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Dr Cüneyt Çakirlar

Translations/Transpositions – Intergeneric Translation | September 2008 - August 2009 |

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As a UCL Mellon Fellow, Cüneyt's research focused on the concept of Queer in the contemporary Western and non-Western art scenes, treating queer art as a specific form of gender-conscious intergeneric transposition. He his particular research interest was in exploring queer pastiche, visual praxis of mimicry, and performative excess in those works - including film - whose aesthetic agendas play with, and exploit, the intersections between genre/gender and sex/sexuality.

Cuneyt was born and educated in Turkey. He was trained in chemical engineering and bioinformatics before turning to research in cultural studies at Istanbul Bilgi University. He came to the UK in 2005 to undertake doctoral research at UCL.

  • 2008 PhD in Gender Studies (Centre for Intercultural Studies), UCL
    Thesis: Disidentification, Mimicry, Melancholia and Image: Queer Reconfigurations in Contemporary Visual Arts [abstract]
  • 2005: MA in Cultural Studies, Istanbul Bilgi University, Turkey
    Thesis: Baiting the Straight: Cyber-queering Gay Male Pornography
  • 2002: BSci in Chemical Engineering, Bogazici University, Istanbul, Turkey
 Research Interests
  • The Filmic and Aesthetic Subject in Leo Bersani – Ulysse Dutoit Collaboration
  • Leo Bersani and Ascesis/Aesthetics of Relationality
  • The Documentary Subject in Werner Herzog
  • World Cinemas, Queer Accents
  • Queer Theory, Issues of Race, Ethnicity and Nationality in post-90s Queer Theory
  • Queer Auteurs in Film, Video, Visual Arts
  • Pornography, Pornification
  • Discourses of Bodily Penetration and Scatology in Contemporary Visual Arts
  • Queer, Islam and Islamophobia
  • Contemporary Visual Arts in/from Turkey
  • Post-junta Turkish Cinema
  • Contemporary Focus on Islamic Arts
  • Non-Western Queer Cultures, Middle Eastern Cultures of Sexual Dissidence
  • Transnational Sexuality Studies

Scholarships and Awards

  • 2005-2008 UCL Graduate School Research Scholarship (full) UK
  • 2005-2008 UCL and University of Warwick, Overseas Scholarship (ORSAS), UK



  • Çakırlar, C. and Delice. S. (eds.) Cinsellik Muamması: Türkiye’de Queer Kültür ve Muhalefet [Queer Culture and Dissidence in Turkey], Istanbul: Metis, 2011 (forthcoming).

Book Chapters

  • Çakırlar, C. and Güçlü, Ö. “Gender, Family, Home(land) in Contemporary Turkish Cinema: Comparative Readings on Nuri Bilge Ceylan, Reha Erdem and Ümit Ünal”, Contemporary Cultures of Resistance in the Middle East: Literature, Cinema and Music, edited by Karima Laachir and Saeed Talajooy (New York and London: Routledge, November 2012, forthcoming).
  • Çakırlar, C. “Troubled Objects of Militarism, Masculinity and Nationalism: Art in Turkey”, Understanding Media and Culture in Turkey: Histories, Structures, Voices, edited by Christian Christensen and Miyase Christensen (New York and London: Routledge, December 2012, forthcoming).
  • Çakırlar, C. “Ruhuma Asla!: Kutluğ Ataman, Queer Belge/sel ve Küreselleşen Sanat”, Cinsellik Muamması: Türkiye’de Queer Kültür ve Muhalefet, edited by Cüneyt Çakırlar and Serkan Delice (İstanbul: Metis, 2012).
  • Çakırlar, C. “Vicdanen, Tersten: Erinç Seymen’in Çileci Sanatı”, Cinsellik Muamması: Türkiye’de Queer Kültür ve Muhalefet, edited by Cüneyt Çakırlar and Serkan Delice (İstanbul: Metis, 2012).
  • Çakırlar, C. “Queer Art of Parallaxed Document: The Visual Discourse of Docudrag in Kutluğ Ataman's Never My Soul! (2001)”, LGBT Transnational Identity and the Media, edited by Christopher Pullen (Oxford: Palgrave, 2012), 242-258.
  • Çakırlar, C. “Sürçen Söylemler: Lubunya ve Tekinsiz Normativite [Slipping Discourses: Lubunya, Turkish Transgender Sex Workers and the Uncanny Normativity]”, Cinsiyet Halleri: Türkiye'de Toplumsal Cinsiyet Kesişim Sınırları [Issues on Sex: Limits of Gendered Intersectionalities in Turkey], edited by Nil Mutluer (Istanbul: Varlık, 2008), 207-18.
  • Çakırlar, C. “Contemporary Queer Film-making in Turkey”, International Encyclopedia of Queer Culture: GLBT Contemporary Cultures, edited by David A. Gerstner (New York and London: Routledge, 2006), 577-9.

Art Reviews

  • Çakırlar, C. and Delice, S. “Catalogue Note on Taner Ceylan's Cage of Flesh / Ten Kafesi (2012),” Sotheby's Contemporary Art / Turkish, April 2012, 16-7.
  • Çakırlar, C. “Lost Paintings, Lost Histories [Catalogue Note on Taner Ceylan's 1640 (2011)],” ART HK: Hong Kong International Art Fair, 2011, 7.
  • Çakırlar, C. and Delice, S. “Catalogue Note on Taner Ceylan's 1879 (2011),” Sotheby's Contemporary Art / Turkish, 2011, 16-7.
  • Çakırlar, C. “Queer Art of Sodomitical Sabotage, Queer Ethics of Surfaces: Embodying Militarism and Masculinity in Erinç Seymen's Portrait of a Pasha (2009),” Nowiswere: Contemporary Art Magazine 5, 2009, 38-43.

Journal Publications

  • ▪ Çakırlar, C. “Cultures of Death: The Art of Jake and Dinos Chapman”, KÜLT: A Journal of Cultural Studies 1:4, 2012, forthcoming.
    ▪ Çakırlar, C. “Queer Art of Parallaxed Document: The Visual Discourse of Docudrag in Kutluğ Ataman's Never My Soul! (2001)”, Screen 52/3, Autumn 2011, 358-75.
    ▪ Çakırlar, C. “Cinephilic Bodies: Todd Haynes's Cinema of Queer Pastiche”, KÜLT: A Journal of Cultural Studies 1:1, 2011, 162-199.
    ▪ Çakırlar, C. “Masculinity, Scatology, Mooning and the Queer/able Art of Gilbert and George: On the Visual Discourse of Male Ejaculation and Anal Penetration”, Paragraph: A Journal of Modern Critical Theory 34:1, March 2011, 86-104.


  • Butler, J. Belâ Bedenler: “Cinsiyet”in Söylemsel Sınırları Üzerine [Bodies That Matter: On the Discursive Limits of 'Sex'”], co-translator: Berfu Şeker (Istanbul: Pinhan, 2012).
  • Butler, J. “Kritik Queer [“Chapter 8: Critically Queer” in Bodies That Matter: On the Discursive Limits of “Sex”],” Toplumbilim, 2012, forthcoming.
  • Butler, J. “Maddeleşen/Sorunlaşan Bedenler: Belâ Bedenler [Chapter 1: Bodies That Matter of Bodies That Matter: On the Discursive Limits of “Sex”],” Cogito 65-66, 2011, 52-86.

Invited Talks and Conference Papers

  • “Queer Art of Failed Translation: Ming Wong’s Cinephilic Drag”, Invited Lecture, Symposium: Queer Cinema and the Politics of the Global, organized by Rosalind Galt and Karl Schoonover, University of Sussex (contributors: Cüneyt Çakırlar (UCL), Catherine Grant (Sussex), David Eng (UPenn), Gayatri Gopinath (NYU), Michael Lawrence (Sussex), Shamira Meghani (Leeds) and Patricia White (Swathmore)), 12-13 May 2012.
  • “Queer Depth of Turkey: Contemporary Visual Arts and Matters of Queer Transnationalism,” Invited Lecture, Authority and Subversion: Turkish Society in the Neoliberal Age, organized by Kerem Öktem, Lauren Mignon and Celia Kerslake, University of Oxford, 9 May 2012.
  • “Queer’s Honor, Queer’s Death: Cross-cultural Criticism and Derek Jarman’s Blue (1994)”, Invited Lecture, organized by Leman Sevda and Berfu Şeker, LambdaIstanbul, 4 April 2012.
  • “Conscientiously Queer: Transregional Aesthetics of Sexual Dissidence”, Cultural Studies Seminars, Invited Lecture, organized by Department of Cultural Studies, Sabancı University, Istanbul, Turkey, 28 March 2012.
  • “Queer Sabotage: Anal Sublime in Erinç Seymen’s Portrait of a Pasha (2009),” The Blue Socks Salon (in collaboration with UCL Bright Club, an ongoing programme of developing interdisciplinary modes of engagement), University College London / The Horse Hospital, London, 28 September 2009.
  • “Kutluğ Ataman and the Queer Art of Parallax/ed Documentary: Can Queer Travel?,” Filming the Queer, Queering the Film, UCL Mellon Programme, organized by Cüneyt Çakırlar, 17 October – 5 December 2008.
  • “Ethics of Surfaces and Shells: Abject, Masculinity and Nomadic Aesthetics in Gilbert & George,” Gender: East Meets West, University of York, 3-5 July 2007.
  • “Never My Soul!: Dragging Interviews, Periperformative Testimonies in Kutluğ Ataman’s Video Art Documentary,” Identity Formation, Faculty of Languages, Linguistics and Cultures, University of Manchester, Manchester, 4 April 2007.
  • “Turkish Gay Bait Pornography: Toward Contextualizing and Queering Bodies On/Scene,” Crossroads International Conference of Cultural Studies, Istanbul Bilgi University, 22 July 2006.
  • “[Safe]: Queering/Abjecting the Body in Todd Haynes’s Cinema of Queer Pastiche,” Cultural Memory: Illness, Memory and the Body, Institute of Germanic and Romance Studies, University of London, 12 May 2006.
  • “Turkish Gaydar Profiles: Incomplete Bodies or Those Who Are Not 1 [Eksik Bedenler ya da 1 Olmayanlar Üzerine],” Queer, Turkey and Identity, Boğaziçi University, Istanbul, 19 April 2005.


  • ▪ Research Methodologies (Humanities), MA Gender Studies Tutorials, UCL (Spring 2008 – present).
    ▪ Gender Studies Core Course (team-taught, convenor: Tsila Ratner / Federica Mazzara), MA Gender Studies, UCL (Spring 2007 - present)
    ▪ FA 48P: Special Topics: Film, Ethics, Erotics, Department of Western Languages and Literatures, Bogazici University, Istanbul, Turkey (Summer 10, Fall 2010-11)
    ▪ CULT 565: Gender, Queer and the Body in Aesthetic Expression, MA Cultural Studies, Istanbul Bilgi University, Turkey (Fall 2009-10, Fall 2010-11)
    ▪ FA 487: Special Topics: Queer Aesthetics and Contemporary Film, Department of Western Languages and Literatures, Bogazici University, Istanbul, Turkey (Fall 2009-10, Fall 2010-11, Summer 2011)
    ▪ Workshops (FA 48O), Special Topics: Performativity and Image, Mithat Alam Film Centre, Bogazici University, Istanbul, Turkey (Summer 2008-09)
    ▪ Cinema and Nation (team-taught, convenor: Claire Thomson), MA Film Studies, UCL (Spring 2009, Spring 2010)
    ▪ Language, Culture, Representation (Core Course, team-taught, convenor: Jakob Stougaard-Nielsen / Federica Mazzara), BA Language & Culture, UCL (Spring 2009, Spring 2012)

Research Students:

  • Jamie Green on “Grinding Away the Time”, MA Gender, Society, Representation, UCL, 2010-12.
  • Bechkoum, Assma on “ Islam, Gender Roles and British Muslim Men”, MA Gender, Society, Representation, UCL, 2010-12.
  • Masiha Vaala on “Women and Strategies of Un/Veiling in Iran”, MA Gender, Society, Representation, UCL, 2010-12.
  • Anna Smith on “The Great (White) Mother’: Negotiations of Gender, Race and Empire in Nineteenth Century Visual Representations of Queen Victoria, 1840-1901”, MA Gender, Society, Representation, UCL, 2010-11.
  • Harriet Cummings on “Exploration of Sexual Identities in the Photographs of Alice Austen”, MA Gender, Society, Representation, UCL, 2010-11.
  • Vanessa Ho on “PUSH OUT: Female Ejaculations Meet Hard-Core Pornography”, MA Gender Studies, UCL, 2009-10.
  • Madalina Pierseca on “Body Tracks: Female Subjectivity and Strategies of Resistance in the Work of Maria Izquierdo and Ana Mendieta”, MA Gender Studies, UCL, 2009-10.
  • Michelle Mahon on “Weimar Photomontage and the Shock of Modernity: The Disruptions of Identity and the Body with the Coming of the Modern Era”, MA Gender Studies, UCL, 2008-09.
  • Clare Kirkler on “Hannah Wilke and Saint Orlan: A Feminist Critique of Body Art”, MA Gender Studies, UCL, 2008-09.

Public Engagement

UCL Mellon Seminars, UCL, London, 2008-09 (more ...).

Newspaper Articles

  • Nip/Tuck: Kes, Yapistir, Bulandir [Nip/Tuck: Cut, Paste, Blur], Radikal 2 (21 August 2005)
  • ‘Valerie Solanas: Warhol’s Bullets, or, Society of Cutting Up Men’, Radikal 2 (15 September 2002)
  • ‘Erkekce Bir Sohbete Ne Dersiniz? [Gaydar: How About a Man-to-Man Talk?]’, Radikal 2 (1 September 2002

This page last modified 26 September, 2012 by [UCL Mellon Admin]

Book cover: Muamma

Book cover: Unpacking the collection

imag: book cover, Federica  Mazzara

Discursive Constructions of Identity in European Politics

Singing Poets: Literature and Popular Music in France and Greece (1945-1975)

Northern Constellations: New Readings in Nordic Cinema by Claire Thomson, UCL Mellon Fellow (2004-2006)

Mediating the Nation by Mirca Madianou, UCL Mellon Fellow (2002-2004)


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