Grant TypeDissertation Fieldwork Grant
Institutional AffiliationIllinois, Urbana, U. of
Grant numberGr. 9858
Approve DateMay 1, 2019
Project TitleCaliskan, Dilara (Illinois, Urbana, U. of) "World-making: Family and Memory among Trans Mothers and Daughters in Turkey"
DILARA CALISKAN, then a graduate student at University of Illinois, Urbana, Illinois, was awarded a grant in May 2019 to aid research on ‘World-making: Family and Memory among Trans Mothers and Daughters in Turkey,’ supervised by Dr. Jessica Greenber. In Turkey, the history of state-building carefully assembles time, memory, and language, and creates spaces of relatedness by defining the nation as one big family (ulus) in which the land is the mother (ana vatan), and the government is the father (devlet baba). The everyday experience of family becomes a tool to define possibilities of citizenship, controlled by gendered systems of authoritarianism that regulates how we relate to time, language, memory, and history. Within this context, identities that are not fitting to the ideals of Turkish citizenship are scrutinized, regulated, and destroyed by the state for decades as inner threats to the family and the nation. Through an ethnography of trans women who do sex work in Turkey, this dissertation, renamed ‘World-Making: Kin, Memory and Language among Trans Sew Worker Women in Instabul,’ reveals that trans women who are criminalized and unrecognized in so many ways offer new ways to theorize politics of kinship and relating within state-imposed definitions of citizenship and explore alternative social and material worlds while navigating within gendered and sexualized histories of women. How do gendered and sexualized forms of violence that target social and material lives of identities and languages that are outside of the ideals of the Turkish state can be studied through everyday practices of kin making within the lives of trans women who do sex work in contemporary Turkey? Through these questions, this dissertation explores the broader impacts of kin-making to investigate the entanglements among time, language, and memory in which authoritarian politics of identity live and thrive in Turkey, Middle East, and beyond.