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Graduate Students

Melike Arslan

Melike Arslan

Melike Arslan  I am a PhD Candidate in Sociology, a graduate student fellow at Comparative-Historical Social Sciences (CHSS) program and the Center for Legal Studies, and a member of the Global Capitalism and Law Research Group at Buffett Institute for Global Studies. My research investigates how the globally promoted laws on trade and finance transform the institutions and professions in the developing countries adopting these laws, and how these countries in return create more localized interpretations and implementations of these laws. I argue that this interaction between the global and the local systems of law is shaped by the international connections of legal implementers including judges, lawyers, prosecutors and inspectors, and I use various empirical methodologies, including comparative case study, statistics, text-as-data and interviews to examine this.

My previous research looked at the bankruptcy law reforms and the reorganization bankruptcy procedures in developing economies, and the transnational legal indicators (TLIs) used by the World Bank to influence these legal reforms. Currently, I am conducting my dissertation research on the antitrust laws (also called competition law) in Turkey and Mexico - two developing economies of similar size, both civil law countries and both under close pressure from their advance economy neighbors, the US and the EU, to adopt their legal institutions.

Arif Çamoğlu

Arif Çamoğlu

Arif Çamoğlu's research and writing focus on global romanticisms, political ontology, and comparative critique of imperial hegemonies. His dissertation investigates the aesthetic reconfigurations of empire within the intersecting literary and political histories of nineteenth century British and Ottoman empires. In his work, Camoglu traces the immaterial articulations of imperial sovereignty in British and Ottoman Turkish romanticisms, and considers their implications for the spectral return of empire in current global politics. His article "Inter-imperial Dimensions of Turkish Literary Modernity," recently published in MFS Modern Fiction Studies, illustrates some of the key concerns of his project such as the afterlives of empire in today's world as well as the continuities between national and imperial politics and aesthetics. 

Esra Çimencioğlu

Esra Çimencioğlu

Esra Çimencioğlu is a Ph.D. candidate in Screen Cultures program with particular interests in transnational media, cinema of displacement, architectural theory, urban and postcolonial studies. Her dissertation focuses on the relationship between space, gender and everyday life in post-revolutionary Iranian cinema. After completing her undergraduate study in Urban and Regional Planning from Istanbul Technical University, she received an M.A. in Film and Television Studies from Istanbul Bilgi University with a thesis titled “Non-Places of New Turkish Cinema.” She has presented her work at the conferences including Society for Cinema and Media Studies, Association for the Study of the Middle East and Africa and Middle East History and Theory. She has been awarded a Fulbright Scholarship for her doctoral study in the United States. 
Şeyma Kabaoğlu

Şeyma Kabaoğlu

Şeyma Kabaoğlu is a cultural anthropologist-in-training who works on everyday life of Islamic banking and finance in the Middle East, with a specific focus on participation banking industry in Turkey. Her broader research interests include alternative economies, government-financial market relations, religion, law and moralities of exchange. Besides finance, she has a passion for public archaeology. She has worked as an archival researcher for Market Street Chinatown Archaeological Project at Stanford University and volunteered at Kucukyali Arkeopark Project at Koc University in Istanbul as a public archaeologist. She is also interested in the processes of commodification of cultural heritage and cultural heritage management in general.” Seyma has a BS in Economics and a BA in Sociology from Boğaziçi University in Istanbul.
Özge Karagöz

Özge Karagöz

Özge Karagöz is a PhD student researching transnational histories of modern and contemporary art, with a focus on Turkey and the Middle East. Her research interests revolve around the historiography of art and the performativity of canonical art historical narratives in relation to the formation of art historical subjectivities, particularly in contexts outside of western Europe and North America. She received a B.A. in Visual Arts from Sabancı University in Istanbul and an M.A. in Visual and Critical Studies from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, where she wrote a thesis on the genealogy of some major art terms in the Turkish language, tracing their complex semantic histories in relation to the Arabo-Persian, French, German, and Anglophone art discourses as well as Turkey's intellectual history. She is also a Mellon Cluster Fellow in Northwestern’s Middle East and North African Studies.
Rana B. Khoury

Rana B. Khoury

Rana B. Khoury is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Political Science. She studies comparative politics with a focus on civil war, state-society relations, and refugee politics in the Middle East.
Hazal Özdemir

Hazal Özdemir

Hazal Özdemir is a third-year doctoral student in History and a fellow in the Middle East and North African Studies cluster. She is a co-chair of the MENA Graduate student group and a student representative in the department of History. Before coming to Northwestern, she received a BA in History from Boğaziçi University, Turkey and an MA in History of Art with Photography from Birkbeck, University of London. She specializes in the Ottoman Empire in the late 19th and early 20th century. She studies the Armenian circular migration between the Ottoman Empire and the United States at the turn of the twentieth century, with a focus on surveillance mechanisms the Ottoman government developed to restrict Armenian migration. She demonstrates that by 1896 Armenians were allowed to emigrate only under the conditions that they give up Ottoman subjecthood and sign a document attesting that they would not come back. Her project contributes to the existing literature on Ottoman Armenian history by studying denaturalization of targeted populations and methods devised to control their movements such as photo registers. With deep sourcing from multiple archives, using state documents, memoirs, letters and newspapers in Ottoman Turkish, Armenian and French, and official migration photographs, this project seeks to understand the ethnic engineering project began in the era of Abdülhamid II (1876-1909), which aimed to single out Armenians as a community. The Keyman Modern Turkish Studies Program generously funded her research.

Areas of interest: emigration to the US, photography as a means of state control, Ottoman photography, Ottoman migration policies, Ottoman Armenians, subjecthood, denaturalization

Aydın Özipek

Aydın Özipek

Aydın Özipek My dissertation research is an ethnographic study of Turkish state's youth culturing agenda under AKP governments led by Recep Tayyip Erdogan. For two years of ethnographic engagement in a multi-sited research in Istanbul, I explored how culture workers blended promises of upward class mobility and political certainty with notions of cultural authenticity and refinement in their attempts to appeal to variously-positioned young people. At stake in these encounters were intergenerational negotiations over personal and collective identity, public piety, traditional and youthful aesthetics, and political agency. By following young people’s trajectories over extended periods, I observed that the AKP’s youth culturing agenda, as a form of anticipatory politics that relies heavily on neo-Ottomanism, turns intense present uncertainty into a means of governmental control by simultaneously cultivating transformative agency in youth yet constantly deferring it to an undefined future. This research follows from my long-held interest in questions of politics of youth and temporality, class mobility, ethics and aesthetics of cultural production, and popular and political Islam. Previously, I studied emergent forms of cultural expression among lower-class youth in Istanbul as part of my MA in Cultural Studies at Sabanci University (2013); and the Gulenist youth for my first MA in Sociology and Social Anthropology at Central European University (2009).    
İdil Özkan

İdil Özkan

İdil Özkan is a doctoral student in linguistic anthropology at Northwestern University. Her dissertation project investigates the 2015 citizenship offer of Spain to Sephardic Jews, exploring language ideologies, citizenship, transnational migration, and the understandings of homeland and belonging among Turkish Sephardic Jews. Idil has a BA in sociology from Boğazici University, and an MA in Cultural Studies from Istanbul Bilgi University, Turkey. Her MA thesis dealt with the temporal politics and affect of language loss among Turkish Jews. She worked as a teaching assistant at the Department of Sociology at Istanbul Bilgi University between 2014-17. As co-founder of YATOÇ (the Study Group on Jewish Communities) in Istanbul Bilgi University, she organized a number of roundtables and academic workshops on Jewish Studies in Turkey.