I am a historian and an archaeologist who is interested in understanding the constitution and maintenance of political authority, culturally specific expressions of political power, and negotiations of identity and other forms of social engagements in relation to material culture and materiality in past societies. I explore these topics throughout the history of China and Inner Asia. In my research, I ask questions about state-society relations, political ideologies, administrative practices, territorial organization, material culture, perception and depiction of the other, and construction and representation of identity, especially through the human body.
I come from an inter-disciplinary educational background which is reflected in my research as well as in my teaching. I like to teach the kind of courses where students can think about the diversity and interconnectedness of human experience through the study history. I draw on various lines of evidence and multidisciplinary materials in my classes and allow students to be in charge of their own learning.
As a historian who likes to challenge the dominant historical narrative and an archaeologist who strives to unearth the traces of marginalized communities, such as nomads, in the archaeological record, I am strongly committed to diversity and inclusivity in my research, as well as in my classrooms.
I like riding horses, shooting arrows, and I constantly regret never having combined the two in my younger ages. I travel… A lot! I travel to do research, I travel to teach. Sometimes I do research so that I can travel and come home to teach what I’ve learnt while traveling. After all, I am a bit of a nomad myself who moves in search of coffee and books…
Areas of Expertise
History, Archaeology, Central Eurasia
2022 — Dual Ph.D. in Central Eurasian Studies and Anthropology (Archaeology) from Indiana University, Bloomington
2009 — Master's of Arts in History from Middle East Technical University, Turkey