A social scientist from Istanbul, Turkey, Ayten Alkan’s research revisits the history of urbanization on the tracks of ever-changing human-nonhuman relations. It does so through a theoretical quest to incorporate the mentality of “Animal Rights” into the “Right to the City” debate. Ayten received a grant from CAF that, in part, enabled her to pursue her research at the School of Social Science at the Institute for Advanced Studies at Princeton University, where she studiedurban life so as to include “other animals,” by focusing on the particular case of “stray animals.”
After attending the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, Ayten received the EURIAS fellowship and continued her work as a EURIAS fellow at the Hansewiesenschafts-Kolleg (H-W-K), delmenhorst-Germany. She has recently returned to Turkey and has settled down in Izmir, but does not have a job at the University due to political reasons. As a result, she is active at Izmir Solidarity Academy, a foundation established by colleagues who were dismissed from the university. She hopes to start a “critical animal studies” reading group via the Academy. The past spring, Ayten delivered a voluntary online course titled “gender and space” via the Solidarity Academy, with approximately 40 students attending.
Other projects she has recently completed includes translating a book to Turkish (Ayten Alkan (tr.) (2019) (Derek Ryan) Animal Theory, Edinburgh University Press. (Istanbul: Iletişim, Hayvan Kuramı)) and with a group of colleagues, she has published an edited volume (Ayten Alkan (ed.) (2020) Şehir ve Hayvan [The City and The Animal] İstanbul: Patika.) CAF NAVAB Fellow Isabel Schmidt interviewed Ayten in 2020.