Dr Emrah Karakus

Dr Emrah Karakus

LSE Fellow in Gender and Human Rights

Department of Gender Studies

English, Kurdish, Turkish
Key Expertise
Gender, Political Violence, Affective Politics, Kurds, Middle East

About me

Emrah Karakuş is an LSE fellow in Gender and Human rights and his interdisciplinary research lies at the intersection of cultural anthropology, critical security studies, and gender and sexuality studies, with a focus on the modern Middle East. His work on affective politics, queer intimacy and migration, and political violence, explore new forms of politics and power forged by intimate negotiations around the value of life, labor, and desire, contributing to contemporary debates in queer of color critique, postcolonial scholarship, and transnational feminism. He is currently working on his book project, Queer Debt: Affective Politics of Security and Intimacy in Kurdish Turkey, which draws on 18 months of Wenner-Gren Foundation-funded fieldwork, exploring how the Kurdish notions of debt (bedel), right, and repayment are taken up, adapted, and deployed by queer and trans Kurds as they stake claims to a livelihood.

Karakuş’s recent article “Cruising the Soundscapes of Kurdish Turkey” appeared in Kurdish Studies, documenting the life, performances, and sung narratives of a young queer dengbêj (Kurdish bard) to explore how he constitutes and conveys his gendered and national identities within both the queer community and the broader Kurdish society. Another article, “Chameleons of Kurdish Turkey,” in Anthropology Today examines how queer and trans Kurds develop a “chameleon subjectivity” in their quest to navigate and disorient racial surveillance.

Before joining LSE Gender Studies, Karakuş was a postdoctoral fellow at the Crown Center for Middle East Studies at Brandeis University. He earned his Ph.D. in sociocultural anthropology from the University of Arizona, with minors in Gender and Women’s Studies and Geography. As a Jean Monnet Scholar, he completed his MSc in Security Studies at University College London after obtaining his BA in International Relations from Istanbul Kültür University. Additionally, Karakuş was an Erasmus exchange student at Malmö University, where he pursued studies in Peace and Conflict Studies and International Migration.


Expertise Details

Gender; Political Violence; Affective Politics; Kurds; Middle East