MUSTAFA OĞUZ SİNEMİLLİOĞLU
Born in Elbistan (Turkey) graduated from Istanbul Technical University as a City Planner. Worked in different institutions like Municipality and Ministry of Environment. Joined to Academy after getting his PhD. Though his Dissertation thesis is about Regional Disparities, his main works are about Cultural Heritage, Housing and Migration. An amateur photographer has two Photo exhibitions and loves travelling. Used to be live in Diyarbakir till expelled from the Dicle University, now settled Istanbul. Now he is working on Cultural Heritage versus Security Policies.
The International Research Group on Authoritarianism and Counter-Strategies (IRGAC) is an initiative of the Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung that brings together more than 20 scholar-activists from across the Global South to share and exchange ongoing research on the rise of the Right and strategic responses from the Left.
Iman Al-Ghafari has a PhD in English Literature and gender studies from Cairo University (1999). Her doctoral dissertation is about “The Quest for Identity in the Poetry of Sylvia Plath: A Feminist Approach.” She worked as a Professor in Syria and was a pioneer in writing about the lesbian identity in the Arab culture and the queer theory. Her academic publications revolve around gender and sexuality in media, translation and literature. Starting from 2012, she has held post-doctoral research positions at Amsterdam University and Utrecht University. In 2016, she was invited to be a guest writer in Sweden where she published poems and articles about exile, identity and lesbian love. Currently, she is affiliated to Off-University. She will teach a summer course on women’s poetry and feminist philosophy. She is also completing a manuscript on “Lesbian Issues in Middle-Eastern Cultures: Between Theory and Practice.”
Independent Researcher. She completed her undergraduate studies in Econometrics, her master's degree in Development Economics, and her PhD in Urban Studies. She has a book titled Accumulation with Subcontractors: Informalization in Tuzla Shipyards Region and has articles on labour geography and migration. She continues to work at the intersection of gender, precarious working regimes, labour, migration, and critical food studies.
Ismet Akca was Associated Professor at the Department of Political Science and International Relations, Yıldız Technical University in İstanbul, Turkey, until his suspension in 2017 due to his signing of the Academics for Peace petition. He received his BA in Public Administration from Marmara University and completed his masters and PhD at the Department of Political Science and International Relations, Boğaziçi University. His dissertation title was “Militarism, Capitalism and the State: Putting the Military in its Place in Turkey.” He has published in different journals and books, both in English and Turkish, on political sociology of Turkey, military and politics, military and economy, militarism, capitalist state and classes, neoliberalism and hegemony, Justice and Development Party.
İsmet Akça has been an activist in the university student movement in the 1990s and then at the trade union; he was member and president of the Executive Board, İstanbul University Branch of EĞİTİM SEN (Union of Public Servants in Education, Science and Culture).
Aslı Vatansever (PhD, Hamburg University, 2010) is a sociologist of work with a focus on precarious academic labor. Currently, she is a Research Fellow at Bard College Berlin. Her books include Ursprünge des Islamismus im Osmanischen Reich. Eine weltsystemanalytische Perspektive (Hamburg: Dr. Kovač, 2010) and Ne Ders Olsa Veririz. Akademisyenin Vasıfsız İşçiye Dönüşümü (Ready to Teach Anything. The Transformation of the Academic into Unskilled Worker, Istanbul: İletişim, 2015 – co-authored with Meral Gezici-Yalçın), and At the Margins of Academia. Exile, Precariousness, and Subjectivity (Leiden: Brill, 2020).
Founded in November 2017, Aramızda: Toplumsal Cinsiyet Araştırmalar Derneği is invested in creating a pluralistic space of feminist solidarity that provides a platform for networking, creativity and research in the field of Gender and Queer Studies. The founding members of the collective were feminist academics and students who got dispelled from the university within the framework of a governmental decree or who faced dire conditions with regards to the right for education on gender and LGBTIQ+ studies and the support mechanisms in preventing sexual harassment in the campus. Together, they responded to this situation by claiming a space outside of the university, and continue their studies, research and organizing in the realm of the arts, civil society and politics. 15 of Aramızda's scholars are currently collectively organizing a course with Off-University:
Hatice Yeşildal, Melek Zorlu, Nalan Mumcu, Merve Diltemiz, İrem Akı, Eda Aslı Şeran, Emine Sevim, Nagehan Tokdoğan, Deniz Parlak, İlkay Kara, Fatma Sönmez, Hülya Dinçer, Pınar Yıldız, Demet Bolat, Ülker Sözen
Born in 1956 in Istanbul, he holds a BA and an MA in English Language and Literature (Bogaziçi University 1978, 1981) and a PhD in Psychosocial Studies (Birkbeck College, 2013). He was a lecturer in Comparative Literature and Cultural Studies at Istanbul Bilgi University between 2000-2017, and worked as the Director of the Cultural Studies Graduate Program between 2008-2017. He has published seven books in Turkish (One Hundred Myths About Sexuality We Must Give Up, 2016; History, Autobiography and Truth 2015, ed.; The Subject Who Knows Too Much, 2008; Something Is Missing, 2007; The Unconscious of History, 2004; Song Reader, 2000; What Remains is the Revolution, 1997), four books in English ((The End of Truth: Five Essays on the Demise of Neoliberalism, 2021; Something Is Missing, 2021; The Psychopolitics of the Oriental Father, 2014; The View from the Masthead, 2010) and one book forthcoming in 2022 (Beyond Family: A Case for Another Regime of Reproduction, sexuality and Kinship). He has been working outside Turkey since 2017, most recently as a researcher at Freie Universität, Berlin, on an Academy in Exile scholarship since 2019.
MOHAMAD MOUSTAFA ALABSI
Mohamad Moustafa Alabsi is Ph.D. in Political Philosophy from the University of Grenoble-Alpes/France. In his thesis he focused on the relationship between Regime & State in Modern Middle East, the notions of “enemy”, “revolution” and “civil war” in political and legal theories as well as in the Arab Spring lessons and realities. He’s currently a post-doctoral fellow at Columbia Global Center - Amman and his personal and academic project is about the creation of an Arabic encyclopedia of political philosophy, especially making available for Arabic students a profound knowledge of State theory literature. His research areas are philosophy of Law, the forms of regimes and of dictatorship, the Totalitarian State and the One-Party State. Moustafa believe in action and in initiative, that’s why he’s very excited to work under the banner of OFF-University. Mohamad’s articles have been published by the Saint-Joseph University Journal : InteraXXIons, “ Le Printemps Arabe à l’épreuve du Pouvoir Constituant” (2021) and the multilingual and academic website TheConversation.com “Quel avenir pour les Etats du Moyen Orient ? ” (2021).
RAND ABOU ACKL
Rand Abou Ackl is an archaeologist of the Middle East. He holds a Ph.D. from the University of Rome "Sapienza" and a master's degree in Classical and Islamic archaeology from the University of Damascus. His doctoral research focused on the architecture in the Melkite icons in Syria from the middle of the seventeenth century to the early nineteenth century CE. He has a Certificate in Art Crime and Cultural Heritage Protection from ARCA and completed course work in Forensic Archaeology at IFA at the International University for Peace, Rome. Rand is currently a postdoctoral fellow at Columbia Global Center Amman. His present research is about the Representations of the Last Judgment in Syria and Lebanon. Among other projects, he worked in the documentation of icons and relics at Santa Maria in Cosmiden Basilic in Rome, and has published a number of research papers in the field of iconography and post Byzantine in “Chronos”, URBS (VURBS) - Studi sulla romanità antica e tardoantica, and in “Les annales archéologiques arabes syriennes.”
ALİ YALÇIN GÖYMEN
Ali Yalçın Göymen finished his Ph.D. at Istanbul University in 2013. Political subjectivity and social change are among his areas of interest. He is currently working on the interrelation between the social cohesion crisis and the authoritarian tide. He is the writer of the book Devrim Fikri Üzerine and the editor of the book En Uzak Sahilin Kıyısında: Yeni Bir Yaşam Kurabilir miyiz? He aims to continue his work and present a contribution to Critical Peace Studies with his course which is organized by Off-University.
Feminist researcher and activist. Sociologist. Her research is mainly focused on (women’s) labour, social movements, liberating theories and methodologies. Her current research (with Ahu Karasulu) is on the literature of life-imprisoned Kurdish authors, and more broadly on resistance, solidarity and their forms in the several contexts. After holding a PhD in sociology (Mimar Sinan University), she worked for Muğla Sıtkı Koçman University as an assistant and associate professor for 17 years. She has been expelled by Decree-Law 689 (2017), for signing the “Peace Bill” by the Academics for Peace. Since 1994, she is working with the movement of homebased workers in Turkey and internationally. She has always been living with non-human animals, now her housemates are Maske and Hevi (dogs) and Mutlu (cat). She is mother of a young human.
Independent scholar. Student of humanities. She tries to understand faces of informality; corruption, and mafias; space and spatialization; ressentiment/resentment in policy making and daily life; literary representations of the social. She usually reads, rarely writes. Her current research (with Dilek Hattatoğlu) is on the works of generation(s) of life-sentenced Kurdish writers, and Kurdish political literature. She is rethinking mafias of Turkey –the topic of her Dissertation, and a course she has taught. Having fled from Economics, she holds a PhD in Modern Turkish History (Boğaziçi University). She has worked in Yildiz Technical University’s Department of Economics as research assistant and lecturer for twenty years before being expelled by Decree-Law 686 (2017), for signing “Academics for Peace” petition. She loves to talk about issues she is interested in.
Emine Sevim completed her master's thesis in critical studies on men and masculinities in 2019. She was a research assistant in the General Sociology and Methodology Department of Munzur University and was dismissed from her faculty through Government Decree No. 679, in January 2017. She took part in the establishment of Solidarity Academies and BİRARADA Association. Currently, Sevim is a Ph.D. student in the department of sociology at Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University in Turkey and she still continues her studies as an education activist. Feminist methodology, critical masculinity studies, critical pedagogy and higher education studies are among her research fields of interest.
CAN IRMAK ÖZİNANIR
Can Irmak Özinanır graduated from Ankara University Faculty of Communication and got his master’s degree from the same university with his thesis titled “Anticapitalist movement and New Communication Technologies”. His area of interests are media and cultural studies, new communication technologies and social movements. He is currently working on his Ph.D thesis about the concept of hegemony in media studies. He published some articles in the journals and books such as “Determination and Marxism in the thought of Stuart Hall” and “Where do the Solidarity Academies Stand In Relation to the Commons”. He was working as a research assistant in Ankara University and he was purged from university, for signing the “Academics for Peace Petition”. Özinanır continues his research and teaching activities in Ankara Solidarity Academy.
Dr Serap Saritas graduated from Istanbul University and after her postgraduation at the same place, she gained her doctorate degree in economics from SOAS, University of London. She is a researcher who specialises in political economy and works independently since she was dismissed from her position at the Dokuz Eylul University in Turkey for signing the petition by Academics for Peace. Her main area of interest is political economy of finance and pensions. Her PhD thesis on financialisation of pensions in Turkey is published as a book in Turkish. Another research area she has contributed to is social reproduction with the focus of old age. Dr Saritas has several journal articles, book chapters and conference presentations on heterodox finance approaches, pension reforms and funded old-age income schemes. “Financialisation of pensions: The case of Turkey. Global Social Policy (2020)” and “Bireysel Emeklilik Sistemi ve Emekliligin Finansallasmasi: Sermayeyi BES’lemek (Individual Pension System and Financialisation of Pensions: Feeding Capital). Istanbul: Notabene Yayinlari (2017)” are among her publications.
AHMED FATIMA KZZO
Dr. Ahmed Fatima Kzzo, is currently a visiting research fellow at University of Zurich. He holds a Ph.D. in ancient Near Eastern archaeology from University of Rome. His research focuses on the ancient Near Eastern glyptic, history of ancient Near Eastern studies, cultural heritage and cultural identities. A member of the Italian Expedition to Ebla (Syria) since 2004, Dr. Kzzo has participated in various archaeological projects, including excavations at al-Bimarestan al-Nuri (Aleppo) and Çatalhöyük (Turkey). He has also conducted surveys and archival work on inscriptions from the Ottoman period in the Aleppo Region. He has published several studies, and recently a book, Racconto d’Egitto, which is the first Italian translation of an Arabic manuscript on Egypt between 12th and 13th centuries.
NEDAL HAJ DARWICH
Received his PhD in Oriental Archaeology on “Gods and Composite Creatures in Syria and West Mesopotamia in the Early Bronze Age” from Martin Luther University of Halle-Wittenberg. He worked as lecturer at the University of Alfurat (Syria) and University of Sulaimani (Iraqi Kurdistan). He participated in numerous archaeological excavations in Germany, Syria, and Iraqi Kurdistan. He did a Postdoc at Warburg Institute, London in 2017-2019 on Hybrid beings in the Glyptic of Syria, upper Mesopotamia, and Assyria in the Late Bronze Age (1600-1200 BC). He has published several articles and books, most recent of these, Studies in the archaeology of Media and Upper Mesopotamia (In Arabic), Damascus, Damascus, 2020; Hurrian Urkesh Kingdom (Tell Mozan), Historical Cultural Study (In Arabic), Qamishli, 2017
Dr. Ezgi Pınar currently carries out her post-doctoral studies in Philipps-Universität Marburg. She worked as a research assistant at Middle East Technical University and Istanbul University in Turkey. She completed her Ph.D. dissertation titled “The Question of Labour Force Management in Turkey: VET Policies from the State-Capital Relations Perspective” in 2016 and she studied the Working-Class Formation in the Democrat Party Period for her master’s degree. She has publications on the integration of Syrian migrant workers to the labour market in Turkey, on labour force management and state-capital relations in Turkey with respect to educational policy. Her most recent publication is “A labour-oriented perspective on regime discussions in Turkey”
Prof. Dr. Atilla Güney had his Ph.D. degree with a thesis titled “State Intervention in Turkey: An Assessment of the Relationship Between the Political and the Economic Sphere” at Middle East Technical University. When he was working at Mersin University in the department of Public Administration, he was purged with an emergency decree and was dismissed from the university for signing the “Academics for Peace Petition” in April 2017. Among his fields of interests are political philosophies, theories of the state, and epistemology in social sciences. Güney has published Sosyolojinin Marksist Reddiyesi (A Maxist Refutation of Sociology) by Yordam Kitap in 2019.
Dr. Melehat Kutun has received her Ph.D. from Gazi University, Ankara. She has been a visiting Ph.D. student (2009-2010), and later a researcher (2015-2016) at University of York, UK. While she was working in Mersin University, Turkey, she was purged and dismissed for signing the “Academics for Peace Petition” in 2016. She became a guest lecturer and Philipp Schwartz fellow (2017-2020) at Universität Kassel. She is currently an Einstein Research fellow at Humboldt Universität and works on contemporary political theory, critical theories of the state, Turkish politics, and migration politics. Her forthcoming book, which she edited with Babacan, E., Pınar, E., Yılmaz, Z., is Regime Change in Turkey: Neoliberal Authoritarianism, Islamism, and Hegemony, London: Routledge.
SELIN BENGI GÜMRÜKÇÜ
Selin Bengi Gümrükçü is a Postdoctoral Associate at the Center for European Studies Rutgers University in New Brunswick. She received her PhD degree from University of Zurich in 2014. She studies various aspects of social movements, political parties, the far-right, violence, and Europeanization and Euroscepticism, mainly focusing on the case of Turkey. Her publications have appeared in international journals, such as Turkish Studies, Southeast European and Black Sea Studies, Journal of Balkan and Near Eastern Studies, and in edited volumes. She is currently working on her first book, to be published with Routledge: Protest and Politics in Turkey in the 1970s: The Making of a Protest Wave.
Gullistan Yarkin is an independent scholar. She completed her PhD degree in the Sociology Department at the State University of New York at Binghamton in 2017. The title of her dissertation is The Making of National-Racial Formation and Coloniality in Turkey: Turkish-Kurdish Relations in a Working-Class District of Zeytinburnu in Istanbul, 1950-2017. Her research areas include racism, anti-racism, colonialism, social movements, urban studies and Turkish-Kurdish relations. Her articles have been published by the journals of Ethnic and Racial Studies, Kurdish Studies, Toplum ve Kuram Lêkolîn û Xebatên Kurdî, New Perspectives on Turkey, Kürd Araştırmaları etc.
Nagehan Uskan lives in Lesbos Island (Greece). After studying cinema at Bologna and Lyon II Universities, she finished her PhD at the Sociology Department of Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University in Istanbul. She conducted a postdoctoral research on the topic of the visual self-representation of migration at the University of Fribourg, in Switzerland. She has been part of different grassroots visual media collectives with migrants in Lesbos Island.
Salim Nabi completed his master’s in Interdisciplinary Studies at York University, Toronto; after receiving his bachelor’s degree in Philosophy at the same institution. Since 2016, he has researched the refugee situation on the Greek island, Lesbos. His most recent works have been concerned with the possibilities of an “affirmative biopolitics” emerging on this liminal island at the intersection of migration and anti-authoritarian movements. His current interests encompass an interdisciplinary approach to various topics such as Feminism, Commons, Co-Living beyond Anthropocentrism, Solidarity vs Humanitarianism in Refugee Settings on Europe’s Borders, Borderized Spaces and Subjectivities. His last publications are Invisible Lives as an Emerging Paradigm: Covid-19 and the Refugee Situation in Lesbos, Greece (Refugee Review vol. 5 – forthcoming), Asylum for Sale: Profit and Protest in the Migration Industry (Book Review for Refuge: Canada’s Journal on Refugees vol. 37 – forthcoming).
Aylin Çakı graduated from Boğaziçi University history department. She began her MA in İhsan Doğramacı Bilkent University and transferred to Bursa Uludağ University. She wrote her MA thesis about a fortunetelling book (falnâme) which is stated at the end of the 16th century. Her academic interests are cultural history, superstitions, marginal groups in the Ottoman history.
Ferda Fahrioğlu-Akın finished her postgraduate studies at Hacettepe University with her thesis titled “Güvenlik ve Kimlik Bağlamında İnsan İhtiyaçları Teorisi’nin Türkiye’de Kürt Meselesine Uygulanması”. She earned her doctoral degree from the Political Sciences and International Relations Institute at Yıldız Technical University with her work titled “Devlet-dışı Aktörlerin Mikro Çatışma Çözümündeki Rolleri: Diyarbakır Örneği.” Her research areas are peace studies, conflict resolution and the Kurdish issue. Fahrioğlu-Akın was expelled from her position at Yıldız Technical University by the presidential decree no. 686 in reaction to her signing a Peace Petition that criticized the violent events in the Kurdish region.
Aysuda Kölemen completed her PhD in Political Science at the University of Georgia, Athens, USA. Her area of research is comparative politics of the USA, Western Europe and Turkey. Aysuda joined Bard College Berlin as a PSI fellow in 2019. She has been an active member of Off-University since its founding. She currently works on autocratization and academic freedoms as well as the impact of social policies on the construction of motherhood and gender roles in Turkey from a comparative perspective. Her most recent and upcoming publications are With Coşkun, G. B (2020). Illiberal Democracy or Electoral Autocracy: The Case of Turkey. In The Emergence of Illiberalism (pp. 166-187). Routledge. Forthcoming: (2021) No, Your Other Left! The Fight for the Soul of the Democratic Party, Amerikastudien, 66.
Yasemin Özgün received her master’s degree in Political Theory from University of Essex, England, with a thesis titled “The Paradox of Representation in Politics”. She got her PhD with the thesis titled "Democracy Discourse of the Period of 27 May 1960” at Ankara University, Institute of Social Sciences. Amongst her field of interests are political sociology, media and politics, gender studies, political economy, Turkish political life. Özgün has written in 2020 about “Feminizm ve Aile Tartışmaları- Teori, Politika- Pratik İlişkisi ve Çelişkileri”, (“Feminism and Family Debates- Theory-Politics- Practices Relations and Contradictions”) in Modern Türkiye’de Siyasi Düşünce: Feminizm, and published in 2011 with Ö. Müftüoğlu on "Turkey after 2008: Another Crisis – The Same Responses?" in Trade Unions and the Global Crisis: Labour's Visions, Strategies and Responses, Melisa Serrano, Edlira Xhafa and Michael Fichter (eds).
Siyaves Azeri has started his new position as a professor of philosophy at the School of Advanced Studies, University of Tyumen in Siberia, Russian Federation. Following his dismissal from his position at Mardin Artuklu University in Turkey and having been banned from public employment, by the decree law 679, alongside hundreds of other academicians, issued by the Erdogan administration on 6 January 2017, he worked as a visiting researcher at the École Normal Supérieure in Paris from September 2017 to August 2018 and, for the following two years, at the Université de Lorraine, Archives Henri-Poincaré-Philosophie et Recherches sur les Sciences et les Technologies (AHP-PReST) in Nancy, France. Azeri is also an associate of the Thesis Twelve: Mardin Value-form Circle. He writes on a large gamut of subjects in different international journals and books. His areas of interest include Hume’s empiricism, Kant’s transcendentalism, Marxian materialism, the problem of consciousness, and the critique of epistemology.
Saladdin Ahmed teaches political theory and international relations at Union College in Schenectady, New York, and he holds a Ph.D. in Philosophy from the University of Ottawa. In his book Totalitarian Space and the Destruction of Aura (SUNY, 2019), he investigates old versus new forms of totalitarianism. Currently, he is at work on a book project on revolutionary philosophy. His academic articles have appeared in Telos, Critique, Critical Race and Whiteness Studies, Philosophical Frontiers, and Forum Philosophicum, among others. His thought pieces can be found on Al-Jazeera, The Jerusalem Post, The European, openDemocracy, Institute for Social Ecology, and Telos.
Founded in November 2017, aramızda: Toplumsal Cinsiyet Araştırmalar Derneği is invested in creating a pluralistic space of feminist solidarity that provides a platform for networking, creativity and research in the field of Gender and Queer Studies. The founding members of the collective were feminist academics and students who got dispelled from the university within the framework of a governmental decree or who faced dire conditions with regards to the right for education on gender and LGBTIQ+ studies and the support mechanisms in preventing sexual harassment in the campus. Together, they responded to this situation by claiming a space outside of the university, and continue their studies, research and organizing in the realm of the arts, civil society and politics. 13 of aramızda's scholars are currently collectively organizing a course with Off-University:
Ece ÖZTAN, Melda YAMAN, Yasemin ÖZGÜN, Nalan MUMCU, Dilek HATTATOĞLU, Emine SEVİM, Evun Sevgi OKUMUŞ, Merve DİLTEMİZ MOL, F. Ceren AKÇABAY, E. İrem AKI, Pınar YILDIZ, Demet BOLAT
İLKER GÖKHAN ŞEN
Dr. İlker Gökhan Şen continues to work on the topics of direct democracy, comparative constitutional law, history and law of Turkish constitutions, human rights, and democracy education. He has published books and articles in English and Turkish around these issues. In his research, he applies an interdisciplinary approach. As one of the signatories to the “Academics for Peace” petition, Şen was dispelled from his position at the Eskişehir Anadolu University Law Faculty by the Turkish government in 2017. Currently, Dr. Şen lives in Halen Bergen, Norway where he works as a research fellow at Chr. Michelsen Institute.
Barış Işık was born in Ankara in 1984. In 2011, he concluded his Master’s Thesis at Freie University Berlin carrying the title “„§ 173 StGB Beischlaf zwischen Verwandten - Im Licht des Vergleichs mit der Rechtslage des Inzests in der Türkei -” . He was awarded a PhD by Istanbul University for his dissertation “Geçmişe Yürüme Yasağı Bağlamında Zamanaşımı” in 2019. In the same year, he lost his position at the Anadolu University Law Faculty in a controversial manner. He was amongst the authors of the book “Duymak Zorundasiniz: 10 Ekim Katliami Davasi”, which was honored by receiving the Halit Çelenk Hukuk Jury’s Special Prize.
MELİKE BELKIS AYDIN
Melike Belkıs Aydın was born in Istanbul in 1984. In 2013, she completed her postgraduate studies at the Social Sciences Faculty of Anadolu University with the thesis “The Results of Artificial Insemination Techniques in Terms of Pedigree Law and Personality Rights”. Her doctoral dissertation dealt with a “Hermeneutic Approach to Law: Philosophical Hermeneutics of Hans-Georg Gadamer” and was submitted successfully in 2019. In September 2019, her position at the Anadolu University Law Faculty was terminated in an unlawful manner. Her short story book “Pembe Kızıl’ won the Türkan Saylan Sanat Prize in 2016.
Nahed Ghazzoul is an assistant professor in Linguistics. She holds a PhD in Linguistic from Lancaster University, UK. 2008; a Certificate in Learning and Teaching in Higher Education, from Lancaster University, UK. 2006; an MA in Linguistics (TESOL), University of Surrey, UK. 2004. She taught at different academic institutions including Aleppo University/Syria, Lancaster University/UK, and Jerash and Alzaytoonah University/Jordan. Currently, she is a postdoctoral research fellow at Columbia University. She got a postdoctoral fellowship at East AngliaUniversity/UK by the end of 2019. Her specialised researches focus on linguistics, and pedagogical issues, and her field of interest is ‘Refugees Studies’. She published a couple of papers in high indexed Journals.
Teoman Aktan is a political scientist with a focus on social movements, human rights, and social justice in Middle East. He holds a PhD in Political Science and Public Administration from Istanbul University. His doctoral thesis focused on the genealogy of autonomy, with Iran and Azerbaijan as case studies. He has carried out research projects on organizational commitment (2010), ethnic nationalism (2011), and the intergenerational value conflicts (2012). Dr. Aktan collaborated as a social worker and interpreter with several non-governmental organizations on issues related to refugees in Turkey. He is currently a research fellow at Columbia Global Center/Amman.
Mabruk Derbesh is currently a fellow at Columbia University. He got his higher static education in Canada and the US where he was awarded a PhD in Applied Management and Decision Science with a focus on social science. He has been a faculty member at the Faculty of Economics and Political Science, University of Tripoli, where he taught management. He wrote extensively in the main Libyan magazines and newspapers for many years and was known for his unique Arabic writing style and harsh criticism of the static political discourse and religious extremism. He is also the founder of the Libyan Institution of Academic and Intellectual Freedom. In recent years, he focused his research on constructing a platform for Academic Freedom in the MENA region, and although he argues that it is still a novel concept to many in the Arab world, he sees a global threat to Academia and free thought even within the liberal apparatus in the West.
Gülengül Altıntaş received her BA degree from the Department of Film and Television at Istanbul University in 2000. After her graduation she went to USA and completed the certificate program “Content Creation for Entertainment Media” at University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) in 2001. Upon her return to Istanbul she worked as an assistant director in various productions including commercial films, TV productions and movies. She attended scriptwriting workshops given by professors from New York Tisch School of the Arts and Hungarian Film Academy. She worked as a TA at the Film and Television Department of Istanbul Bilgi University and received her MA degree in 2006 from the same department with her dissertation on cyberculture and cinema. She shot several short films and received several awards. Currently she is teaching scriptwriting courses, working as a freelance script consultant and writing her PHD Thesis on Turkish Cinema in the field of oral history research.
Dr. Gubad Ibadoghlu is a political economist from Azerbaijan. He has commenced his career at Economic Research Center in 1999. He is a senior policy analyst for social and economic studies at Azerbaijan’s Economic Research Center, a Baku-based NGO that promotes economic development and good governance. Dr. Ibadoghlu was a member of the Steering Committee of the EU Eastern Partnership Program’s Civil Society Forum (CSF) and served as a representative of Eurasian’s civil societies representative to the international board of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) for 2013–2019.His research focuses on politics on natural resources and revenue management. He was a researcher at the Higher Economic School, Warsaw in 1999/2000, at Central European University, Budapest in 2004/2005, in the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2008/2009, at Duke University in 2015/2016, at Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton in 2017/2018. Currently, he is a postdoctoral researcher at the Center for European Studies of Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ, USA and he is teaching courses as a visiting professor at the Department of Political Sciences.
Dr. Leila Alieva is an affiliate of the Russian and East European Studies at the Oxford School for Global and Area Studies and a tutor at the Oxford University Department for Continued Education. Prior to that she was a member of the Senior Common Room of the St. Antony’s College of the University of Oxford and the academic visitor. Before she moved to the UK, she had been leading a ‘think-tank’ in Baku, Azerbaijan. Dr. Alieva’s research focus is on the political economy of oil, conflicts, democracy building and energy security. She has also been a consultant to EBRD and oil companies. Previously she was a post-doctoral researcher at Harvard University, UC Berkeley, a fellow at the Woodrow Wilson Center (Kennan Institute), NATO defense college (Rome), National Endowment for Democracy (Washington DC), and Paul Nitze School for International Studies (Johns Hopkins University). She has edited and authored books, chapters and articles published by Oxford University Press, Sharp, Janes Intelligence Review and many others. She has been awarded by various academic scholarships and is a holder of the UK ‘exceptional talent’ visa in her professional field since 2017.
Utku Balaban is a visiting associate professor at Amherst College’s Anthropology and Sociology Department. He taught at Ankara University until 2017 when the government expelled and blacklisted him along with over thirty colleagues as signatories of the Peace Petition to protest the violence against the Kurdish civilian by government forces in 2015. He pursues his studies on urbanization and industrialization. His current work focuses on the interrelationship of the late urbanization and industrialization with the rise of Islamism in Turkey.
Ali Rıza Güngen is a political scientist and independent researcher. Dr. Güngen received his Ph.D. from Middle East Technical University and was granted the Young Social Scientist award by the Turkish Social Sciences Association in 2013. Güngen is the co-author of the 2014 book Financialization, Debt Crisis and Collapse (in Turkish) and co-editor of 2019 book The Political Economy of Financial Transformation in Turkey. His articles appeared in journals such as The Journal of Peasant Studies and New Political Economy. His research currently focuses on sovereign debt management across the global South, financial inclusion, and state restructuring in Turkey.
ICLAL AYSE KÜCÜKKIRCA
Iclal Ayse Kucukkirca completed her PhD degree at the SPEL (Social, Political, Ethical and Legal Philosophy) programme at Binghamton University, New York in 2011. The title of her dissertation is Homelessness and Homemaking. Her areas of interest are gender/sexuality studies particularly women’s movements, and feminist political philosophy and the construction of the home place in different geographies through different axes. She has worked as a lecturer at the Philosophy department of the Binghamton University and at the History department of the University of Wisconsin, River Falls and as an Assistant Professor at the Philosophy department of Mardin Artuklu University.
Yüksel Taşkın was born in 1972, in Rize, Turkey. He received his BA degree in Political Science and International Relations (Boğaziçi University, Istanbul, 1994). He completed his MA (1995) and doctoral studies (2001) at the same department. He started to teach at Marmara University Faculty of Economics and Administrative Sciences in 2002 and got his associate professorship in 2009. He was a visiting scholar at New York University Center Near Eastern Studies (1999-2000), at Leiden University International Institute for the Study of Islam in the Modern World (Falls 2005-2006), and at Northwestern University Buffett Institute for Global Studies (Spring 2011-2012). His research interests are “sociology of politics”, “intellectuals and social movements”, and “society and politics in the Middle East.” A selection of his publications is as following: Anti-Komünizmden Küreselleşme Karşıtlığına: Milliyetçi Muhafazakâr Entelijansiya (İletişim Yayınları, 2007), AKP Devri: Türkiye Siyaseti, İslâmcılık ve Arap Baharı (Birikim Yayınları, 2013),1960’tan Günümüze Türkiye Tarihi (co-writing with Suavi Aydın, İletişim Yayınları, 2014).
BARAN ALP UNCU
Baran Alp Uncu is a political sociologist who specializes on social movements and environmental politics. After receiving his MA degree at McGill University, he completed his PhD in sociology at the London School of Economics. He worked as a faculty member at Marmara University between 2007-2017. As part of the purge against the Academics for Peace in Turkey, he was expelled from Marmara University. He continues his academic work as an independent researcher in collaboration with civil society organizations and research institutions. His main fields of interest are social movements, civil society, globalization, and climate politics. He has carried out research on environmental movements (Bergama Movement, Northern Forest Defence (KOS)), politics of climate change, and Gezi protests in Turkey. Additionally, he conducted several research projects on other topics such as political and social behavior of conservatives, youth and social and economic conditions of Syrian refugees in Turkey. He has been currently engaged in the Cities For Climate campaign by 350.org Turkey, and he is the author of Climate for Cities campaign book.