I am a political ethnographer who uses qualitative methods to understand and explain how politics is experienced and interpreted by ordinary citizens in their everyday lives. My first book manuscript, Dying Abroad, examines how migrant communities and ethno-religious minorities in Europe navigate and make sense of dying in countries that they do not necessarily view as their home. Building on multi-sited fieldwork in Berlin and Istanbul, which included participant observation with Muslim undertakers and interviews with bereaved families, government officials, religious leaders, and representatives of Islamic associations and funeral aid societies, it argues that in contexts where the boundaries of the nation and its members are contested, burial decisions are political decisions that are connected to broader existential questions about the meaning of home and homeland. By highlighting forms of "everyday necropolitics," it shows how the corpse functions as a political object by structuring claims about citizenship, belonging, and collective identity.
My second research project explores the political afterlives of terrorism. It analyzes the complex negotiations accompanying the burial and memorialization of terrorists and victims of political violence in Europe and the United States. Drawing on case studies including "Boston Bomber" Tamerlan Tsarnaev, the Charlie Hebdo attacks in Paris, Turkey's "Cemetery of Traitors," and Osama Bin Laden's burial at sea, it investigates how the governance of "unwanted bodies" helps delimit the boundaries of moral and political communities.