My research focuses on the politics of migration, identity, and citizenship in Western Europe and the Middle East. I am especially interested in necropolitics and questions concerning mourning, memory, and the governance of dead bodies.
My first book manuscript, Dying Abroad: The Political Afterlives of Migration in Europe, examines how immigrant communities navigate death and burial in countries where they face structural barriers to political inclusion. Building on multi-sited fieldwork in Berlin and Istanbul, during which I worked as an undertaker in several Islamic funeral homes, I argue that in contexts where the boundaries of the nation and its membership is contested, burial decisions are political acts that offer insight into the meaning of home and homeland in an increasingly transnational world. Drawing on interviews with bereaved families, government officials, religious leaders, and representatives of Islamic civil society associations, Dying Abroad shows how the corpse functions as a political object by structuring claims about citizenship, belonging, and collective identity.
I have written about the complex negotiations accompanying the burial and commemoration of victims and perpetrators of political violence in the wake of the Charlie Hebdo attacks in Paris, the Boston Marathon bombing, and the 2016 military coup attempt in Turkey. My current research focuses on border deaths and biopolitical strategies of border control. Please see my publications page for links to my writing.