Dr. V. Firat Bozcali Joins UTM Anthropology

January 2018

UTM Anthropology is very pleased to welcome Dr. V. Firat Bozcali as Assistant Professor, Sociocultural Anthropology, focusing on political-legal anthropology.

Dr. F. BozcaliDr. Bozcali’s dissertation research challenges the understanding of national borders and law as given facts that are designed and enforced exclusively by state authorities, for the very topical case of Kurdish oil smugglers and the Turkish-Iranian border.  Based on twenty months of ethnographic field research with Kurdish oil smugglers and their lawyers in the region, he has developed the concept of techo-legal borderwork to examine how smugglers and lawyers rework the porosity of national borders, while reshaping the politico-moral limits of justifiable smuggling, so that this borderwork is framed as a distinct mode of political action countering state sovereignty.  Although only just finished with his doctorate at Stanford University, he has already published on this and other research, with four articles in regional journals and one book chapter out, as well as articles in preparation for top ranking international journals in anthropology.  He has also translated two books into Turkish, one an important and theoretically complex anthropological discussion about popular politics.  His grant and fellowship record is outstanding for his stage, with dissertation research grants from both the U.S. National Science Foundation and the Wenner-Gren Foundation, and most recently a Mellon fellowship to complete his dissertation writing. 

His research is seen as original, innovative, and powerful, and his background as a journalist as well as an academic brings his work great potential for contributions to policy and outreach, employing passion and enthusiasm as well as sensitivity and gentle humour.  He will bring expertise in an additional world area to UTM Anthropology (Middle East, especially Turkey, Iraq, and the Kurds), as well as a new range of topical expertise in both political and legal anthropology that will benefit all three campuses.  In an unexpected benefit, he has background and strong interests in topics related to the Forensic Science program, and common interests with their new Forensic Chemist in the intersection of law and technical measurements.  He has a strong history of conference and workshop organization, and we look forward to the new contacts he will bring to Toronto.