Dilara Caliskan

Grant Type

Dissertation Fieldwork Grant

Institutional Affiliation

Illinois, Urbana, U. of

Grant number

Gr. 9858

Approve Date

May 1, 2019

Project Title

Caliskan, Dilara (Illinois, Urbana, U. of) "World-making: Family and Memory among Trans Mothers and Daughters in Turkey"

In Turkey where state policies and legal institutions privilege the ideal citizen as Turkish, male, heterosexual, Muslim and cis-gender, trans women occupy one of the most marginalized social positions. Different forms of discrimination begin once their gender identity becomes visible to their families in the earlier periods of their lives. In the larger society, they are often denied education and housing, fired from jobs, and left with sex work as one of the only options to sustain themselves. Through everyday practices of mutually formed mother and daughter relationships among trans women who do sex work, my research explores how trans women share memories of struggle and survival across time and space to contend with social and legal forms of marginalization and criminalization. I explore how trans mothers and daughters respond to multi-layered forms of abandonment and systemic violence through practicing new ways of memory circulation across time and space in different urban settings of Turkey. By using “memory transmission” as a conceptual tool, my research is an ethnographic exploration of how trans mothers and daughters creatively compose spaces within social and material forms of marginalization and negotiate with normative understandings of gender identity, sexuality, family and time.