Anthropology, University of Boğaziçi,Turkey

Fellowship : October 2016 to June 2017

Discipline(s) : Anthropology

Area(s) of expertise : Ethnology

Pays : Turquey

Research project : "Creating a Life Alongside the Law"

The research proposes to study and produce an ethnography based on fieldwork in Mersin, a coastal city in the south of Turkey where Kurds who have been forcefully displaced from their villages in the 1990s have migrated to. They have been able to build a life for themselves there, a life which is not strictly speaking within the law. Sociological/anthropological studies have called this "the informal sector" and other such names. The researcher, by contrast, aims to question two concepts in this context: what exactly is the law, and what does it mean to be alongside the law; and, secondly, what do we understand from the notion of "a life," what constitutes a life?


Nükhet Sirman is a Turkish anthropologist who has worked in the department of sociology at Boğaziçi University since 1989. Having completed her undergraduate and graduate studies at University College, London in 1988, she has worked on peasant farms in cotton production, feminist movements, honor crimes and violence against women, gender construction under nationalist discourses, Kurdish women’s movements and the settlement of internally displaced persons. She has also been a feminist activist working for peace. She has written academic as well as more popular and political articles on these topics, both in English and in Turkish.

Major publications

 SIRMAN, Nükhet Turkish State, Turkish Society,(ed. with Andrew Finkle), London-New York,Routledge, 1990, 312 p.

 SIRMAN, Nükhet. State, Village and Gender in Western Turkey, in Andrew Finkel and Nükhet Sirman (eds.) Turkish State, Turkish Society, London: Routledge, 1990.

 SIRMAN, Nükhet. “Writing the usual love story: the fashioning of conjugal and national subjects in Turkey,” in V.A. Goddard Gender, Agency and Change,  London: Routledge, 2000.

 SIRMAN, Nükhet. “The Making of Familial Citizenship in Turkey,” in Keyman, F. And İçduygu, A. (eds.) Challenges to Citizenship in a Globalizing World: European Questions and Turkish Experiences, London:Routledge, 2005.

 SIRMAN, Nükhet. “When Antigone is A Man: Feminist Trouble in the Late Colony,” in Judith Butler, Zeynep Gambetti and Leticia Sabsay (eds.) Vulnerability in Resistance: Politics, Feminism, Theory, in press, Duke University Press.