V. Firat Bozcali

Assistant Professor
HSC 394


Fields of Study

Areas of Interest

Research Keywords
Anthropology of Law, Anthropology of State and Politics, Political Economy, Science and Technology Studies, Borders and Transnational Flows, Legal Evidence and Evidentiary Regimes, Documents and Paperwork, and Infrastructure

Research Regions
Turkey, Iraq, Middle East


My research interests lie at the intersection of political and legal anthropology, political economy, transnational flows, and science and technology studies, with a focus on the modern Middle East. I am currently working on a book project. Based on 20 months of ethnographic fieldwork in Van, a predominantly Kurdish-populated province on the Turkish-Iranian border, the book examines how Kurdish smugglers and their lawyers negotiate and rework the official borders of commodity markets through techno-legal practices that range from official paperwork to expert witness processes. Combining a focus on materiality, the dynamics of national and global capitalism, and local regimes of political and moral values, my work shows how techno-legal processes enable unexpected political agencies and subjectivities to unfold.

Major Awards and Grants

2016 Mellon Foundation Dissertation Fellowship, Stanford Humanities Center

2013 Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research, Dissertational Research Grant

2012 National Science Foundation Doctoral Dissertation Improvement Grant in Cultural Anthropology and Law & Social Studies.


2014, “Hukuki-Maddi bir kategori olarak sınır: Türkiye-Iran sınırında kaçakçılık, mahkeme süreçleri ve sınırın ‘resmi’ temsilleri [Border as a legal-material category: Smuggling in the Turkish-Iranian Border, legal processes, and ‘official’ figures of borders]” Toplum ve Bilim, Vol. 131: 135-162.

(co-authored with Sandrine Bertaux) 2013, “Curbing Marriages of Convenience? Female Labor Migrants, Patriarchal Domination, and the 2003 Biopolitical Securitization of Turkish Citizenship” In X. Guillaume & J. Huysmans (Eds.) Citizenship and Security: The Constitution of Political Being, Abingdon, UK and New York: Routledge.

2011, “The Illegal Oil Trade Along Turkey’s Borders,” Middle East Report, Number 261, Vol. 41 No. 4: 24-29.

Graduate Students