Current Projects

  • The Reactionary Complex: Construction, Finance and Platforms in Post-2008 Turkey (doctoral dissertation; ongoing)

    • This project studies the meeting of construction, financial speculation and popular mobilization over social media platforms as material sites through which to understand the co-production of reactionary sentiment and contemporary capitalism in Turkey. Specifically, the thesis studies the construction of a new canal in İstanbul that, when completed, will dredge open a second pathway between the Sea of Marmara and the Black Sea (Kanal İstanbul) significantly expanding the boundaries of urban space. Additionally, the thesis also investigates a nation-wide campaign to get citizens to invest in the Turkish lira, as a reaction to the uncertainty and speculatory pressure of currency markets. Entering public discourse in the aftermath of the post 2008 crisis, both Kanal İstanbul and the national currency campaign increasingly become the focal point of political attention and affective investment in Turkey. Thus, the project considers how the construction of the canal and the national currency campaign were prefigured, contested, anticipated, and resisted through mobilizing social media platforms. Last bringing these sites into a conversation with the work of Gilles Deleuze and Gilbert Simondon, as well as the emerging literature around degrowth, the thesis also attempts to think through the themes of abundance and limitation, to explore what an antireactionary and anticapitalist politics could mean today.​

  • “We are Muffled Voices”: Affective Infrastructures of Authoritarian Neoliberalism in Post 2016 Turkey

    • This paper investigates the affective politics of authoritarian neoliberalism in Turkey, through studying the production of feelings such as anxiety, fear, and paranoia. Throughout the paper I focus on the fear of infrastructural disruption, sabotage, manipulation, and the attempts to alert, preempt and prepare for such sabotage. To do so, I study two infrastructural histories, first the cultural anxiety around the transmission and audibility of the Islamic ezan (call to prayer), second the more recent anxiety and fear around the value of Turkish lira. These histories are not intended to be comprehensive but rather to contextualize the affective orientations that subtend Turkey’s increasingly authoritarian regime within broader patterns of securitization and neoliberalism. I focus on the ezan and currency since both have become extremely visible targets of cultural politics, especially after the 2016 coup. Inspired by affect theory and infrastructure studies, I argue that the perceived threat of disruption, sabotage, manipulation and the related feelings of fear, alertness, and paranoia acts as what I call “affective infrastructures” of Turkey’s authoritarian neoliberal regime. The sense of fear and paranoia that accompanies authoritarian neoliberalism in other words, has to do not only with the political ideology or hegemony of a particular party, or the policies and whims of a particular leader, but is also immanent to the infrastructural conditions of securitization and neoliberalism in Turkey.​

  • Therapeutic Liveliness: Plants, Productivity and Reproduction in Biophilic Design and New Materialism (with Robin Lynch)

    • This project analyzes the overlapping therapeutic dispositions of Jane Bennett’s vibrant materialism and Edward O. Wilson’s biophilia, as a means of making critical interventions into new materialist ontology. Popularized by Wilson in 1984, biophilia translates to love of life. Yet biophilia as a theory is entangled with biophilic design in management, architecture firms, design projects and corporate texts. The article focuses on the use of biophilic design practices in corporate spaces by drawing on the literature around biophilia, influential biophilic design reports, as well as performing a close reading of the Amazon Spheres. Through analyzing these spaces, we see a differential regime of reproduction, where certain forms of reproduction, from plant cycles to all forms of maintenance work, are extracted and exploited in order to impart an overall effect of “therapy.” We call this entanglement of practices, discourses, plants, people, and machines, the apparatus of therapeutic liveliness. In short, biophilic design governs the wellbeing of some, in order to maintain intensifying levels of productivity for the company. As a result, biophilic design appears to speak in ways that are reminiscent of Bennett’s work, celebrating the company’s vital environment, while simultaneously enacting this regime of reproduction. Building on this insight, we question the problem of re/production in new materialism. Crucially, we insist that new materialism ought to be recalibrated away from ontology, and towards the ways in which the ontogenetic properties of humans, machines and plants unfold, as they enter political apparatuses that distribute and hold them in place.​

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