Sumru Atuk is a Ph.D candidate in Political Science, and completed the Women’s Studies Certificate Program at the Graduate Center, CUNY. She is a senior research fellow at the Center for Global Ethics and Politics, a WAC and teaching fellow at Hunter College. She received her B.A. and M.A. in Political Science at Bogazici University in Istanbul. She is a political theorist who is invested in contributing to the theorization of violence against women with a grounded theory based on extensive field research. Thanks to her research interests and political perspective she believes in the importance of interdisciplinary research that goes beyond disciplinary confines. Her M.A thesis focused on “Islam vs. homosexuality” debate in Turkey, framing the issue as a biopolitical one rather than solely being a result of Islamic doctrine. In her doctoral research she analyzes the “politics of femicide” in contemporary Turkey at the intersection of the discourses of conservatism, authoritarianism, and neoliberalism. She investigates the institutional, discursive, and legal practices that maximize women’s precarity, promote a social order that reinforce hierarchical gender dynamics, and justify violence against women in general, femicide in particular. She is working on a side project that compares the “femicidal contexts” of Turkey and Mexico.
Elizabeth Hawley is a PhD Candidate in Art History at the Graduate Center. Her dissertation examines art produced in and around Santa Fe, NM in the early twentieth century, putting the works of American Indian (Pueblo) artists who lived in the area into dialogue with the works of modern Anglo-American (Ashcan School) artists who traveled there. She examines the ways that both Pueblo and Anglo artists depicted Pueblo ceremonial dances in their paintings, arguing that these images function as a kind of politicking in paint, evincing support for preservationist policies over forced assimilation. Hawley has served as a Museum Research Consortium Fellow at the Museum of Modern Art, New York, and she is currently the Barra Fellow in the Center for American Art at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. She received her AB from Harvard University, MA from the Courtauld Institute of Art, and MPhil from the Graduate Center.
Douaa Sheet is a Ph.D. candidate in Anthropology at the Graduate Center, CUNY. Her work focuses on the intersection between morality and legal frameworks of reparation. Through funding from the Wenner-Gren foundation and the National Science Foundation she has conducted fieldwork in Tunisia in the aftermath of the 2011 uprising. Her doctoral dissertation research explores the multiple moral traditions informing the notion of dignity in the context of transitional justice efforts in post-uprising Tunisia. She works closely with civil society stakeholders, human rights lawyers, jurists, international rights experts, and the victims involved in the process to identify the extent to which the aspiration for a future with dignity is informing the ways victims of the fallen regime are responding to the Truth and Dignity Commission and refiguring the strategies through which they deal with their past abuses. This research project addresses her broader interests in understandings of temporality and violence, the morality of activism, and human rights frameworks of reparation in the Middle East.
Stephen Spencer is a PhD candidate in English at the Graduate Center. His research focuses primarily on questions of religion, politics, and affect in seventeenth century English literature. In his dissertation, tentatively titled “Joy Shall Overtake Us: Radical Protestant Affect in the Age of Milton,” Stephen engages contemporary debates about affect and emotion in an exploration of the ontology and phenomenology of joy in radical Protestant writing during the English Civil War and Commonwealth periods (1640–60). His research has been supported by the Folger Shakespeare Library, the Doctoral Student Research Grant Program, and a Millennium Dissertation Year Fellowship. Stephen also works at the Renaissance Society of America as a book reviews assistant, and he has taught English at Hunter College and Brooklyn College. Outside academia, he enjoys playing guitar and singing in his band, Certain Spiders.
Mid-career Faculty Fellows
Mucahit Bilici is Associate Professor of Sociology at John Jay College and CUNY Graduate Center. He is the author of Finding Mecca in America: How Islam Is Becoming an American Religion (2012). His research interests include American Islam, Islamophobia, and Muslim citizenship. His current project focuses on Muslim civility in America. As a faculty fellow at the CUNY Dispute Resolution Center, he is also interested in Kurdish identity and Turkish society, and frequently contributes to Turkish and Kurdish media.
Anru Lee is a faculty member at the Anthropology Department, John Jay College of Criminal Justice. A cultural anthropologist, her research focuses on the Asian Pacific region and issues of capitalism, modernity, gender and sexuality, and urban anthropology. She is the author of In the Name of Harmony and Prosperity: Labor and Gender Politics in Taiwan’s Economic Restructuring and is co-editor of Women in the New Taiwan: Gender Roles and Gender Consciousness in a Changing Society.