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Dr Sertaç Sehlikoglu

Dr Sertaç Sehlikoglu

Abdullah Mubarak Al-Sabah Research Fellow in Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies, Pembroke College

Affiliated Lecturer, Social Anthropology

Teaching Associate, Centre for Gender Studies


Dr. Sertaç Sehlikoglu is Abdullah Mubarak Al Sabah Research Fellow at Pembroke College, University of Cambridge, in social anthropology and specialises in gender and subjectivity in the Middle East. Sehlikoglu has studied sociology (Boğaziçi University, Istanbul) and anthropology (Concordia University, Montréal) at undergraduate level before completing her Master’s Degree in socio/cultural anthropology and Women and Gender Studies at the University of Toronto and her Ph.D. in social anthropology at the University of Cambridge. Her work analyses human subjectivity in relation to seemingly mundane and trivial aspects of everyday life and investigates the creative capacities of human agency. She is the recipient of several awards and grants, including a BRISMES (British Institute of Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies) Ph.D. Award, a Wadad Kadi Fellowship, a BIAA (British Institute at Ankara) Study Grant, and a Worts Travelling Scholars Fund. She has published in edited collections and several journals including Cambridge Journal of Anthropology (2015), the Journal of Middle East Women’s Studies (2016), Feminist Media Studies (2014), and Leisure Studies (2014). She has also edited journal special issues, predominantly on sexuality and intimacy. The collected volume she is currently co-editing for Routledge on heteronormativity will be out in 2018.

Research Interests

Dr Sertaç Sehlikoglu is a social anthropologist working on gender and subjectivity specialised on Turkey and the Middle East. She analyses human subjectivity in relation to seemingly mundane and trivial aspects of everyday life and investigates the creative capacities of human agency. Sehlikoglu is particularly interested in desire in wider social, economic and religious conventions. Her work maps out the dynamic interactions between a) the intangible aspects of human subjectivity, such as desires, aspirations, and longings and b) the historical, religious, political, and familial makings of social life.



MPhil Paper 2: Systems of Power and Knowledge: Anthropology and Religion

Key Publications

Refereed Journal Articles

2016. “Exercising in Comfort: Islamicate Culture of Mahremiyet in Everyday Life”, Journal of Middle East Women’s Studies: 12 (2).

2016. (Co-Authored with Aslı Zengin) “Introduction: Everyday intimacies in the Middle East”, Journal of Middle East Women’s Studies. Vol.12: 2.

2015. “Intimate Publics, Public Intimacies: Natural Limits, Creation and the Culture of Mahremiyet in Turkey”, Cambridge Journal of Anthropology: 33 (2).

2015. (Co-Authored with Aslı Zengin) “Introduction: Why Revisit Intimacy?”, Part of “Why Revisit Intimacy?” Special Issue, edited by Sertaç Sehlikoglu and Aslı Zengin. Cambridge Journal of Anthropology: 33 (2).

2014. (Co-Authored with Fahri Karakas) “’We can have the cake and eat it too’: Leisure and spirituality at ‘veiled’ hotels in Turkey”, Leisure Studies, Published Online: 24 Oct. 2014.

2014. (Co-Authored with Sumaya Samie) “Strange, Incompetent and Out-of-Place: Media Representations of Muslim Sportswomen during London 2012”, Feminist Media Studies: (15) 3. Published Online: 9 Sept. 2014.

Editorial Work

2016. Guest Editor, Special Issue: “Everyday intimacies in the Middle East” Journal of Middle East Women’s Studies: 12 (2).

2015. Guest Editor, Special Issue: “Why Revisit Intimacy?” Cambridge Journal of Anthropology: 33 (2).

2014. Guest Editor, for February Field Notes themed “Sports”, Cultural Anthropology.

Chapters in Edited Volumes

2016. forthcoming. “Müslüman Kadın’ın Öznelik Halleri” in Kültür Denen Şey by Ayfer Bartu Candan and Cenk Özbay (Eds), Metis Yayınları, Istanbul.

2015. “Contestation and Dichotomies Concerning Women’s Bodies and Sports in Turkey: From Aysun Özbek to Neslihan Darnel” in Sport in Islam and in Muslim Communities by Alberto Testa, Mahfoud Amara (Eds), Taylor and Francis.

2015. “The Daring Mahrem: Changing Dynamics of Public Sexuality in Turkey” in Gender and Sexuality in Muslim Cultures by Gul Ozyegin (Ed), Ashgate.

2014. “Using Web 2.0 for Research and Networking on Muslim Women in Sports: The Case of Muslim Women in Sports Blog (MWIS)”, in Women and the Politics of Sports by Homa Hoodfar (Ed), WLUML Publications.

2014. “Female Bodies and the State Power: The Case of Women-Only Sport Centers of Istanbul”, in Women and the Politics of Sports by Homa Hoodfar (Ed), WLUML Publications.

2014. “Mahrem Alanda Fit Olmak” (Becoming Fit in Private Space) in Sınır Bilgisi: Siyasal İktidar, Toplumsal Mekân ve Kadına Yönelik Şiddet (Border Knowledge:Political Power, Social Space and Violence Against Women) by Elif Çelebi, Didem Havlioğlu ve Ebru Kayaalp (Eds), Ayizi Publications, Istanbul.

2010. “Recreation and Identity: Fun Practices of Young Veiled Montréalers”, in Volume 5: Stories From Montréal by Maike Storks (Ed), Tulipe Press, Montréal.


2015. Book Review “The Rise of Political Islam in Turkey: Urban Poverty, Grassroots Activism and Islamic Fundamentalism” by Kayhan Delibas, International Affairs, Vol.91/4

2015. Dissertation Review. “The Construction Of Gendered Subjectivities Of Female Broadcast Professionals Within TRT (1964 – 1989)”, by Özlem Akkaya. PhD Dissertation submitted to Boğaziçi University 2013, 455 pp. Dissertation Reviews.

2013. Book Review “Harem Histories: Envisioning Places and Living Spaces” by Marilyn Booth (Ed), Journal of Middle East Women’s Studies, Fall, Vol. 9/3.

Other Scholarly Publications

2014. “Sports - Deviation: Imagining the Self as Sporting Body"  in Fieldsights - Field Notes on Sports by Sertaç Sehlikoglu (Ed), Cultural Anthropology Online, March 02, 2014.

2013. “Kissing the Mahrem in Ankara”. In An Impromptu Uprising: Ethnographic Reflections on the Gezi Park Protests in Turkey by Yael Navaro-Yashin and Umut Yıldırım (Eds), Fieldsights - Hot Spots, Cultural Anthropology Online, October 31, 2013.

2013. “Exercise and Female Sexuality in Relation to Segregation, Proximity and Exclusion” in Anthropology News, In Focus on Public and Private, September.

2013. “Subjectivity and Desire: Members of the women-only gyms in Istanbul”, Research Report, Anthropology of the Contemporary Middle East and Central Eurasia, Vol.1/1.

2013. “Kadınlara Mahsus Spor Salonlarından Ontolojik ve Epistemolojik Sorular: Mahremiyetin Yaşayan Sınırları” (Living Borders of Intimacy and Privacy: Ontological and Epistemological Queries from the Women-Only Gyms), TDV Publications.

2012. “Boundaries of a Veiled Female Body: Islamic Reflections on Women’s Sporting Bodies in Relation to Sexuality, Modesty and Privacy” in Anthropology News, In Focus on Sports and Olympics, August.