Research Theme: Materialities and Technologies
Laurent Dissard's research examines how Turkey's efforts to 'modernise' through infrastructural development have simultaneously redefined the future and the past of the nation. Located within the disciplines of Sociocultural Anthropology and Science and Technology Studies, his work also finds inspiration in the fields of Material Culture Studies, Political Ecology and Middle East Studies.
His book Submerged Stories: Dams and Cultural Erasure in Eastern Turkey, under consideration by MIT Press for its Infrastructure Series, takes dams as symbols of Turkey's 'modernisation' and their associated reservoirs - artificial lakes inundating river valleys and their cultural heritage - as metaphors for the country's 'submerged stories'.
Before joining the UCL Institute of Advanced Studies, Laurent completed his PhD in Near Eastern Studies at UC Berkeley (2011), received a Mellon Postdoctoral Fellowship from the Penn Humanities Forum at the University of Pennsylvania (2013) and was Associate Researcher at the Institut Français d'Études Anatoliennes in Istanbul (2014).