Associate Professor


Areas of Expertise

Political anthropology; migration and citizenship; anthropologies of emotion; hope and political hope; gendered moralities; precarity and privilege; genocide & dispossession; necropower; Turkey and its borderlands

View Professor Parla’s CV


My research and writing on transnational migration, hope, precarious labor, dispossession and the governance of difference is situated at the intersections of the politico-legal and the affective-moral realms in Turkey, its borderlands and diasporas. My first book, Precarious Hope, explored the limits of belonging in Turkey from the perspective of Turkish migrants from Bulgaria who are ethnically privileged but economically precarious, and for whom citizenship is promised even if not guaranteed. My current project, “Graveyards, Necropower and Present Absences” turns to the postgenocide dispossession of Armenians in Turkey and the legalization and cultural normalization of dispossession. It tracks necropolitical policies of destruction and the confiscation of Armenian cemeteries as well as the care and preservation by the community of other remaining cemeteries. Attending to both the inadvertent durability and the quiet safeguarding of material remains, the project pursues, on the one hand, the continuities between past violence and present evasions, and on the other hand, the entanglements of silence, absence and survival.

Selected Publications

  • “Revisiting ‘Honor’ through Migrant Vulnerabilities in Turkey.” History and Anthropology, forthcoming.
  • Precarious Hope: Migration and the Limits of Belonging in Turkey. Stanford: Stanford University Press (2019).
  • “Critique without a Politics of Hope?” In A Time for Critique, edited by Didier Fassin and Bernard Harcourt. New York: Columbia University Press, 2019.


  • CAS AN101 Introduction to Cultural Anthropology
  • CAS AN220 Urban Anthropology
  • CAS AN307/507 Anthropology of Turkey and the Middle East
  • CAS AN571 Anthropology of Emotion