Public Anthropology, Innovation and Social Change, Theories of Learning, Migration and Identity, Mediterranean and US
My overarching research interest is migration and change. This has led me to research in a diverse array of areas. My earlier work focused on labor migration from Turkey to the US, specifically looking at how regional compatriotism influences migration patterns and how they are affected as constructions of regional identity evolve. (See Migrating to America: Transnational Social Networks and Regional Identity among Turkish Migrants, IB Tauris, 2008) I began looking at Muslims in Turkey who convert to Christianity in 2006 with a Fulbright-Hays research grant. I viewed this change of religious identity as a type of spiritual migration without physical relocation, and examined the how converts create new lives and identities while staying in the same place.
My most recent work focuses on the migration of ideas. I am particularly interested in where innovative ideas come from, how they are operationalized, how they translate across cultural and material contexts, and the nature of their social impact. I am conducting research on this topic in RI in collaboration with SVPRI, and also in Turkey.
As a Faculty Fellow at Philadelphia University, I have been working with colleagues to help them incorporate anthropological research methods into their Design, Engineering and Commerce curriculum. (See Core77 2012 Curriculum Design Award) I am particularly interested in designing experiential curriculum that incorporates and integrates methods of inquiry from a broad spectrum of disciplines and professions.