In this interview for STATUS/الوضع, host Nazlı Özkan speaks with Esra Özyürek about the interplay and dynamics between Islam, Christianity, secularism and nationalism in the context of Turkey and Europe. This video was recorded on February 14, 2017, for the MENA Dialogues series produced by the Middle East & North African Studies Program at Northwestern University. Professor Özyürek’s visit to Northwestern was co-sponsored by the Keyman Modern Turkish Studies.
Dr. Esra Özyürek a political anthropologist who seeks to understand how Islam, Christianity, secularism, and nationalism are dynamically positioned in relation to each other in Turkey and in Europe. For her research received funding from Fulbright Foundation, Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, German Academic Exchange, Institute for Turkish Studies. She was a resident fellow at the American Academy in Berlin. She is the recipient of Barkan Prize for best article in the field of Turkish Studies. Her most recent book Being German, Becoming Muslim: Race, Religion and Conversion in the New Europe has been published by the Princeton University Press (2014). Her previous book Nostalgia for the Modern: State Secularism and Everyday Politics in Turkeyhas been published by Duke University Press (2007). She also is the editor of Politics of Public Memory in Turkey published by Syracuse University Press (2007) and Unuttuklarɩ ve Hatɩrladɩklarɩyla Turkiye’nin Toplumsal Hafɩzasɩ by İletişim Yayɩnevi (2002).
Nazlı Özkan is a PhD Candidate in Cultural Anthropology and Middle East & North African Studies at Northwestern University, with primary research interests in the anthropology of religion and the anthropology of media. In October 2014, Özkan received funding to aid research on 'Producing State Power through Media: Contested Definitions of Alevism in Turkey,' supervised by Dr. Jessica Vinegar. Renamed 'The Politics of Anxiety: Possibilities and Impossibilities of Religious Minority Activism in 'Secular' Turkey,' this research focused on the televisual media production of the Alevi religious minority in Turkey, who have been marginalized by Sunni Islam's hegemony.