Visiting Scholar
Faculty of Communication, Visual Communication Design Department

Theories of Media and Performance; Theater and Performance Studies; Gender and Sexuality Studies; Cultural Diplomacy; Material Culture; Critical Historiography and Archival Studies; Memory Studies; Cultural History of Turkey

Rüstem Ertuğ Altınay is a Visiting Scholar in the Visual Communication Design Department at Kadir Has University. He completed his BA in Philosophy and Sociology, and his MA in Philosophy at Boğaziçi University. He received his PhD in Performance Studies at New York University. His primary research areas are theories of media and performance, theater and performance studies, gender and sexuality studies, memory studies, and the cultural history of Turkey. His research in these fields has been supported by a number of international and national grants and fellowships, and appeared in leading peer-reviewed journals. He currently serves as the Principal Investigator of the ERC Starting Grant project “Staging National Abjection: Theatre and Politics in Turkey and Its Diasporas.” Altınay is also a translator, dramaturg, and playwright with extensive experience.

PhD in Performance Studies, New York University (New York, USA)
MA in Philosophy, Boğaziçi University (Istanbul, Turkey)
BA in Philosophy and Sociology, Boğaziçi University (Istanbul, Turkey)

2020 – To date Visiting Scholar, Department of Visual Communication Design, Kadir Has University

2019 – 2020 Marie Skłodowska-Curie Fellow, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, Sabancı University

2018 – 2019 Visiting Lecturer, Cross-Disciplinary Strategies Program, University of Applied Arts, Vienna

2018 Incoming Fellow, Institute of Culture Studies and Theater History, Austrian Academy of Sciences

2017-2018 Ernst Mach Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Department of Social and Cultural Anthropology, University of Vienna

2016-2017 Core Curriculum Postdoctoral Fellow, New York University

Edited Volumes

Altınay, Rüstem Ertuğ and Olivera Jokic. In progress. Archives and Records special issue “Archiving Popular Culture.”

Altınay, Rüstem Ertuğ and Olivera Jokic. In progress. The Journal of Popular Culture special issue “Archives and Popular Culture.”

Adak, Hülya and Rüstem Ertuğ Altınay. 2018. Comparative Drama special issue “Performing Turkishness: Theater and Politics in Turkey and Its Diasporas.” Comparative Drama 52 (3&4): (185-374).


Altınay, Rüstem Ertuğ. 2018. “Staging Queer Marxism in the Age of State Feminism: Gender, Sexuality, and the Nation in Hüseyin Rahmi Gürpınar’s Kadın Erkekleşince [When Woman Becomes Masculine],” Comparative Drama 52 (3&4): 243-273.

Adak, Hülya and Rüstem Ertuğ Altınay. 2018. “Introduction: Performing Turkishness: Theater and Politics in Turkey and Its Diasporas,” Comparative Drama 52 (3&4): 185-214. 

Altınay, Rüstem Ertuğ. 2017. “‘Carrying Our Country to the World’: Gendering Tourism and Diplomacy in Cold War Turkey,” Radical History Review 129: 103-124.

_____. 2015. “A Portrait of the Queer Archivist as Political Dissident: Rereading the Ottoman Empire in the Works of Reşad Ekrem Koçu,” Radical History Review 122: 89–102.

_____. 2014. “‘There is a Massacre of Women’: Violence against Women, Feminist Activism, and Hashtags in Turkey,” Feminist Media Studies 14 (6): 1102–1103.

_____. 2014. “Islam and Islamophobia,” Transgender Studies Quarterly 1 (1&2): 115–118.

_____. 2013. “From a Daughter of the Republic to a Femme Fatale: The Life and Times of Turkey’s First Professional Fashion Model Lale Belkıs,” Women's Studies Quarterly 41 (1&2): 113–130.

_____. 2009. “Fear and Loathing in the Republic: The Mystery of Latife Hanım’s Archives,” Journal of Women’s History 21 (4): 144–146.

_____. 2009. “Epistemic Relativism, Fallibilism, Open–Mindedness, and Tolerance: A Discussion,” The Nigerian Journal of Philosophy 23 (1&2): 3–17.

_____. 2009. “‘This Child, Whose Bone Age is 14...’ Ethical Dimensions of Skeletal Age Diagnosis,” International Journal of Feminist Approaches to Bioethics 2 (1): 165–173.

_____. 2008. “‘Be a Gay with a Man's Soul, Don't Be Feminine’: Constructing Masculinity in Gay Online Dating Websites,” Feminist Media Studies 8 (2): 218–220.

_____. 2008. “Reconstructing the Transgendered Self as a Muslim, Nationalist, Upper–Class Woman: The Case of Bülent Ersoy,” Women's Studies Quarterly 36 (3&4): 210–229.


Altınay, Rüstem Ertuğ. 2013. “Şule Yüksel Şenler: An Early Style Icon of Urban Islamic Fashion in Turkey.” In Annelies Moors and Emma Tarlo, eds., Islamic Fashion and Anti–Fashion: New Perspectives from Europe and America (New York: Bloomsbury Publishing), 107–122.

_____. 2012. “‘The Terrorists with Highlights’: Kurdish Female Suicide Bombers in Turkish Media.” In Feona Attwood, Vincent P. Campbell, I.Q. Hunter, and Sharon Lockyer, eds., Controversial Images: Media Representations on the Edge (Hampshire, UK: Palgrave Macmillan), 85-98.

Encyclopedia Entries

Altınay, Rüstem Ertuğ. 2012. “Lady Mary Wortley Montagu.” In Coeli Fitzpatrick and Dwayne A. Tunstall, eds., Dictionary of Literary Bibliography, Orientalist Writers (Farmington Hills: Gale), 212-217.

_____. 2011.“Dora the Explorer,” “Headscarf (Islam),” “Oprah Winfrey,” “Turkey,” and “Tyra Banks.” In Mary Zeiss Stange and Carol K. Oyster, eds., SAGE Multimedia Encyclopedia of Women in Today’s World (London, Thousand Oaks, New Delhi: SAGE Publications).

_____. 2010. “Honor Killings.” In Brigitte Bechtold and Donna Cooper Graves, eds. An Encyclopedia of Infanticide (New York: Edwin Mellen Press), 126-127.

_____. 2010. “Jocasta.” In Andrea O'Reilly, ed., Encyclopedia of Motherhood (London, Thousand Oaks, New Delhi: SAGE Publications), 607.

_____. 2009. “José Sarria.” In Jodi O'Brien and Eve Shapiro, eds., Encyclopedia of Gender and Society (London, Thousand Oaks, New Delhi: SAGE Publications), 756-757. 


Altınay, Rüstem Ertuğ. 2013. Melek. (75 min; premiered at Cihangir Sahne, Istanbul, in September 2013; starring Yeşim Koçak, dir. Jale Karabekir; winner of the Ekin Yazın Dostları Theatre Award for Best Actress and Jury Special Award for the director).

Translations (Nonfiction)

Altınay, Rüstem Ertuğ. 2009. Encyclopedias about Muslim Civilizations, ed. Aptin Khanbaghi (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press; co–translation).

_____. 2005. Crossing the Aegean: An Appraisal of the 1923 Compulsory Population Exchange Between Greece and Turkey: Studies in Forced Migration, ed. Renée Hirschon (Istanbul: Bilgi University Press; co–translation).

_____. 2005. Yeniden Kurulan Yaşamlar: 1923 Türk–Yunan Zorunlu Nüfus Mübadelesi [Lives Reconstructed: The Population Exchange of 1923], ed. Müfide Pekin (Istanbul: Bilgi University Press; co–translation).

_____. 2004. A Passion for Justice by Robert C. Solomon (Istanbul: Ayrıntı Press).

_____. 2003. Pip Pip: A Sideways Look at Time by Jay Griffiths (Istanbul: Ayrıntı Press).

Translations (Fiction)

Altınay, Rüstem Ertuğ. 2005. Spies by Michael Frayn (Istanbul: İş Bankası Cultural Publications).

_____. 2004. Epitaph of a Small Winner by Machado de Assis (Istanbul: İş Bankası Cultural Publications; second edition published by Jaguar Kitap in 2013).

Translations (Theater) 

Altınay, Rüstem Ertuğ. 2012. Miss Julie by August Strindberg (Istanbul: Agora Kitaplığı).

Selected Performances

2017. Kadın Erkekleşince [When Woman Becomes Masculine] (Dramaturg), Theater Painted Bird, Istanbul, Turkey

2013. Melek (Playwright), Theater Painted Bird, Istanbul, Turkey

2012. Miss Julie (Dramaturg and translator), Theater Painted Bird, Istanbul, Turkey

2011. Nora Nûre (Project manager), Theater Painted Bird, Istanbul, Turkey

2008. Tahterevallide Aşk [Love on a Seesaw] (Costume designer), Theater Painted Bird, Istanbul, Turkey

2008. Ateşli Fanteziler [Hot Fantasies] (Writer and director), Little Mujahid Projects, Istanbul, Turkey

Major Academic Honors and Grants

2020 Young Scientist Award (BAGEP), Science Academy.

2019. European Research Council Starting Grant.

2019. The Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey EU FP (Horizon 2020), Success Award.

2019. Marie Skłodowska-Curie Individual Fellowship.

2017 SALT Research Center and Library Grant.

2016 Pasold Grant for Research in the History of Textiles.

2015 Koç University, Center for Gender Studies Research Award.

2015 New York University, Dean’s Dissertation Fellowship.

2013 New York University, Department of Performance Studies, Predoctoral Summer Research Fellowship.

2012 Harvard University and University of Cambridge, Joint Center for History and Economics, The History Project Research Grant. 

2012 New York University, Predoctoral Research Fellowship, 

2011 New York University, Mainzer Summer Fellowship, 

2010 New York University, Paulette Goddard Research Grant.

2009 New York University, Corrigan Fellowship for Doctoral Study.

2009 Fulbright Opportunity Scholarship

2007 The Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey Scholarship for Graduate Studies

Residential Fellowships

2018. University of Vienna, Department of Social and Cultural Anthropology, Postdoctoral Research Fellowship.

2018. Austrian Academy of Sciences, Institute of Culture Studies and Theater History, Incoming Fellowship.

2017. Austrian Agency for International Cooperation in Education and Research (OeAD), Ernst Mach Grant.

2016. New York University, The Core Curriculum Program, Postdoctoral Fellowship. 

2015. New York University Washington, D.C., Provost’s Global Research Initiative Fellowship. 

2014. New York University Florence, Italy, Provost’s Global Research Initiative Fellowship. 

2014. Árni Magnússon Institute for Icelandic Studies, Reykjavik, Iceland Snorri Sturluson Fellowship.

2014. Columbia University, Center for the Study of Social Difference, Women Mobilizing Memory Working Group Fellowship.

2013. University of Copenhagen, Denmark, the New Islamic Public Sphere Program, Visiting Research Fellowship.

2013. New York University, Remarque Doctoral Fellowship.

2011. Orient Institute Istanbul, Turkey, Doctoral Research Fellowship. 

2009. Georg Eckert Institute for International Textbook Research, Braunschweig, Germany, Visiting Research Fellowship.

2009. University of Salzburg, Austria, Center for Ethics and Poverty Research, Visiting Research Fellowship.

Artistic Awards

2009. International Ibsen Award for the project Nora Nûre, with Jale Karabekir, Theatre Painted Bird.

Professional Associations

2020 – To date. Young Science Academy [Genç Bilim Akademisi] 

2014 – To date. Modern Language Association

2014-2017. Center for the Study of Social Difference, Columbia University 

2013 – 2016. American Anthropological Association