Alumni affiliated with the Arizona Center for Turkish Studies hold positions in other higher education institutions, federal or state departments, or other research appointments.

Courtney Dorroll is an Assistant Professor of Middle Eastern and North African Studies at Wofford College, where she teaches courses on the Middle East, World Religions and an upper level course on the Ritualized Spaces of the Middle East.

She completed her PhD in the University of Arizona’s School of Middle Eastern and North African Studies with a dissertation entitled The Spatial Politics of Turkey’s Justice and Development Party (AKP). Courtney’s research and Turkish language training was funded by the Jacob K. Javits Scholarship, FLAS, CLS and the University of Arizona’s Confluence Center. 

She has presented her research at the Middle East Studies Association, American Academy of Religion, American Anthropological Association, UCSB Islamic Studies Graduate Student Conference, Duke-UNC Chapel Hill Graduate Islamic Studies Conference and University of Arizona’s Southwest Graduate Conference in Middle Eastern and North African Studies.

Her curriculum vitae and sample syllabi can be found at

(PhD, Sociology)

I am currently a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at Indiana University. My research investigates the role of interaction and communication networks in decision-making and behavior in a variety of social settings including markets, online communication platforms, and social movements. I mainly use quantitative data using various methods, including statistical methods and regression analyses, social network analysis (SNA) and computational methods. 

Danielle V. Schoon teaches the Turkish Studies curriculum in the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Cultures at Ohio State University, including Turkish Culture and Turkish Literature in Translation. She also teaches in the Dance Department at OSU.

She completed a dual PhD in Middle Eastern and North African Studies (MENAS) and Anthropology at the University of Arizona, with a specialization in modern Turkey. Her dissertation studied urban Romani (Gypsy) communities at the intersection of urban development, the expansion of civil society, and the pluralization of cultural identities, in order to understand how difference is conceived and experienced by marginalized groups in the context ongoing liberalizing reforms in Turkey. To complete this research, she spent several summers and fourteen consecutive months in Turkey, funded by Fulbright-Hays and the Institute of Turkish Studies.

(PhD, School of Middle Eastern and North African Studies)

Joanna Wulfsberg is a Foreign Service Officer with the US Dept of State. Her research is focused on Turkish music in social and political contexts from the Ottoman era to the present. In addition, she studies Ottoman architecture and poetry.

Her current projects include the song competition of the Turkish Olympiad and the impact of urban renewal projects on Roma musicians. In April 2014 she presented on the Turkish Olympiad at the Southwest Graduate Conference for Middle Eastern and North African Studies and as an invited speaker at the Association of Graduate Ethnomusicology and Musicology Students (AGEMS) at University of Texas at Austin.

Before entering the University of Arizona, Joanna taught Turkish and German at the Tennessee Foreign Language Institute and English as a Second Language at Vanderbilt University. She also served as Resident Director of the Critical Language Scholarship Program in Bursa, Turkey, for three summers. She has an MA in musicology from the Eastman School of Music and a BA in music and architecture from Wellesley College.

(PhD History)

I work on the social history of technology in the late Ottoman Empire. Specifically, I am studying the ways in which the construction and early operation of the Anatolian Railroad interacted with existing social and economic patterns in Central Anatolia from the 1890s until 1914. By taking a social historical and user-centered approach to the history of technology, I seek to complicate the model of technology transfer in the Middle East as a process of “Westernization,” as well as to demonstrate the ways new technology enabled existing Ottoman patterns of trade, labor, and land use to be synthesized with new patterns, rather than simply being replaced by them. Doing so also allows me to reexamine the relationship between the centralizing Ottoman state and its subjects.

My research makes use of sources from a variety of sites including the Prime Ministry Ottoman Archive, the Istanbul Chamber of Commerce, the SALT Research Center, and the Ataturk Library in Istanbul, the Prime Ministry Republican Archive, the Red Crescent Archive and the Turkish National Library in Ankara, and the British National Archives in London.


I completed my Masters on Islamic Studies and Christian-Muslim Relations at Hartford Seminary in CT. I then did my PhD at Arizona. I am interested in Ottoman history in general but my current research is particularly about Kurdish nationalism in the early 20th century, Kurdish madrasas and their influences on Kurdish consciousness, and the Kurdish media of that time. I speak Turkish and English and can read 19th and 20th century published Ottoman manuscripts.

(PhD, Middle East & North African Studies)

Mija Sanders works on humanitarianism, distribution politics and gender, masculinity, citizenship, biopolitics, feminist theory, Turkish Studies, Kurdish Studies, Yezidis, migration, and refugees. She earned her M.A. in Near Eastern Studies at the University of Arizona in 2012 with a thesis titled "Stolen Stories": Kurdish LGBTT Activism in Diyarbakir," based on original ethnographic research carried out in Summer 2012 in Diyarbakir, Turkey. She earned her B.A. from Portland State University in International Studies focused on the Middle East, with a Minor in Turkish language, and a Turkish Studies Certificate.

(PhD, Anthropology)

Hikmet Kocamaner is Assistant Professor of Anthropology at UNC, Wilmington. A cultural anthropologist working on secularism, Islamic movements, gender, and the politics of the family in Turkey, previously he was a visiting postdoctoral fellow in the Center for Middle Eastern Studies at Harvard University, a postdoctoral fellow at the Crown Center for Middle Eastern Studies, and a lecturer in the Anthropology Department at Brandeis University. He received numerous grants and fellowships including a dissertation fieldwork grant by the Wenner-Gren Foundation, a dissertation proposal development grant by the Social Science Research Council, and a foreign language teaching fellowship by Fulbright.

(PhD, History)

Ali Atabey is Assistant Professor of History at the University of Texas, San Antonio. He specializes in 17th-century Ottoman and Middle East history with a specific interest in world historical and interdisciplinary approaches. He received his MA from Sabanci University in Istanbul with a thesis that analyzed the link between legal credibility and components of status ranging from occupational to economic status, to knowledge, and to piety in Ottoman legal culture during the early modern period. Ali’s broad interests include the early modern Mediterranean, cross-cultural and cross-religious interactions, geohistory, and socio-legal history. He received an SSRC Dissertation Proposal Development Fellowship and a SSRC International Dissertation Research Fellowship (IDRF), conducting archival research in Istanbul, London, and Paris on the sociocultural aspects of the early modern Ottoman-European interactions.  

(PhD, Anthropology)

Hayal Akarsu is Assistant Professor of Cultural Anthropology at Utrecht University, in the Netherlands. She was previously a Postdoctoral Fellow at Brandeis University. Her research examines changing conceptualizations and practices of security in Turkey through a study of ‘social policing’.

The General Directorate of Security in Turkey has gone through major transformations as part of ‘democratization’ and ‘good governance’ frameworks of European Union entry negotiations. Especially under the ‘neoliberal’ rule of the Justice and Development Party since 2002 security has become a crucial field in reworking the relationship between state and society in Turkey. Through a fieldwork-based investigation, she explores the implementation of these new conceptions and practices of security and their circulation in everyday life.

The study ranges from state institutions and officials to a local police station and adjacent neighborhood community in Istanbul, showing that social policing not only involves an effort by police to change their institutional image and culture, but also refers to a set of new governmental technologies that aim to shape the way ordinary citizens behave and how they experience themselves, the state and security. This reformulation of security provides a unique opportunity to rethink not only the state’s shifting role as a ‘security making entity’ but also changing grounds of state-society encounters especially in neoliberal settings.

She was awarded a Wenner-Gren Dissertation Fieldwork Grant, which was also supported by several other small-research grants provided by the School of Anthropology at UArizona.  

(PhD, History)

Seçil Uluisik conducts research on the politics of taxation and inter-imperial networks of non-Muslim Ottoman provincial elites in the context of local and imperial governance during the first half of the nineteenth century.