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Berna Turam

Berna Turam 2020

Director of International Affairs Program; Professor of Sociology and International Affairs

Berna Turam, the director of the International Affairs Program, is a professor of sociology at Northeastern University. She has an abiding interest in conducting research on state-society interaction, particularly on the interaction between ordinary Muslim people and the state. Her most recent work explored the interplay between the government and contested urban space. Her ethnography in Istanbul and Berlin revealed and analyzed the ways in which contested urban space generated democratic practices and freedoms that facilitate inclusion and democratic accommodation. By gendering political and spatial processes of inclusion and exclusion, she also does intersectional analysis of religion, space and gender. She is the author of Between Islam and the State: The Politics of Engagement (Stanford University Press, 2007), and Gaining Freedoms: Claiming Space in Istanbul and Berlin (Stanford University Press, 2015) and the editor of Secular State and Religious Society: Two Forces at Play in Turkey (Palgrave Macmillan, 2012) In addition, she published articles in journals including British Journal of Sociology, International Journal of Urban and Regional Studies, Nations and Nationalism, International Feminist Journal of Politics, Contemporary Islam and Journal of Democracy. She co-edited a special issue, entitled “Secular Muslims?” in Comparative Studies of South America, Africa and the Middle East. Her article, entitled “Primacy of Space in Politics: Bargaining Space, Power and Freedom in an Istanbul neighborhood,” won the best article award from the International Journal of Urban and Regional Research in 2013. Over the course of 2016, she was awarded two fellowships at London School of Economics and at Cosmopolis Department of Geography at Vrije University in Brussels. Currently, Turam serves on the advisory board of the project entitled “Understanding the Perceptions of Science in Muslim Societies.” She is also the co-PI of a newly funded collaborative project on sanctuary cities and safe places.

  • 2017-2018 Co-PI, Global Resilience Institute Seed-Grant, $30,000
  • 2016-17 Humanities Center Fellow Resident, Inclusions, Northeastern University
  • 2016 Dahrendorf Fellow at LSE, European Studies (Spring-summer), London
  • 2016 Erasmus Fellow, Vrje University, Cosmopolis 4CITIES, Brussels
  • 2013 Best Article award by International Journal of Urban and Regional Research
  • 2014- Editorial Board, Signs
  • 2013- Editorial Board, Turkish Review
  • 2010-13 Editorial Board, IJMES, International Journal of Middle East Politics (by Cambridge University Press)

Books:

  • Gaining Freedoms: Claiming Space in Istanbul and Berlin (Stanford University Press, 2015)
  • Secular State and Religious Society: Two Forces at Play in Turkey (Palgrave Macmillan, 2012)
  • Turkiye’de Islam ve Devlet: Demokrasi, Etkilesim, Donusum. (Istanbul: Bilgi Universitesi Yayinlari., 2011)
    (Turkish translation of Between Islam and the State)
  • Between Islam and the State: The Politics of Engagement (Stanford University Press, 2007)

Selected Articles:

  • 2017 “Split City, Divided State in Turkey” Contemporary Islam, 11(2), 185-199
  • 2015 “Gulenology.” American Interest, March issue
  • 2013. “Primacy of Space in Politics: Bargaining Space, Power and Freedom in an Istanbul neighborhood,” International Journal of Urban and Regional Research: 37 (2)
    (awarded best article by IJURR)
  • 2012. “Turkey Under AKP: Are Rights and Liberties Safe?” Journal of Democracy, 23 (1), January issue.
  • 2008. “Turkish Women Divided by Politics: Secular Activism versus Islamic Non- defiance” International Feminist Journal of Politics, 10 (4).
  • 2004. “The Politics of engagement between Islam and the state: ambivalences of civil society” British Journal of Sociology, vol. 55(2)
    • Reprinted in Shahram Akbarzadeh (ed) 2006. Islam and Globalization. Routledge
  • 2004. “A bargain between the secular state and Turkish Islam: politics of ethnicity in Kazakhstan”, Nations and Nationalism, vol.10 (3).

Courses

Course catalog
  • Examines the roots of the urbanization process, major ways of thinking about it, and the development of world cities and megacities. The twenty-first century will be a century in which urbanism is a central problem and opportunity. Considers the economic, political, cultural, and environmental dimensions of urbanism across the globe. Includes specific case studies from around the world. Encourages students to develop a knowledge of particular cities in order to examine the key themes of the course. INTL 3200ANTH 3200, and SOCL 3200 are cross-listed.

  • Offers a senior research and writing seminar that integrates and assesses the knowledge and skills developed by students participating in the international affairs curriculum, including both experiential (co-op, Dialogue of Civilizations, study abroad, internship, or other approved international experience) and classroom-based components. Requires student self-reflection as well as new research, analysis, and writing, which culminate in a final paper and presentation. Topics include contemporary global issues and draw on relevant literature in the disciplines relating to international affairs.