Seçil Daǧtaș

Seçil Daǧtaș is Assistant Professor in the Department of Anthropology at the University of Waterloo. She obtained her PhD in 2014 from the Department of Anthropology and the Collaborative Program in Women and Gender Studies at the University of Toronto. In 2017-2018, she held a residential fellowship at the Collegium de Lyon and participated in the UNESCO Chair program on “Memory, Cultures and Interculturality” at Lyon Catholic University. A political anthropologist, Seçil Daǧtaș specializes in the gender politics and secular governance of religious diversity, minority and refugee displacement, religious nationalisms, and the political potential of everyday sociality at the crossroads of Europe and the Middle East. Her current work examines the intersections of religion and gender in shaping border politics in Turkey, and probes the political possibilities and limits of solidarity as the condition of urban cohabitation between a diverse group of displaced Syrians and Turkish citizens. She is particularly interested in how gendered social spaces along the Turkish-Syrian border call into question humanitarian and state-centered approaches to refugee resettlement, and expand our understandings of what constitutes politics beyond formal political institutions and mechanisms.

At UW, Seçil Daǧtaș teaches courses on the anthropology of gender, anthropology of religion, Muslim lives and practices, and the relationship between state borders and sociocultural boundaries. She supervises graduate work in the areas of nationalism, secularism, border politics, everyday Islam, and the cultural politics of displacement.

  • Assistant Professor in the Department of Anthropology at the University of Waterloo

Select Publications

  • Daǧtaș, Seçil. 2019. “Diary or Notebook: Secular Morality and the Gendered Ambiguities of Legal Personhood in an Istanbul Family Courthouse,” Anthropological Quarterly 91(3).
  • Daǧtaș, Seçil. 2019. “Political Humor in the Face of Neoliberal Authoritarianism in Turkey.” In Julie Webber ed. The Joke is on Us: Political Comedy in (Late) Neoliberal Times, New York: Rowman and Littlefield Pp. 105—129.
  • Daǧtaș, Seçil. 2018. “Nationalism, Displacement, and Ethnoreligious Differentiation in Turkey’s Southern Borderlands,” Dialectical Anthropology 42(4): 359—372.
  • Daǧtaș, Seçil. 2018. “Inhabiting Difference across Religion and Gender: Displaced Syrian Women’s Experiences”, Refuge: Canada’s Journal on Refugees 34(1): 50—59.
  • Daǧtaș, Seçil. 2017. “Whose Misafirs? Negotiating Difference along the Turkish-Syrian Border,” International Journal of Middle East Studies, 49(4): 661—679.
  • Daǧtaș, Mahiye Seçil. 2016. “Down with Some Things!”: Humour as Politics and Politics of Humour in Turkey’s Gezi Protest, Special Issue on “Humour,” Etnofoor, 28(1): 11—34.
  • Daǧtaș, Mahiye Seçil. 2016. “The Personal in the Collective: Rethinking the Secular Subject in Relation to the Military, Wifehood, and Islam in Turkey,” Special Issue on “Everyday Militarism,” Feminist Studies 42(1): 70—97.
  • Daǧtaș, Seçil. 2013. “The Politics of Humor and Humor as Politics during Turkey’s Gezi Park Protests,” Cultural Anthropology, Hotspots Special Issue titled, “An Impromptu Uprising: Ethnographic Reflections on the Gezi Park Protests in Turkey.

Academic/Professional Awards

  • 2018-2020  Principal Investigator, “Religious Assemblages: An Ethnographic Study of Refugee- Minority Relations along the Turkish Syrian Border, Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, Insight Development Grant.
  • 2018-2020  Principal Investigator, “The Politics of Displacement, Identity and Urban Citizenship in Migratory Contexts,” Regional Studies Association Research Network Grant.
  • 2017-2018  Principal Investigator, “Religion across Borders: Negotiating Citizenship at the Turkish-Syrian Border,” Resident Research Fellowship, Collegium de Lyon, France
  • 2017-18  Fellow, UNESCO Chair “Memory, Cultures, and Interculturality” Lyon Catholic University, France.
  • 2016  Co-applicant (with Suzan Ilcan), “Migratory Experiences: Negotiating Policy Effects”, UW International Research Partnership Grant.
  • 2015  “Beyond Tolerance: Re/Presenting Religious Difference in the Case of the Antakya Choir of Civilizations” Sakip Sabanci International Research Award, Sabanci University, Turkey.
  • 2015  Principal Investigator, “Secularism Reconsidered? Negotiating Religious Boundaries at the Turkish-Syrian Border,” UW/Robert Harding Humanities and Social Sciences Endowment Award, University of Waterloo
  • 2009-2012 Principle Investigator, Vanier Scholarship, Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada
  • 2007-2009 Connaught International Scholar, University of Toronto

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