Meryem is a graduate of the Kevorkian Center for Near Eastern studies at NYU, where she completed her M.A. thesis on activist Kurdish- Armenian reconciliation discourses in Diyarbakir, Turkey under the auspices of the FLAS fellowship. She also completed her undergraduate studies at Rutgers University, where she earned her B.A. in Women’s and Gender Studies, Middle East Studies, and Planning and Public policy with High Honors. She was an alumni of the Douglass Residential College, as well, where she participated in PLEN and the Global Village programs. Having lived in multiple contexts, she wishes to revist earlier scripts in her family history, which outline their complicity and silence during the Armenian genocide, like many other Turks and Kurds in the region. She wishes to engage with discourses that reckon with the Armenian genocide in her family’s home city of Diyarbakir (by way of Bitlis), whether it be in activist circles, or in the form of oral histories of unofficial and official narrative. Her past oral history research has touched on this collective silence and complicity in the aftermaths of the genocide, which she now wishes to further probe in narratives of alterity that enter dreams, folklore, black magic, and rumor. Present day gendered and sexed logics play their own role in the continued silence that plagues genocide denial. Meryem wishes to highlight and outline the overlaps in the constitutive sexed/raced assemblages for continued nationalism.
I wish to interrogate the logics that underpin femicide and genocide as processes, not events, constitutive of each other. I am interested in researching the practice and implications of treasure-hunting in the aftermath of the Armenian genocide in Diyarbakir and Bitlis, Turkey from a feminist and disability studies framing. What kinds of lifeworlds / spaces of death do practices like treasure-hunting extract from but also generate? What types of ethnic, raced, as well as gendered and sexed assemblages constitute the national imaginary in once multicultural spaces? In spaces of genocide, maiming, and erasure, how does gender, race, ethnicity, and sex frame and script livibility/futurity? Within the national imaginary, how do gendered and sexed logics constitute and relate to one another by way of policy, but also rumor, folklore, dreams to create national subjects and/or accomplices of the Turkish state? I want to explore national (gendered, raced, sexed) violation as a constituting factor in both genocide and femicide, by interrogating the overlaps in gendered and raced logics.
- 2018 - 2020 Foreign Language Area Studies fellowship
- 2017 Nancy Becker Award for Public Leadership
- 2017 Dee Garrison Award for Justice and Peacemaking
- 2015 Critical Language Scholarship Alumni Grant
- 2014 Phi Beta Kappa
- 2014 Women’s World Congress Fellowship (University of Hyderabad)
- 2014 Critical Language Scholarship, Arabic
- 2013 - 2014 Douglass Residential College Scholarship
- 2013 Charles and Shirley Weiss Prize for Best Essay