Zeynep Devrim Gürsel

Z Gursel portrait 2 2019(PhD in Anthropology with a Designated Emphasis in Film Studies from the University of California, Berkeley, 2007, Associate Professor, SAS) Media anthropology, visual anthropology, photography, ethnographic and documentary film, historical anthropology, cultures of knowledge production especially news and journalism, anthropology of the imagination, politics in everyday life, migration and the construction of citizenship.  Turkish and Ottoman Studies, American Studies, migration studies. z.gursel@rutgers.edu (848) 932-8757

Gursel portrait 2 2019 largerZeynep Devrim Gürsel is a media anthropologist whose scholarship involves both the analysis and production of images.  She is the author of Image Brokers: Visualizing World News in the Age of Digital Circulation (University of California Press, 2016), an ethnography of the international photojournalism industry during its digitalization at the beginning of the 21st century, based on fieldwork conducted in the United States, France and Turkey.  She is also the director of Coffee Futures, an award-winning ethnographic film that explores contemporary Turkish politics through the prism of the everyday practice of coffee fortune-telling. (www.coffeefuturesfilm.com) Recently she has been researching photography as a tool of governmentality in the late Ottoman period.  Specifically she is investigating photography during the reign of Sultan Abdülhamid (1876-1909) from medical imagery to prison portraiture to understand  emerging forms of the state and the changing contours of Ottoman subjects. During 2018-2019 she is a NOMIS Fellow at eikones Center for the Theory and History of the Image in Basel, Switzerland.  While there she will be working on Portraits of Unbelonging, the first in-depth exploration of the official role of photography in the history of Armenian emigration to the United States.

She has published in Cultural Anthropology, American Ethnologist,Visual Anthropology, Grey Room, Anthropology Nowand Jadaliyyaand has contributed chapters to volumes on global news and journalism, contemporary public spheres, photography and memory, and visual cultures of nongovernmental activism.


“A Picture of Health: The Search for a Genre to Visualize Care in Late Ottoman Istanbul” Grey Room 72: 36-67. 2018

“Visualizing Publics: Crowdshots in the Age of Digital Circulation,” Special issue on New Media, New Publics, eds. Charles Hirschkind, Maria de Abreu, and Carlo Caduff, Current Anthropology 58, no. S15 (February 2017): 135-148.

“Framing Zarqawi: Afterimages, Headshots and Body Politics in a Digital Age.,” in Double Exposure: Memory and Photography, Olga Shevchenko, ed. Transaction Publishers. Pp. 65-89. 2014

“The Politics of Wire Service Photography: Infrastructures of Representation in a Digital Newsroom” American Ethnologist 39 (1) 71-89. 2012

BA: magna cum laude, Yale University 1995

MA: University of California, Berkeley 2001

PhD: University of California, Berkeley 2007