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Salih Can Açiksöz

Assistant Professor

Contact Information

Email    aciksoz@ucla.edu
Office  Haines 305

I am an interdisciplinary-minded anthropologist with a guiding interest in the intersections of violence, embodiment, gender, and subjectivity. My first book manuscript, entitled Sacrificial Limbs of Sovereignty: Gender, Political Violence, and the Body in Turkey, is an ethnographic study of war disability, masculinity, and political subjectivity in the context of the Kurdish conflict. Focused on Turkish disabled conscripts who fought against Kurdish guerrillas in Turkey and Northern Iraq, the manuscript examines how Turkish veterans’ gendered and classed experiences of war and disability are hardened into an emergent form of ultranationalist politics.

My second book project, entitled Humanitarian Borderlands: Medicine, Violence, and the State, centers on the vexed relations among medicine, political violence, and (in)humanitarianism in Turkey’s Kurdish region and along the militarized Turkish/Syrian border. The work asks how convergences of local political struggles and transnational discourses of neutrality, humanitarianism, terrorism, and human rights usher new configurations of care, politics, and ethics.

In addition to these two long term projects, I have published articles on war trauma and the globalization of PTSD, disabled sexuality and assisted reproduction, medical humanitarianism and riot control agents, risk imaginaries in prenatal diagnosis, and feminist and queer resistance to gender conservative authoritarian populisms. I currently teach Affect Theory: An Anthropological Introduction; Gender, Violence and the Body; and Medical Anthropology.

Selected Publications

2017    “Grab’Em by the Patriarchy.” Anthropology News 58(3): 10–12. link

2017    He Is a Lynched Soldier Now Coup, Militarism, and Masculinity in Turkey. Journal of Middle East Women's Studies 13(1): 178-180. PDF

2016    Beyond “the Lesser Evil”: A Critical Engagement with Brexit. Social Anthropology 24(4): 487-488. (co-authored with Umut Yildirim) PDF

2016    Medical Humanitarianism Under Atmospheric Violence: Healthcare Workers in the 2013 Gezi Protests in Turkey. Culture, Medicine, and Psychiatry 40(2): 198-222. PDF

2015    Ghosts Within: Genealogies of War Trauma in Turkey. The Journal of Turkish and Ottoman Studies 2(2): 259-280. PDF

2015    In Vitro Nationalism: Masculinity, Disability and Assisted Reproduction in War Torn Turkey. In Gender and Sexuality in Muslim Cultures, edited by Gul Ozyegin. Farnham: Ashgate. PDF

2014    Ghazis or Beggars: The Double Life of Turkish Disabled Veterans. Ethnologie Française 2014(2): 247-256. PDF

2013    Masculinized Power, Queered Resistance. Cultural Anthropology Online, October 31, 2013. link

2012    Sacrificial Limbs of Sovereignty: Disabled Veterans, Masculinity, and Nationalist Politics in Turkey. Medical Anthropology Quarterly 26(1): 4-26. PDF


War and political violence; gender and masculinity; embodiment and disability; affect and trauma; humanitarianism; nationalism; authoritarianism; reproductive technologies; Turkey; the Middle East