I am Mark Helmke Postdoctoral Scholar in Global Media, Development, and Democracy at the Center for International Media Assistance and Indiana University’s School of Global and International Studies. I studied sociology (PhD) at Columbia University and, before that, public and international affairs (AB) at Princeton University. The National Science Foundation and Institute for Turkish Studies have supported my research.
My research focuses on cross-cultural communication and its mediators, particularly in the Turkish- and Persian-speaking world. My first book, Fixing Stories: Local Newsmaking and International Media in Turkey and Syria, forthcoming from Cambridge University Press's Global Middle East series, is an ethnography of the roles and strategies of “fixers” who broker communication between foreign journalists and sources. I show how fixers shape the news and manage their ambivalent position between cultural and political worlds.
I am also interested in media production, including documentary film and photography and the use of audiovisual and interactive media to communicate scholarly and policy-relevant ideas. I have published mixed media visual/written essays on Turkey, Iran, and Afghanistan and done multimedia work for music and theater companies Morningside Opera, Wet Ink Ensemble, and Siren Baroque. My first feature-length documentary, Eat Your Catfish, on my mom's life with ALS, is currently in post-production. The film has received support from Catapult Film Fund, Field of Vision, Cinereach, Sheffield DocFest MeetMarket, and the Istanbul Film Festival's Meetings on the Bridge program.