Anthropology’s Alyanak named Volkswagen postdoctoral fellow


Oguz Alyanak, an anthropology doctoral student in Arts & Sciences at Washington University in St. Louis, has been selected for a Volkswagen Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship in the Humanities to support his research on the social lives of working-class Muslim men in Germany, France and other European countries.

The fellowship, designed to strengthen trans-Atlantic academic relations in the humanities, will allow Alyanak to continue his researchon Muslims living in the Franco-German borderland. He will work closely with colleagues at the University of Gottingen and its affiliated Max Planck Institute for the Study of Religious and Ethnic Diversity, including former Washington University faculty member Patrick Eisenlohr.

On April 2, Alyanak successfully defended his research in a dissertation titled “Sinning Men, Sinful Places: Spatial Politics of Moral Transgressions in the Franco-German borderland.” The research also is chronicled in his 2018 documentary.

Alyanak’s doctoral research has been advised primarily by John Bowen, professor of sociocultural anthropology and the Dunbar-Van Cleve Professor in Arts & Sciences.

In 2014, he received a fellowship from the Social Science Research Council to undertake summer research in Turkey on a major point of origin for Turkish migrants in Europe, the highlands of Kayseri.

Additional university support for his research includes a first-year travel grant from the Department of Anthropology and other funding from the Divided Cities Initiative, the  McDonnell International Scholars Academy and the Center for the Humanities, where he was a fellow in spring 2018.

Article originally published in The Source, April 11, 2019 | Media Contact: Gerry Everding