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Özlem Savaş


Dr. Özlem Savaş is a media studies scholar with research interests in digital culture, social media, media ethnography, affective politics, and migration and diaspora. After she obtained her Dr. Phil. degree from the University of Applied Arts Vienna in 2008, she started working as Assistant Professor in the Department of Communication and Design at Bilkent University, Ankara, Turkey. Her ethnographic doctoral research explored diasporic practices of belonging within the aesthetics and the politics of the everyday. Recently, she carried out an ethnographic research project on practices of self and lifestyle on social media in Turkey. She published journal articles and book chapters on affective citizenship practices on social media, visual culture in political Islam, and diasporic aesthetics and politics of the everyday. She taught across a range of undergraduate and graduate courses in media studies and cultural studies, supervised MA dissertations, and hold administrative roles.

During her scholarship at ZeM, Dr. Savaş will carry out an ethnographic research project on digital spaces of intimacy, affinity, and affective politics created by new migrants from Turkey. Due to the recent increase in political repression and turmoil in Turkey, a growing number of people – mostly intellectuals, academics, journalist, artists, and students - are leaving the country. Although these new migrants are settling around the globe, most are going to Europe, especially Germany. New migrants from Turkey have created various digital media platforms and online groups to provide solidarity and collaboration and to establish social and political collectivities. Through employing an engaged, committed, and collaborative form of ethnographic methodology, Dr. Savaş aims to explore questions of how new migrants affectively engage with digital media. How are digital localities produced, inhabited, and networked through intimacy and affinity emerging from the common experience of particular social, political, and historical circumstances? How can collective, public, and political feelings archived in and circulated by digital media form the basis of the existing and possible collectivities and actions? What kind of new political possibilities, horizons, and subjectivities emerge from the diasporic solidarity and affective politics that play through these digital localities and their networked connectivity that expands across digital and physical spaces?