Cihan Tekay

Cihan Tekay headshot student photo

Research Interests

  • Political economy, energy, capitalism, globalization, technology and modernity; Europe, Turkey and the Middle East

Subfield: Cultural Anthropology
Advisor: Dr. Gary Wilder

I am a PhD candidate in Anthropology and currently a Futures Initiative fellow at the Graduate Center, where I serve as Assistant Director. I am writing my dissertation on the political economy of electrification in Turkey, as that process relates to the expansion of Europe's energy industry, the companies that financed it, the empires and states involved, and the emergence of electrical consumers. More broadly, I am interested in understanding the global effects of capitalism on people's relationships to each other and to their environment. My dissertation research has been supported by the Social Science Research Council's IDRF program as well as by various grants from the Provost's Office, the funds from which have allowed me to conduct research in Turkey, Germany, France and Belgium. Previously, I did graduate-level research on factory labor, gender, and politics of unionization in a special economic zone in Turkey. As an interdisciplinary scholar, I am well-versed in both ethnographic and historical research methods. I have taught courses on introductory cultural anthropology, gender and sexuality, and sociological theory at Baruch College, John Jay College and Barnard College. Currently, I'm teaching as second faculty at the Brooklyn Institute for Social Research, where I contribute to courses on political economy. I am a native speaker of Turkish. In addition to English, I am fluent in French, and I am an intermediate-level learner of German. I have advanced knowledge of Ottoman Turkish and very basic proficiency in Arabic and Kurdish. I am a co-editor of the Turkey page on Jadaliyya, a public scholarship forum where we publish and distribute critical knowledge on the Middle East. For the last decade, I have been writing and speaking publicly in Turkish and English on politics, war, protest, creative resistance, arts and the environment. In the past few years, I added public higher education to that list. I have a BA from Hampshire College, where I studied Art History. I grew up in Ankara and Istanbul, and I currently live in the Bronx, NY.