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Program: Anthropology Ph.D.
Year of Entry: Fall 2014.
Advisor: Attiya Ahmad
My dissertation, titled Cultivating Motherhood, examines the politics of childbirth in Turkey. Based on 26-months- long archival and ethnographic research in Istanbul, I analyze the configuration of “the natural” in the axes of the body politics, knowledge systems and transnational feminist and Islamist politics. My interlocutors understand childbirth as a natural process, which does not necessitate a biomedical- scientific intervention under normal circumstances. However, they highlight it as a process that requires both mental and physical preparation for ideal outcomes, typically understood as a non-invasive, non-traumatic vaginal birth with a healthy baby and mother. Thus, the natural birth discourse marks a shift from situating birth within biomedical technologies to ethical cultivation of motherhood. By focusing on the pedagogical, corporeal, political and technological processes at work, this project aims to demystify the naturalness of childbirth.
M.A. (Anthropology) 2018, George Washington University
M.A. (Middle Eastern Studies) 2012, Columbia University
B.A. (Political Science and International Relations) 2010, Boğaziçi University
Technopiety as Assemblage: Religion, Materiality, Affect and Digital Technologies in Hajj in special issue of “Locations of Learning: Transnational Feminist Practice,” Scholar & Feminist, 2021.
Vega, Rosalynn A. No Alternative: Childbirth, Citizenship, and Indigenous Culture in Mexico. Austin: University of Texas Press, Anthropological Quarterly, Spring 2021.
Demircioğlu Göknar, Merve. 2015. Achieving Procreation: Childlessness and IVF in Turkey. Bergahn Books, Anthropological Quarterly, Fall 2016
‘Homebirthing in Istanbul’, Invited Article for Anthropology News, April 2022. (https://www.anthropology-news.org/articles/homebirthing-in-istanbul/)
Institute for Citizens and Scholars, Women’s Studies Dissertation Fellowship Recipient- Spring 2021