Zeynep Oguz

Grant Type

Dissertation Fieldwork Grant

Institutional Affiliation

New York, Graduate Center, City U. of

Grant number

Gr. 9265

Approve Date

April 11, 2016

Project Title

Oguz, Zeynep, City U. of New York, Graduate Center, New York, NY - To aid research on 'Subterranean Futures: The Politics of Hydrocarbon Exploration in Turkey,' supervised by Dr. Gary Wilder

Preliminary abstract: My project is a study of Turkey’s contemporary carbon-intensive energy politics, examining how the Turkish government’s recent attempts to explore oil and gas in the Mediterranean and Black Seas take place on the backdrop of competing imaginaries of the future. In the past twenty years, Turkey has intensified its prospects for maximizing its use of national fossil fuel reserves in the name of energy independency, socio-economic progress, and geopolitical power in the Black Sea and the contested maritime zones of the Mediterranean Sea. These efforts have placed Turkey in stark contrast with global climate change mitigation efforts, generating local environmental protests that prioritize planetary and environmental threats over national imaginaries of progress. My ethnographic project analyzes such processes through three research areas: Knowledge-making practices during offshore hydrocarbon exploration, the circulation of this knowledge through state institutions and its utilization for geopolitical claims over maritime territories, and its resulting environmental conflicts pertaining to the threats of climate change. In doing so, this project examines the ways in which potential offshore hydrocarbon reserves are transforming Turkey’s seawaters into a force field of competing modes of anticipation over the future.