Eylem Delikanlı is a founding coop member, human rights advocate and an oral historian. She holds an MA in Sociology (City University NY) and an MA in Oral History (Columbia University). She is the co-author of the books Keşke Bir Öpüp Koklasaydım (with Ozlem Delikanli in Turkish, Istanbul: Ayrıntı Yayınları, September 2013) and Hiçbir Şey Aynı Olmayacak (with Ozlem Delikanli in Turkish, Istanbul: Ayrıntı Yayınları, November 2019) Her oral history research covers the 1980 Coup D’État in Turkey. She was a visiting scholar at the Institute for the Study of Human Rights at Columbia University and a researcher at Truth, Justice and Remembrance Program at Bosch Stiftung in Berlin developing projects focusing on the Coup. She is a member of Çocuklarız Bir Aradayız initiative – a group working towards building a collective memory of the Coup D’État in Turkey. As an oral historian, Eylem defines her work as oral history for historical justice and her research focuses on theories of post memory, collective memory, mass violence and silence.
Aylin Tekiner is a multi-media artist, writer and human rights advocate. In her artistic practice, she works on the concepts of collective memory and justice with a focus on collective traumas and tragedies. She received her PhD from The Faculty of Educational Sciences, The Department of Cultural Foundations of Education at Ankara University in Turkey in 2008. Aylin has a book titled “Atatürk Statues: Cult, Aesthetics, Politics”, which was published in 2010-2014 by İletişim Yayınları (Turkey), based on her doctoral thesis. She worked on shadow theater techniques during her post-doc time at the Yale School of Drama between 2015-2016. Aylin opened solo exhibitions and participated in group exhibitions at home and abroad and she is a member of Collective Memory Platform, which was formed by the families of 28 victims of the political murders in modern Turkey, a member of Center for The Study of Social Difference at Columbia University as well as Çocuklarız Bir Aradayız initiative that focuses on the 1980 Coup D’État in Turkey.
Çağhan Kızıl is an Associate Professor of Neuroscience in Helmholtz Association, Germany. He obtained his B.Sc. from Middle East Technical University in Ankara, Turkey; M.Sc. from University of Göttingen, and Ph.D from Max Planck Institute Tübingen, Germany. His researches focus on stem cells and their therapeutic use in Alzheimer’s disease. As a scientist, Çağhan became a vocal public figure extensively talking, writing and sharing about the COVID-19 Coronavirus pandemic in Turkey. Besides his scientific publications, Çağhan also writes about academic freedom both in Turkey and abroad.
Gulce Nazli Dikecligil is a post-doctoral researcher at University of Pennsylvania, working in the field of sensory neuroscience. She received her undergraduate degrees in Biomedical Engineering and Applied Mathematics, and her doctoral degree in Neuroscience from Stony Brook University. Her research focuses on understanding how context and emotional states shape sensory perceptions. She has contributed to the projects “Talk Turkey Conference: Rethinking Life since Gezi”, Suzanne Lacy’s “Between the Door and the Street”, “We are here Ahparig, Global Photo Campaign”. Originally from Istanbul, she currently lives in Philadelphia.
Yektan Türkyılmaz received his PhD from Duke University Department of Cultural Anthropology. He taught courses at University of Cyprus, Sabancı, Bilgi, Duke and California State Universities addressing the debates around the notions of collective violence, memory making and reconciliation, and politics of music. He is working on his book manuscript based on his dissertation, Rethinking Genocide: Violence and Victimhood in Eastern Anatolia, 1913-1915, that addresses the conflict in Eastern Anatolia in the early 20th century and the memory politics around it. His new project concerns the emergence of the sound recording industry and its implications on the remaking of public space in the broader Ottoman and post-Ottoman world. Türkyılmaz also writes scholarly articles and commentaries addressing the ongoing political upheavals in Turkey. He is currently a research fellow at the Forum Transregionale Studien in Berlin, Germany.
Bert Azizoğlu is a founding coop member and a Ph.D. Candidate in Public Policy and Fulbright Scholar at the New School in New York. His research focuses on how financialization shapes labor relations, employment and income distribution in OECD countries. He holds MA degrees in economics and law from the Vienna University of Economics and Business as well as the Rotterdam School of Management at the Erasmus University of Rotterdam.
Onur Altındağ is a PhD candidate in Economics at the Graduate Center, City University of New York. He currently works as an IT Fellow at Baruch College and is a research assistant at the National Bureau of Economic Research branch office in New York City. Onur holds an MA in development economics from the University of Paris-Pantheon Sorbonne and an economics degree from Galatasaray University, Istanbul.
Isin Önol is a curator and educator who focuses on interconnecting archival information with oral histories to create platforms for collective memory through collaborative art practices. She is a research scholar at the Center for the Study of Social Difference, Columbia University, and teaches at Montclair State University, Department of Art & Design. She was visiting faculty at the Social Design MA Program at the University of Applied Arts, Vienna (2016-17). Önol founded the Nesin Art Village, an independent art school in Turkey. Recent exhibitions include Women Mobilizing Memory (Istanbul, Vienna, New York, Madrid), and When Home Won’t Let You Stay (Vienna). She curated the International Sinop Biennial (2012-14) and was director of the Elgiz Museum of Contemporary Art, Istanbul (2006-09). She has produced more than 50 exhibitions internationally, and published on the intersection of social justice and art. Önol holds an MFA from Sabanci University, Istanbul, an MAS from Zürich University of the Arts, and is a PhD candidate at the University of Applied Arts, Vienna. She is a member of directors at Roberto Cimetta Fund.
Sergul Aydore is an applied scientist in the field of artificial intelligence and also an adjunct professor at Stevens Institute of Technology. After receiving her undergraduate and M.S. degrees from Bogazici university, she moved to Los Angeles for her PhD degree in Electrical Engineering in University of Southern California in 2009. She moved to New York in 2014 for her postdoc training in Columbia University. Since then she hold positions in academia and industry. She also plays volleyball and dances Argentine Tango.
Özgür Narin is currently a Visiting Scholar at New York University. He graduated from Electrical & Electronics Engineering Department of Middle East Technical University. Since he was deeply concerned with social problems, he decided to study social science; particularly political economy. He completed his Ph. D. in Development Economics Department of Marmara University. He studied on the capitalist production of Science and Technology, particularly innovation and the changing scientific labour process. Tranformation of the Higher Education system, transformation of the mental labour and the History of Workers’ Management in Turkey are some of his past works. You can see some of his articles (mostly in Turkish) here: https://nyu.academia.edu/OzgurNarin. His current research is on the alternative reorganization of society and social reproduction, particularly, self management practices and self organisation (Autopoiesis) experiences. He tries to build (or participate) a collective internet archive of Labour history of Turkey. Images, photos, audio and video documents of oral interviews etc. are in the scope of this prospective internet archive. His archive of the historical experiences of Workers’ management in Turkey is open access and free to use for research purposes. http://isikdahacokisik.blogspot.com.tr
Esra Akcan is a Professor in the Department of Architecture, and the Director of IES at the Einaudi Center for International Studies at Cornell University. She completed her architecture degree at the Middle East Technical University, and her Ph.D. and postdoctoral degrees at Columbia University in New York. She taught history-theory classes and architectural design studios at University of Illinois at Chicago, Humboldt University in Berlin, Columbia University, New School, and Pratt Institute in New York, and METU in Ankara. Akcan received numerous awards and fellowships from the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Studies at Harvard University, American Academy in Berlin, Institute for Advanced Studies in Berlin, Graham Foundation (3-times awardee), Clark Institute, Getty Research Institute, Canadian Center for Architecture (2 times Awardee), CAA, Mellon Foundation, DAAD and KRESS/ARIT. She is the author of the books Open Architecture: Migration, Citizenship and the Urban Renewal of Berlin-Kreuzberg by IBA-1984/87; Architecture in Translation: Germany, Turkey and the Modern House; Turkey: Modern Architectures in History (with Sibel Bozdoğan); Çeviride Modern Olan; and (Land)Fill Istanbul: Twelve Scenarios for a Global City. She has guest edited an issue on globalization for Domus m, on intertwined history for Centropa, and on co-edited one on Asian modernities for Nakhara. Akcan has authored over a hundred and fifty articles and essays in scholarly books and professional journals of multiple languages on critical and postcolonial theory, racism, immigration, architectural photography, translation, neoliberalism, and global history.
Murat Çelikkan has been working as a journalist for the past 25 years in various positions such as reporter, editor, columnist on human rights violations and democracy and chief executive editor. Celikkan has been an active member of the Turkish Human Rights Movement. He was a founding member and has been on the boards of the Human Rights Association, Helsinki Citizens Assembly, Amnesty International and Human Rights Foundation. He has worked on projects related to the Kurdish problem and media ethics. He has been involved in developing the Truth Justice Memory Center since the beginning of 2010.
Aslı Iğsız is Associate Professor of Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies at New York University. Her work examines cultural politics in relation to and within the Middle East, with a focus on Turkey. Her research interests are situated at the intersections of political violence, cultural policy, and politics of representation, with a critical eye on the implications of the past in the present. Her first book Humanism in Ruins: Entangled Legacies of the Greek-Turkish Population Exchange (Stanford University Press) was published in 2018. Humanism in Ruins sought to offer a critique of liberalism from the angle of the management of difference, and explored the underlying racialized logics of population transfers, partitions, segregation, apartheid, and border walls. Currently she is working on two new book projects: one on the notion of fascist utopias in the contemporary world context, and another one on international cultural politics and education reforms to refute fascism after the Second World War.
Simten Coşar received her Ph.D in political science from Bilkent University, Ankara, Turkey (1997). She has specialized in political thought. Dr. Coşar has published in English and Turkish on Turkish politics, feminist politics, and political thought. She was a Fulbright scholar at the Northern Michigan University, in a collaborative academic research with the late Professor Louise Bourgault. In the English-speaking and reading world, she is the co-editor of Universities in the Neoliberal Era: Academic Cultures and Critical Perspectives (UK: Palgrave MacMillan, 2017) (with Hakan Ergül), and Silent Violence: Neoliberalism, Islamist Politics and the AKP Years in Turkey (Canada: Red Quill Books, 2012) (with Gamze Yücesan-Özdemir). Dr. Coşar has also been involved in translation works of prominent academic texts in social sciences from Turkish to English, and from English to Turkish. Most recently, she edited and translated Handan Çağlayan’s seminal work in Turkish on Kurdish women’s political activism (Women in Kurdish Movement: Mothers, Comrades, Goddesses, Palgrave MacMillan, 2019). Her articles in English were published in Contemporary Politics, Monthly Review, Feminist Review, Journal of Third World Studies, Journal of Mediterranean Studies, South European Society and Politics, Alternate Routes and Journal of Political Ideologies. Dr. Coşar conducted field research on feminist interventions in and through neoliberal academia in Turkey, and as a visiting scholar at UMass, Amherst and Carleton University, Ottawa (ON, Canada). She was a visiting scholar at Cornell University (2018-2019). Currently she is researching and teaching at the University of Pittsburgh. Through the early 2000s, Dr. Coşar has been briefly involved in feminist organizations as an academic, participating in training courses, acting as executive committee member, and/or member in board of advisors. She defines herself as a feminist political scientist.
Gülden Özcan has a PhD in Sociology from Carleton University. Her dissertation Orchestrating the Public: A Contribution to the Critique of Modern Police Power examines the pacification of the proletarian publics through police practices with an emphasis on late eighteenth- and early nineteenth-century London. Her areas of interest also include modern Marxist theory, contemporary social and political thought, and neoliberal re-structuration in Turkey. She is the co-editor of A General Police System: Political Economy and Security in the Age of Enlightenment (2009) and Capitalism and Confrontation: Critical Readings (2012). She has contributed to Alternate Routes: A Journal of Critical Social Research, Moment: Journal of Cultural Studies, Kampfplatz, and The Wiley-Blackwell Encyclopedia of Globalization. Her commentaries on Turkey appeared in The Bullet (Socialist Project, E-Bulletin
Ümit Akçay, Assoc.Prof. of Economics, is a founding coop member and a researcher in Labour and Finance working group at RIT. He previously was a visiting scholar at the Department of Politics and later at MEIS in New York University between 2011 and 2015 and was a faculty member of Ordu University, Unye IIBF, Economics Department between 2009 and 2011. He has a Ph.D. in economics from Marmara University, Turkey. He is the co- author of Financialization, Debt Crisis and Collapse: The Future of Global Capitalism (in Turkish, Ankara: Notabene Press, 2014), and the author of Money, Bank, State: The Political Economy of the Central Bank Independence, (in Turkish, Istanbul: SAV Press, 2009); and Planning of Capitalism: Transformation of Planning and the State Planning Organization in Turkey, (in Turkish, Istanbul: SAV Press, 2007). His research focuses on development economics, comparative development studies, economic crises, central banking, and financialization. He writes regularly at Kriz Notları Blog on various aspects of global economic crisis. His other works are avaliable at https://independentresearcher.academia.edu/UA
Jeffrey C. Goldfarb is the Michael E. Gellert Professor of Sociology at the New School for Social Research. He is the author of dozens of articles and eight books, including Civility and Subversion: the Intellectual in Democratic Society (Cambridge University Press, 1998), which provides the theoretical guidelines for the practices of his blog Deliberately Considered. He has studied, historically and comparatively, the conditions and consequences of free public life, with special focus on Central Europe and North America. In recent years he has been studying this problem in Israel – Palestine. He has also worked to link his theoretical endeavors to practical action in supporting free public life. For his public and intellectual work in Central Europe, Goldfarb was awarded the Solidarity Medal from the Polish government, presented by former President Lech Walesa.
Nidhi Srinavas is Associate Professor of Non-profit Management at The New School in New York City. His research interests center on critical theory, civil society and post-colonial management knowledge. His research has been published in journals such as Non-Profit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly, Organization Studies, Organization, and Critical Perspectives on International Business. Srinivas has a particular interest in the countries of India, China, Brazil and Turkey, countries that are sometimes called “middle-income” countries, and some of which are also known as “BRICS countries”. His interest stems from the transitions made by these countries from colonial regimes of accumulation towards nationalist strategies of growth, particularly in their market policies and networks of civil society actors. From 2010-2012 Srinivas was an India-China Institute Fellow and studied social innovation practices in Rajasthan, India and Yunnan, China. He was also a Fellow at the BRICS Center in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in August 2013; in Rio de Janeiro he studied civil society responses to the impending mega events. Srinivas has also served as a visiting professor at the Escola Brasileira de Administraçao Publica e de Empresas (EBAPE) at the Fundação Getulio Vargas, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and at the Indian Institute of Management Bangalore, India.
Why radical research?
Authoritarian neoliberal policies are increasingly shaping contemporary research activities in Turkey and beyond. Political and financial pressures on researchers prevent them from addressing urgent topics and themes. Notable voices are sidelined by a lack of funding, and research projects are increasingly realized in a particularly conservative tone, lacking imagination.
We believe that salient radical research activity is necessary for informed critical decision making processes, public engagement and educational activities. We therefore initiated an alternative network of non-traditional, multidisciplinary collaborative research processes, RIT.
Addressing urgent topics which are not adequately studied
Using interdisciplinary methods and approaches beyond traditional disciplinary academic boundaries
Forming new working groups and initiate cross institutional working groups, and promoting collective action.
Creatively and systematically engaging with civil society
By opening up a new intellectual space, we aim to assemble collective energy and capacity and provide resources for researchers and practitioners.
Our specific contributions
Collectivizing research efforts
Building and strengthening research communities
Making research more easily communicable
Connecting researchers with broader communities of interest
A key starting point of our commonization efforts is the establishment of RIT University of the Commons, which aims to break the learning process free of the increasing limitations of academic institutions. We hope to provide a space of collective and critical inquiry, learning and teaching that is more responsive to social problems and struggles that emerge from them.
The RIT University of the Commons will feature:
Topical reading lists & bibliographies
Lectures, panels & discussions
Workshops & conferences
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Research Institute on Turkey
New York City, USA
Research Institute on Turkey is a grassroots research cooperative based in New York City.
We are an interdisciplinary group of researchers, artists, writers, architects, scientists and activists who explore and engage in commonization practices for social change.
Our goal is to contribute to a pluralistic, egalitarian, and democratic Turkey with an emphasis on human rights, social and economic justice, gender equality, sexual rights, cultural and political recognition and ecologic sustainability from a critical historical perspective.
We develop in-situ embodied knowledge through in-depth, focused research and policy analysis, creative public engagement, collective learning activities, solidarity campaigns and network collaborations.
Our current research areas
Urban Justice and Right to the City
Labor & Finance
Aesthetics and Politics
Facilitating interdisciplinary research through collaborative networks;
Developing practices of creative public engagement including data visualization projects, media campaigns, recording of collective memory in archives,
Organizing lectures, workshops, exhibitions, conferences and summer schools as part of the RIT University of the Commons.
A new model: a cooperative research institute
An ongoing collective learning process
Open and egalitarian participation of members in decision-making
An alternative to corporate think-tank models
A productive model of brewing ideas and action through solidarity
A hub for creativity and of thinking outside the box
A collective body of work that culminates impactful tools for social transformation and change
Memory studies address the interplay between the past and the present within multilayered contextual perspectives. We believe that collective memory is an arena of struggle. Radically commonizing memory enables us to draw connections between seemingly unrelated historical events. After all, a transformative struggle can only emerge from collectively reconstructing and reclaiming memory.
We focus on registering the continuities and discontinuities of the existing narratives and contributing to the development of alternatives; ones that register and reveal the experience and memory of social segments that are not in power. Ultimately, it is an empowerment project that operates through the re-definition of the past, present and thereby fuels the imagination of a future based on the actual accounts of the commons.
How do we create a collective memory that opens new paths to the unspoken or ideologically censored areas of history? We believe that oral history with its intuitive radical roots gives us a chance to base a foundation of a commonized memory – a perspective of underrepresented and unspoken. It allows us to deconstruct history as an ideological tool of the State and nourishes a new era of collectively democratized record of our recent history.