Gülşah Şenkol

Tel: +90 212 293 60 67
Mail: torunoglu@oiist.org

Gülşah Şenkol is a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Orient-Institut Istanbul, specializing in comparative women’s history in the Middle East. She holds a PhD in History from the Ohio State University (2019), and she held visiting fellow positions from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, the American University in Cairo (AUC), and Princeton University. Prior to her appointment at the Orient-Institut, she was a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Koç University Research Center for Anatolian Civilizations (ANAMED), and a research fellow at the Swedish Research Institute (SRII). Şenkol has offered a variety of courses at the Ohio State and Koç Universities including Women and Gender in Literature, History of Modern Sexualities, History of the Modern Middle East, Islam, Politics and Society in History, and World History from 1500 to Present.

Şenkol’s research has been supported by awards and fellowships from several sources, including the Fulbright Fellowship and the Adıvar Fellowship in Ottoman and Turkish Studies as well as the Genevieve Brown Gist Dissertation Research Fellowship at the Ohio State University. At the Orient-Institut, she will be contributing to the expansion of the research field on autobiographical sources for the study of Turkish and Ottoman history by fostering research cooperation in Turkey and internationally on women and their autobiographical writings.

Her current book project, A Comparative History of Feminism in Egypt and Turkey, 1880-1935: Dialogue and Difference investigates the interaction between organized women’s movements in Turkey and Egypt, and their relation with global women’s activism during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Based on two years of archival research in Turkey, Egypt, and the United Kingdom, Şenkol’s project establishes a dialogue between Turkish and Egyptian feminisms, compares nationalist versus Islamic trends among them, and takes stock of their interactions with and resistances to western feminisms. By bringing the evolution of the feminist discourse in Egypt and the Ottoman Empire in conversation with the secular and religious reform traditions in both countries in a comparative perspective, her work seeks to encourage a broader and more in-depth understanding of feminism in the Middle East, stripped from the dominant, nationalist narrative of its evolution.

History of the Late Ottoman Empire and the Modern Middle East

Comparative/Global Intellectual History of Feminism and Feminist Activism

Comparative Politics of Religion and Secularism

Institutionalization of Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies in Turkey

Life-Narratives and Gender in the Middle East

Middle Eastern Literatures

History of Food and Drinking Culture in the Ottoman Empire and Modern Turkey

Gender and Autobiographical Sources on the History of the Ottoman Empire and the Republic of Turkey

Monograph: A Comparative History of Feminism in Egypt and Turkey, 1880-1935: Dialogue and Difference

23.04.2021: “Türkiye ve Mısır‘da Karşılaştırmalı Feminist Bellek Oluşumu ve Feminist Literatür: Kazanımlar, Boşluklar, Yamalar,” Tarih Vakfı Ankara Tartışmaları.

9.12.2020: “Mapping the Field: Historicizing Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies in Turkey and the Near East,” Mapping Gender in the Near East: What’s New and What’s Ahead in Ottoman and Turkish Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies, Workshop, Orient-Institut Istanbul & Sabancı University, Gender and Womens Studies Center of Exellence) in collaboration with Koç University’s Research Center for Anatolian Civilizations (ANAMED) & Swedish Research Institute in Istanbul (SRII) www.mappinggenderneareast.org.

4.11.2020: Diverging Geneologies and Conflicting Trajectories of Feminism in Egypt and Turkey from the Late Ottoman Empire into the 1930s, Orient-Institut Istanbul.

15.10.2020: Comparative Secular-Islamic Patterns in the Egyptian and Ottoman, later Turkish, Feminist Discourse, Swedish Research Institute in Istanbul, SRII.

24.1.2020: Comparative Feminisms: Secular and Religious Discourses in the Egyptian and Turkish Women’s Movements, 1880-1930, Koç University, Research Center for Anatolian Civilizations, ANAMED.

16.11.2018: “Egyptian and Turkish Feminisms in Conversation, Collaboration, and Dialectic Interaction, 1878 – 1935,” Middle East Studies Association, MESA, Annual Meeting.

31.3.2018: “Turkey’s Role as a ‘Trail Blazer’ for the Egyptian Feminism, 1900-1930,” Great Lakes Ottomanist Workshop (GLOW), University of Chicago.

25.2.2017: “Feminism Next Door: Piecing Together Egyptian and Turkish Women’s Movements, 1880-1930,” Gender and Women’s Studies Conference, University of Wisconsin-Madison.

20.4.2014: “The Gender Turn: What Went Wrong?,” Writing Women’s Lives: Auto/Biography, Life Narratives, Myths and Historiography, International Symposium, Women’s Library and Information Center Foundation & Department of History, Yeditepe University İstanbul.

13.2.214: “Politicization of Violence: Nablus Riots, 1876,” European Convention on Turkic, Ottoman and Turkish Studies (Turkologentag 2014) of the Society for Turkic, Ottoman and Turkish Studies (GTOT), Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich.

5.3.2013: “Islamic and Secular Feminism in Turkey,” 28th Annual Middle East History and Theory Conference (MEHAT), University of Chicago.

5.1.2013: “The Historical Roots of Muslim Women’s Social and Political Activism during the Arab Spring,” American Historical Association (AHA) annual meeting, New Orleans.

24.12.2012: Comparative Feminism(s): Secular and Religious Discourses in Turkish and Egyptian Women’s Movements, Gender and Women’s Studies Research and Application Center (EKOKAM) Izmir University of Economics.

3.3.2012: “Honor Killings in Turkey,” 13th. Annual Graduate Symposium on Women’s & Gender History: Indecency, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.


“Comparative and Integration History in Ottoman and Turkish Women’s and Gender Studies,” in Roundtable “Gendered Transnationalisms in the Middle East & North Africa” Journal of Middle Eastern Women’s Studies (JMEWS) 17:3, November, 2021.

“Fostering Intellectual Solidarity and Cooperation during the Pandemic,” Kalabalık, Issue 9, Bulletin, Winter/Spring 2021, Swedish Research Institute in Istanbul (SRII), https://www.srii.org/Documents/Docs/232246dc49ad4798b9aac00bea377ea1.pdf

“Bir Çalıştayın Ardından: Mapping Gender in the Near East,” Toplumsal Tarih, 01.03.2021.

“Feminism in Egypt: New Alliances, Old Debates,” Origins: Current Events in Historical Perspective, Vol. 9, Issue 11.09.2016. http://origins.osu.edu/article/feminism-egypt-new-alliances-old-debates

Essays, Critical Writings, Blog Posts

Dossier: “The Past, Present and Future of Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies in Turkey,” (Includes ten interviews) K24, Kitap-Kültür-Kritik, 05.2021, forthcoming.

“Mapping Gender in the Near East: Fortuities of an Online Search and the Complexities of Ottoman Feminism,” Orient-Institut Istanbul, Blog, 4.12.2020. https://www.oiist.org/en/fortuities-of-an-online-search-and-the-complexities-of-ottoman-feminism/

“Peyniri Deri Korur, Kadını Eri”: İstanbul Sözleşmesi Üzerinde Mutabakat Eksikliği,” K24, Kitap-Kültür-Kritik, 6.8.2020. https://t24.com.tr/k24/yazi/peyniri-deri-korur-kadini-eri-gunahiyla-sevabiyla-istanbul-sozlesmesi,2795

“Feminizm 101: ‘Çünkü Feminizm Herkes İçindir’,” K24, Kitap-Kültür-Kritik, 27.8.2020. https://t24.com.tr/k24/yazi/feminizm-101-feminizm-herkes-icindir,2820


Dossier: “The Past, Present and Future of Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies in Turkey,” (Includes ten interviews) K24, Kitap-Kültür-Kritik, 05.2021, forthcoming

Interview with Yıldız Ecevit, “Türkiye’de Toplumsal Cinsiyet ve Kadın Çalışmaları: Bir Değerlendirme,” Kıraathane, İstanbul Edebiyat Evi, 11.06.2021 http://kiraathane.com.tr/sezon-programi/2021-06-21-turkiye-de-toplumsal-cinsiyet-ve-kadin-calismalari-bir-degerlendirme .

Interview with Rümeysa Çamdereli, Founder of Havle Association: “Nereden Çıktı Bu Müslüman Feministler?”, Kıraathane, İstanbul Edebiyat Evi, 11.05.2021 http://kiraathane.com.tr/sezon-programi/2021-05-11-nerden-cikti-bu-musluman-feministler- .

Interview with Prof. Alev Özkazanç: “Bir Musibet: Yeni Türkiye’de Erillik, Şiddet ve Feminist Siyaset,”, Kıraathane, İstanbul Edebiyat Evi, 23.12.2020 http://kiraathane.com.tr/sezon-programi/2020-12-23-bir-musibet-yeni-turkiye-de-erillik-siddet-ve-feminist-siyaset-.