Dr. Suzan Ilcan is University Research Chair (2022-2029) and Professor of Sociology in the Department of Sociology and Legal Studies at the University of Waterloo and the Balsillie School of International Affairs. She received her PhD in Sociology from Carleton University. Before coming to the University of Waterloo, she held a Canada Research Chair (Tier 2) from 2002-2011.
Suzan Ilcan’s research covers three broad areas: migration and border studies, critical development and humanitarian aid, and citizenship, human rights, and social justice. She has published widely, presented many invited lectures nationally and internationally, and received several research grants in these areas. Her current research projects examine migration policies, bordering practices, and humanitarian aid initiatives in the context of people on the move and their experiences of displacement, precarity, protection, and resettlement.
Her research on migration, displacement, and the resettlement of Syrian refugees has appeared in several academic journals and public venues, and in a new book, entitled, The Precarious Lives of Syrians: Migration, Citizenship, and Temporary Protection in Turkey (McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2021), with Kim Rygiel (Wilfrid Laurier University and BSIA) and Feyzi Baban (Trent University). This research has been supported by grants she received, as Principal Investigator, from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada(SSHRC). Most recently, she has co-edited a book (with Palgrave, 2022) that stems from her research on Syrian refugee experiences of ‘re/making home’, carried out for the British Academy project “Lost and Found? A Digital Archive of Testimonies of Migration, Displacement and Resettlement” (with Principal Investigator: Yasmine Shamma, University of Reading and Co-Investigator Vicki Squire, University of Warwick). Suzan Ilcan’s new research project, “Border Frictions: Shaping Transnational Relations via Migrant Journeys, Resettlement, and Community Building in the Context of Syrian Displacement,” with Co-Investigator Seçil Dağtaş (University of Waterloo), is a four-year project that started in May 2021, with a regional focus on Cyprus and southern Turkey.
Suzan Ilcan regularly teaches graduate and undergraduate courses on migration, borders, and critical development studies. She supervises PhD and MA graduate students, primarily in the areas of migration studies, critical border studies, and citizenship, human rights, and social justice. She welcomes graduate students to contact her about their research interests on topics dealing with or related to her research areas.
Suzan Ilcan is the co-editor of the journal Studies in Social Justice, an editorial board member of Globalizations, and associate editor of the Balsillie Papers. She also serves as a board member of the International Migration Research Centre (IMRC). She is the recipient of the 2020 Arts Award for Excellence in Research (University of Waterloo) and of the 2018 (and 2014) Outstanding Performance Award in Teaching, Scholarship, and Service, University of Waterloo.