Suzan Ilcan is University Research Chair and Professor 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 cuts across migration, border studies, and citizenship and social justice, and she has published widely on the theme of human displacement, precarity, border and citizenship struggles, and migrant activism. She has presented many invited lectures nationally and internationally, and received several research grants in her areas of research. Her current research projects examine migration and bordering practices in the context of migrant experiences of displacement, precarity, protection, resettlement, and community-building.
Her research on migration, displacement, and the resettlement of Syrian refugees appears in several academic journals and public venues, and in a recent book, entitled, The Precarious Lives of Syrians: Migration, Citizenship, and Temporary Protection in Turkey (McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2021), with Kim Rygiel and Feyzi Baban. 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, 2023) 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 and Co-Investigator Vicki Squire). Suzan Ilcan’s new research project, with Co-investigator Seçil Dağtaş (University of Waterloo), is entitled “Border Frictions: Shaping Transnational Relations via Migrant Journeys, Resettlement, and Community Building in the Context of Syrian Displacement. This project focuses on Cyprus and southern Turkey.
Suzan Ilcan teaches graduate and undergraduate courses on migration, borders, and critical development studies. She supervises PhD and MA students primarily in the areas of migration studies, development and humanitarian aid, and citizenship 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 co-editor of the journal Studies in Social Justice, an editorial board member of Globalizations, and associate editor of the Balsillie Papers. She 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.