Intimate Politics, Embodied Power, and Feminism

This area of research includes my broad engagement in feminist geography and with the concepts of intimate politics, discomfort, territory, and borders. We hosted the Feminist Geography Conference at UNC-Chapel Hill in 2017, which led to a book co-edited with Michael Hawkins, Christopher Neubert, and Sara Smith, Feminist Geography Unbound: Discomfort, Bodies, and Prefigured Futures (West Virginia University Press, inaugural series title: Gender, Feminism, and Geography, in press). This book calls for expanding imaginations and reading and traveling more widely and carefully through terrains that have been cast as niche, including Indigenous and decolonial feminisms, Black geographies, and trans geographies. The original essays in this collection center three themes to unbind and enable different feminist futures: discomfort as a site where differences generate both productive and immobilizing frictions; gendered and racialized bodies as sites of political struggle; and the embodied work of building the future.

This agenda also includes using feminist theory to analyze the recent global political turn to the right (emphasizing the role of masculine constructions of power and leadership) and feminist responses to it and thereby, aims to advance both feminist theory and political geography, as well as Middle East Studies.

Related publications:

Christine Schenk, Banu Gökarıksel and Negar E. Behzadi eds. Special Issue: Security, Violence, and Mobility: The Embodied and Everyday Politics of Negotiating Muslim Femininities, Political Geography. (forthcoming)

Pallavi Gupta, Banu Gökarıksel, and Sara Smith, The Politics of Saving Muslim Women: Gendered Geolegality, Security, And Territorialization in India (in press, Political Geography).

Banu Gökarıksel, Christopher Neubert, and Sara Smith, 2019. “Demographic Fever Dreams: Fragile Virility and Population Politics in the Rise of the Global Right,” Signs 44, 3: 561-587.

Banu Gökarıksel, 2017. “Making Gender Dynamics Visible in the 2016 Coup Attempt in Turkey” essay in Special Forum on “Feminist Perspectives on the 2016 Coup Attempt and its Aftermath in Turkey,” Journal of Middle East Women’s Studies, 13, 1: 173-174.

Banu Gökarıksel and Sara Smith, 2017. “Intersectional Feminism Beyond U.S. Flag Hijabs and Pussy Hats in Trump’s America,” Gender, Place, & Culture, 24, 5: 628-644. DOI: 10.1080/0966369X.2017.1343284

Banu Gökarıksel, 2016. “Intimate Politics of Protest: Gendering Embodiments, Redefining Spaces in Istanbul’s Taksim Gezi Park and the Arab Revolutions,” in Frances Hasso and Zakia Salime eds. Freedom without Permission: Bodies and Space in the Arab Revolutions. Duke University Press, 221-258.

Sara Smith, Nathan Swanson, and Banu Gökarıksel eds, 2016. Special Section: Territory, Bodies, and Borders, Area, 48, 3.