Dr Funda Ustek-Spilda

Dr Funda Ustek-Spilda

Research Officer, Values and Ethics in Innovation for Responsible Technology in Europe (Virt-EU)

Department of Media and Communications

About me

Dr Funda Ustek-Spilda is a Research Officer in the Department of Media and Communications at LSE, for the Virt-EU Project, “Values and Ethics in Innovation for Responsible Technology in Europe. She researches data visibilities and invisibilities from an ethical perspective by looking at the newly emerging relationships between people and artifacts through Internet of Things (IoT). She is especially interested in understanding how innovators, developers, hackers and/or policy makers in the IoT space enact ethics as they design, implement and develop new products and update or generate new ethical frameworks for their governance.

Before joining LSE, Dr Ustek-Spilda worked as a post-doctoral researcher at the ERC Project, ARITHMUS: How data make a people, at Goldsmiths, University of London. Her research expanded over a wide range of topics at ARITHMUS, including citizen science, data invisibilities and visibilities in migration and refugee statistics, and categorisation and classification frameworks in European census systems.

She holds a D.Phil from University of Oxford & St. Cross College in Sociology, and she is currently working on a book project based on her thesis, which will be concerned with the invisible women workers in informal employment in labour statistics in Turkey, and their survival strategies. This work tries to provide a situated understanding of women workers’ subjectivities in the labour market; and the norms, discourses and practices that govern their work.

She has also conducted research on popular media programmes (esp. drama series) and their representation of gender, class and religion; issues of freedom of speech and academic freedom; and populism in mainstream media in Turkey.

Expertise Details

citizen science; ethics and values in technology design; transparency; privacy and accountability; tech culture; gender

Selected Publications

  • Ustek, F. (2017) Deserving Refugee or Undeserving Migrant? The Politics of the Refugee Category in Turkey. In O. Unutulmaz, D. Eroglu & I. Sirkeci (eds) Syrian Communities in Turkey: Today and Tomorrow. London: Transnational Press. (See here). 
  • Ustek, F. and Oguz, A. (2017) The ‘Unique’ Blend: Reframing Womanhood through Turkish drama series. In C.B. Brettell and C.F. Sargent (eds) Gender in Cross-Cultural Perspective. Abingdon: Routledge. (See here).
  • Ustek, F. and Oguz, A (2016) The Case of Children born outside of wedlock in Turkey. AG About Gender, 5:10, 261- 281. (See here).
  • Ruppert, E. and Ustek, F. (2015) Body counts: Counting Aylan Kurdi. In F. Vis, S. Faulkner, F. D’Orazio and L. Proitz (eds), Visual Social Media Lab Report, published online, 68-71. (See here)
  • Ustek, F. (2015) What is work? On the invisibility of women’s paid work in the informal sector. InterDisciplines, Journal of History and Sociology, 6:1, 29-58. (See here).