Meet the team





Dr Aidan McGarry (PI)

Aidan McGarry is Reader in International Politics, Loughborough University, London. His research focuses on political representation and participation of minority and marginalised communities. He is particularly interested in how groups and communities express their political voice. He has written four books: Who Speaks for Roma? (Continuum 2010); The Politics and Discourses of Migration in Europe (co-editor, Palgrave 2013); The Identity Dilemma: Social Movements and Collective Identity (co-editor with James Jasper, Temple University Press 2015); and Romaphobia (Zed 2016) which explores the causes of anti-Roma prejudice in Europe. His research has been published in leading journals such as Ethnicities, Ethnic and Migration Studies, Ethnopolitics, Social Movement Studies, and Critical Social Policy, amongst others. He chairs the University of Brighton social movement network and is the Principal Investigator on the AHRC project ‘Aesthetics of Protest: Visual Culture and Communication in Turkey’.


Dr Olu Jenzen (Co-I)

Olu Jenzen is Principal Lecturer in Media Studies at the University of Brighton. Her research ranges over different contemporary themes in media studies, and critical theory with a particular interest in the politics of aesthetic form and popular culture as it intersects with debates of gender and sexualities, activism, marginalized communities, heritage, digital and social media. Current projects include an AHRC funded project on the ‘Aesthetics of Protest’; a University funded social engagement award: ‘Digital cultures of resistance: LGBTQ Social Media Popular Culture Strategies and Activism’, about the activist lives of young people; and two further AHRC funded Connected Communities projects: The People’s Pier project and a multi disciplinary Sport Community Research project exploring the views and experiences of young people in relation to sport, celebrity and community participation.


Prof Umut Korkut (Co-I)

Umut Korkut is Professor at Glasgow School for Business and Society at Glasgow Caledonian University. Previously, he was Research Fellow in the School for Politics and International Relations at the University College Dublin (2007-2010). He completed his DPhil (magna cum laude) at Central European University in Budapest in 2004. In 2009, he was awarded Associate Professorship by the Turkish Higher Education Council. Since 2007, he have carried professional service and international roles for Political Studies Association as convenor of Comparative European Politics Specialist Group. For the academic year 2015-2016, he was a visiting fellow of the Slavic-Eurasian Research Centre at Hokkaido University ( as part of a research group on interwar Eurasianism and Japan’s involvement in international politics. He has an international and national reputation first in European politics, with specialisation in East European and Turkish politics; second in migration and forced migration with specialisation in East Mediterranean and Eastern Europe; and third in religion, gender and politics. In studies of these three fields, his research is quite distinctive in its use of different theories spanning from social representation theory, dialogical analysis, and comparative historical analysis to institutional analysis.


Dr Itir Erhart (Co-I)

Itir Erhart is an associate professor at Istanbul Bilgi University, Department of Media and Communication Systems. She studied Western Languages & Literatures at Boğaziçi University, Istanbul. She completed her M.A. in Philosophy at the same university and her M.Phil at the University of Cambridge. In 2006 she earned her PhD from Bogazici University in philosophy. She is the author of the book ‘What Am I?’ and several articles and book chapters on gender, sports, civil society and social movements including ‘United in Protest: From “Living and Dying with Our Colours” to “Let All the Colors of the World Unite”‘ and ‘Ladies of Besiktas: A dismantling of male hegemony at Inönü Stadium’, ‘Toward postheroic leadership: A case study of Gezi’s collaborating multiple leaders’ and ‘Mr. Incredible, the Man-of-Action, The Man-of-Power: What If He Loses It All?’. She is also the co-founder of Adim Adim, Turkey’s first charity running group with 13,000 runners raising funds for 12 NGOs.  In 2009 she was featured on CNN Turk’s ‘Turkey’s Changemakers’.  She was awarded Ten Outstanding Young Persons (TOYP) award in 2010. In 2014 she became an Ashoka Fellow.


Dr Hande Eslen-Ziya (Research Fellow)

Hande Eslen-Ziya holds a PhD in Sociology from Polish Academy of Sciences, Warsaw, Poland. In 2015 she was awarded Associate Professorship by the Turkish Higher Education Council. Her research is theoretically informed by social psychology, feminist psychology and sociology, as well as gender role strain, conceptions of femininity and masculinity and gendered migration. Currently Eslen-Ziya preparing a monograph to Routledge on Centralized Islam for Socio-Economic Control: The Religious Making of Identities and Gender Roles in Turkey. Her most recent publications are: ‘The Evolution of the Pro-birth Regime in Turkey: Discursive Governance of Population Politics’ published in Social Politics: International Studies in Gender, State & Society; ‘Being a gay man in Turkey: Internalised sexual prejudice as a function of prevalent hegemonic masculinity perceptions’ published in Culture, Health and Psychology; ‘New waves for old rights? Women’s mobilization and bodily rights in Turkey and Norway’ published in European Journal of Women’s Studies.


Professor Catherine Moriarty (Co-I)

Catherine Moriarty is Professor of Art and Design History at the University of Brighton and Curatorial Director of the University of Brighton Design Archives. She writes and curates exhibitions about the history of British art and design and she is particularly interested in cultures of commemoration, ceremony and the relationship between sculpture and design. In 2013 she co-curated the Whitechapel Gallery exhibition Black Eyes & Lemonade: Curating Popular Art. Interested in the archive as a site of enquiry, Moriarty has directed a variety of research, exhibition and publication initiatives including the Arts and Humanities Research Council-funded Exploring British Design in 2015, and collaborative doctoral projects with the Chartered Society of Designers and the Design Museum. She is co-editor of Sculpture Journal.

Isil Egrikavuk

In her regular newspaper column, mock TV shows and other works, Isil Egrikavuk creates absurd situations that highlight the manipulative power of the media. Eğrikavuk studied literature in Istanbul then went to The School of The Art Institute of Chicago for her MFA in Performance Art. She is the creator of a column Güncel Sanat Kafası, in which she writes on contemporary art in Istanbul’s daily newspaper Radikal. Eğrikavuk also teaches media and video art at Istanbul Bilgi University.

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