Oguz Alyanak

Oguz Alyanak

Participant 2013-2014

Oguz Alyanak was born and raised in Bursa, Turkey, and attended middle and high school as a boarding student in Istanbul. He received his B.A. at Clark University in 2006, where he double majored in international relations and international development. He obtained his M.A. degrees in social sciences at the University of Chicago in 2011, and in political sciences at Bogazici University in 2010. He is currently a McDonnell International Scholars Academy scholar at Washington University and is pursuing his doctorate in sociocultural anthropology.  

Throughout Oguz’s academic life, the shift towards anthropology came with an overgrowing interest in personal narratives as well as in the little, mundane things, objects, chit-chats, laughter and cries, that to him seemed central to our everyday existence. Without them, the world lacked meaning. Such was the breaking point in his narrative that took him away from political sciences and dropped him into the everyday anarchy of anthropology that he enjoys immensely.  His dissertation project revolves around everyday lives of immigrants from Turkey and their children (roughly equivalent to first, second and third generations) in Strasbourg, France. He is interested in exploring the notion of community and understanding the (change in) values that bring people together as well as the nostalgia wrapped around them. This brings him to the heart of inquiries central to anthropological research such as kinship, language, and religion: the ways people position themselves within these social institutions and the ways institutions gradually change as a result of everyday interaction and negotiation of values.