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Secil Dagtas

Assistant Professor

Secil DagtasOffice:  PAS 2019

Phone: 519-888-4567 x32991



Seçil Daǧtaș , Assistant Professor, did her Ph.D studies at the University of Toronto, following her MA at York University and her BA at Bogazici University, Istanbul. A sociocultural anthropologist, she specializes in the anthropology of religion and the anthropology of gender and feminism. Her main research interests lie in understanding how people make, cross and surpass religious boundaries with a particular focus on the relationship between Islam and secularism, the Islamic conduct with Christian and Jewish communities, and the legacy of the Ottoman regime of diversity in the Muslim world.

Current Projects

(2017-2020) Politics of Displacement, Identity and Urban Citizenship in Migratory Contexts (Research network)

(2018-2020) Religious Assemblages: An Ethnographic Study of Refugee-Minority Relations along the Turkish Syrian Border

Supported by SSHRC (Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council) Insight Development Grant, this project examines how and why religion matters to border politics. For this project, Dr. Daǧtaș conducts ethnographic fieldwork along the Turkish-Syrian border, examining the sociocultural lives of ethnoreligious minorities and Syrian refugees against the backdrop of their shared histories of displacement. The SSHRC research grant for this work includes a possibility for graduate research assistantship for potential MA students.

Potential areas of supervision

  • Gender politics
  • Islamic practices
  • Cultural and religious diversity
  • Secularism
  • Border studies
  • Nationalism
  • Anthropology of Turkey and the Middle East


Refereed Journal Articles

2017 - Whose misafirs? Negotiating Difference along the Turkish-Syrian Border, International Journal of Middle East Studies, 49(4):661-679.

2016 - “Down with Some Things!”: Humour as Politics and Politics of Humour in Turkey’s Gezi Protest, Etnofoor, 28(1):11-34

2016 - “The Personal in the Collective: Rethinking the Secular Subject in Relation to the Military, Wifehood, and Islam in Turkey,” Feminist Studies 42(1): 70-97.

2011 - “Army Boots at Home”: Accounts of Love, Sacrifice and Nationalism among Turkish Military Wives, Kıbrıs Yazıları, 13: 259-282.

2009 - Bodily Transgression: Conflicting Spaces and Gendered Boundaries of Modernity in Contemporary Turkey. Special Issue on “Religion, Identity and Minorities in the Middle East: Strategies and Developments”, Anthropology of the Middle East, 4(2): 1-13.

2005 - [in Turkish] Akdeniz’in ‘Öteki’ Kıyısı: AkSF’nin Düşündürdükleri (The ‘Other’ Coast of the Mediterranean: Notes on the Mediteranean Social Forum) Birikim 197:37-43.

Book Chapters

2012 - Tolerated Identities: Secularism, Religious Pluralism and Nationalism in Antakya, Turkey. In Cultural Difference and Social Solidarity: Critical Cases. Eds. Scott H. Boyd and Marry Ann Walter. Cambridge: Cambridge Scholars Publishing Pp. 122-135.

Book Reviews

2016 - Adam Becker. Revival and Awakening: American Evangelical Missionaries and the Origins of Assyrian Nationalism. AnthroCyBib

2006 - Cynthia Enloe. The Curious Feminist: Searching for Women in a New Age of Empire. Journal of International Women’s Studies, 8(1): 299-300.

Commentary & Conference Proceedings

2013 - [Editor Reviewed Commentary] The Politics of Humor and Humor as Politics during Turkey’s Gezi Park Protests, Cultural Anthropology, Hotspots Special Issue titled, “An Impromptu Uprising: Ethnographic Reflections on the Gezi Park Protests in Turkey.

2006 - [Conference Proceeding] En-Gendering the Exception: State Power and the Politics of Gender in Turkey, in Colleen Bell and Tina Managhan (eds.) Exceptional Measures for Exceptional Times: The State of Security Post 9/11: Selected Proceedings of the Thirteenth Annual Conference for International and Security Studies, pp.147-160. Toronto: York Center for International and Security Studies, York University.

University of Waterloo
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