A second-generation immigrant, I grew up in upstate New York and Istanbul, Turkey. I earned my B.A. from Reed College and my Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania. I have held faculty positions at Cornell University, Swarthmore College, and the University of Pennsylvania.
Prior to my academic career, I taught English at a public high school in Rennes, France, helped produce the Contemporary Istanbul Art Festival, worked as a medical interpreter in NYC hospitals, and served as Resident Director of the U.S. State Department's Critical Languages Scholarship Turkish Program.
I live in the Germantown neighborhood of Philadelphia, home to the legendary Sun Ra Arkestra.