Feyza received a BA in English from Fatih University, Istanbul, Turkey. She holds an MA in English from Wake Forest University and a joint MA in Anthropology and Women’s and Gender Studies from Brandeis University. For her Master’s thesis at Brandeis, Feyza conducted fieldwork in a Kurdish village in Eastern Turkey, and investigated the manifestations, permutations, and ramifications of sexual shame through gendered practices.
Her current ethnographical project is on a neo-Sufi group in Istanbul, named Rifaiyyah. It is led by an unveiled sophisticated female shaykha named Cemalnur Sargut, who is an international figure and widely known in the Sufi circles around the globe. Feyza is investigating how Mrs. Sargut, as a female religious authority, contributes to the ongoing discussions of Islamic Feminism; specifically looking at the imagined and practiced gender ideology of the group. She would like to further explore Rifaiyyah with an emphasis on the dynamics of religious identity that is constructed by a female charisma in the secularized order of Turkey. She is observing the ways in which the Rifais experience religion, modernism and secularism in their daily lives.
Feyza is personally interested in literary theory, poetry, philosophy and photography. Her poems and essays an be read on her blog: sitareist.wordpress.com
- Dean’s Fellowship
- 2012 MIT Mother Board Award, Graduate Consortium of Gender Studies