistic production in Turkey in the last few years. This episode was recorded on January 24th, 2019, and since this time the situation for academics has escalated.

Podcast: Elizabeth Nolte

Podcast: Elizabeth Nolte University of Warwick scholar Elizabeth Nolte discusses her paper, "Children’s Literature and the Struggle Over Cultural Literacy," which was presented in the panel on education as a field of political contestation at the 2018 Keyman conference.


Podcast: Çetin Çelik

Podcast: Çetin Çelik Çetin Çelik of Koç University discusses his paper, "Social class, institutional habitus and high school choices in Turkey," which was presented in the panel on social class and reproduction at the 2018 Keyman conference.