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Nisa Göksel (Ph.D. 2018)

Area(s) of Interest

Gender and Sexuality; Political and Comparative Sociology; Feminist and Women’s Movements in the Middle East and Europe; War, Violence, and Peace; Migration, Displacement and Diaspora Studies; Subaltern Studies and Postcolonial Theory; Transnationalism

Dissertation Title:

Reconfiguring the Political: Kurdish Women’s Resistance from the Local to the Transnational

Short Bio:

Göksel recently completed her Ph.D. studies in Sociology with a graduate certificate from the Gender and Sexualities Studies Department at Northwestern University. In the 2017-2018 academic year, she was a Visiting Research Fellow at the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies at the University of Notre Dame. She will start a Visiting Research Fellowship position at Lund University in Sweden in September 2018, at the Center for Middle Eastern Studies. She currently works on adapting her dissertation into a book manuscript on the political mobilization of Kurdish women in Turkey, the Kurdish region, and Europe. By relying on interviews and ethnographic observations conducted in multiple field sites (Istanbul, Diyarbakır, Berlin, and Paris), she demonstrates that politically active Kurdish women act in and across borders at the intersecting realms of revolution, politics, and family. Kurdish women, she contends, reconfigure the meaning and space of the “political” in various sites from urban centers to local politics to the site of guerilla camps. Ultimately, her research suggests that Kurdish women’s gender politics transcends the bounds of resistance as it is usually thought of, by creating a bridge between revolutionary politics and everyday life.


Submitted/Under Review Articles in Academic Journals

“Gendered Practices of Resistance: Kurdish women’s Activism in Turkey,” Abstract accepted for Special Issue: Resistance in the 21st Century. Sociological Forum (Fortcoming in 2019). 

“Losing the One, Caring for the All: The Activism of the Peace Mothers in Turkey,” Under review in the journal of Social Sciences.

Invited Articles

Displaced Struggle: Kurdish Women’s Political Mobilization Across Borders,” Invited to the edited volume, “Kurds in Turkey: Politics, Violence and Resistance.” Ayça Alemdaroğlu and Fatma Müge Göçek (eds.). (Routledge, Fortcoming in 2019).

Other Publications

“Modernity, Women, and War: Struggles for Peace and Democracy in the Middle East,”  Contenting Modernities,  (2018), Accessible at

“Peace and Beyond: Women’s Activist Alliances under Turkey’s Regime of Emergency,” Critical Times: Interventions in Global Critical Theory 1-1 (2018): 149-157.

 Awards and Fellowships 

2016-2017  The American Association of University Women International Fellowship

2016  KOÇ University KOÇ-KAM Gender Studies Center Nermin Abadan Unat Social Science Award

2015  Sabancı University Dicle Koğacıoğlu Annual Article Award

2015  Northwestern University Karpf Peace Prize

2014-2015  Margaret McNamara Memorial Fund

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