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Yasemin Ozer
Institution: The Graduate Center, CUNY
Program: Anthropology
Subfield: Cultural Anthropology

Research Interests: Urban refugees, care, humanitarianism, ordinary ethics, gender, ethnicity, MENA, and Turkey

Advisor: Karen Strassler


I am a cultural anthropologist from Istanbul, Turkey. I have a BA in Political Science from Vassar College and an MA in Gender and Women's Studies from the American University in Cairo. Since 2008 I have lived, studied and researched in Egypt, Syria, Turkey and the US. Currently I am writing my PhD dissertation titled "Syrian Lives Beyond the Refugee Camp: Urban Belonging and Improvising Care in Istanbul," which is an ethnography of ordinary ethics and care practices based on ethnographic research in the “Little Syria” neighborhoods of Istanbul. In my research I examine the daily processes whereby Syrian residents of the city create contingent yet extensive care networks among themselves and across the refugee-citizen divide to ensure economic survival, claim urban belonging, and remake Istanbul as a city of Syrians. Despite living with systematic uncertainty that stems from a temporary legal status, economic precarity, and fragile political dynamics, I argue that Syrian refugees have been able to establish bonds of interdependency while creating spaces of social intimacy. The fieldwork for my dissertation was funded by the SSRC and Wenner Gren Foundation, and the completion of the writing is being funded by a Mellon/ACLS Fellowship.