BA Middle Eastern Studies SOAS, University of London
2013 - 2016 ︎

Erkan completed their Bachelor of Arts in Middle Eastern Studies at the School of Oriental and African Studies, where they were awarded a First Class Honours. They worked closely with Dr Gerasimos Tsourapas, Dr Reem Abou El-Fadl, Professor Hugh Kennedy and Dr Atef Al-Shaer on modules including Arabic, “Nation and Nationalism in Middle Eastern Fiction”, Islamic History,  and “Governance and Politics in the Middle East”. Erkan was awarded the SOAS Excellence Award upon admission into university for demonstrating outstanding academic potential, culminating in a £3,000 a year stipend paid directly towards their university tuition fees.

MSc Global Migration UCL, University of London
2017 - 2018 ︎

Erkan completed their Masters of Science in Global Migration at University College London, where they were awarded a Distinction. Working closely alongside Dr Elena Fiddian-Qasmiyeh, Dr Richard Mole, and Dr Ben Page of the Human Geography department, taught modules included “Gender, Generation and Forced Migration”, “Postcolonial Cultural Geography”, “Quantitative Methods” and “Military, Gender and Sexuality”. Erkan’s work resulted in the publication of their research on the marginalisation of transgender refugee women from UNHCR’s gender mainstream policies with the online journal Jadaliyya, and their thesis was awarded a Distinction. Erkan was also granted the Mead Travel Fund to support their travel expenses in central Europe to conduct their primary research in Berlin.

Thesis: On Performance, Advocacy and Transnational Solidarity for Queer, Turkish-Speaking Migrants in Berlin.
Supervisor: Dr Richard Mole, Professor of Political Sociology at the School of Slavonic and Eastern European Studies at UCL.

Abstract: As the largest ethnic minority community in Germany, the Turkish-speaking diaspora in Berlin have been the subject of numerous literatures focusing on the intricacies of their marginality. Nonetheless these analyses have established unchallenged assumptions of hetero-patriarchal identity as the significant existential point of focus within their intellectual practice. Rather, this paper uses a mixed-method approach of participant observation and semi-structured interviews to uncover how performative spaces in the city maintain queer, Turkish-speaking identity vis-à-vis the larger Turkish-speaking and German population; how advocacy organisations politically represent this cross-generational queer community to mainstream socio-political infrastructures in the country; and how the queer community creates and maintains transnational networks of solidarity between Berlin and the local activist communities extant in cities such as Istanbul, Ankara and Mersin in Turkey.

Available on request. 


2019 - 2020 ︎

04.19 Living on the Margins 2019 presents: Panel One – Queer Marginality (9.30 – 11.15; The Boardroom) with Erkan Gursel: ‘Berlin’deyim aşkim’; on performativity, advocacy and transnational solidarity amongst queer, Turkish speaking migrants in Berlin’. University of Westminster.

  ‘A Witness To Her Times’: Coalition Politics and Queer Liberty – Sarah Schulman reviews the roots of AIDS activism in Feminism, Civil Rights, and Black Power, presenting ideas from her current work-in-progress Let The Record Show: A Political History of Act Up. New York (2020). Presented by co-curators, Erkan Affan and Olimpia Burchiellaro. SOAS, University of London

European Geographies of Sexualities Conference 2019 presents: Parallel Sessions 07: XVI Queering Transnationalism (10.30 – 12.10; Charles University, Prague) with Erkan Gursel: ‘Berlin’deyim aşkim’; on performativity, advocacy and transnational solidarity amongst queer, Turkish speaking migrants in Berlin’. Charles University, Prague

IX Congreso de Migraciones 2019presenta: Sesión E4.1: Migraciones y sexualidades no hegemónicas (9.00 – 10.30; Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona) con Erkan Gursel: ‘Berlin’deyim aşkim’; on performativity, advocacy and transnational solidarity amongst queer, Turkish speaking migrants in Berlin’. Autonomous University of Barcelona

Multidisciplinary approaches to contemporary issues in Religion and Society (16.30-18.00; University of Westminster) with Erkan Gursel: ‘On Being Queer and Muslim’. University of Wesminster

IQMF: On Being Queer and Turkish* - an evening of two performances and a talk that link the mediums of photography, performance and academia together to centre queer, Turkish* identity and experience. LAB 111, Amsterdam


2018 ︎

2018 - Editorial Assisstant - “Routledge Handbook of South-South Relations”. Edited by Elena Fiddian-Qasmiyeh & Patricia Daley for Taylor & Francis. More information here, and book can be purchased here.

2019 - Writer & Researcher -
“The Marginalisation of Transgender Refugee Women from UNHCR’s Policies of Gender Mainstreaming”. Written by Erkan Affan for Jadaliyya. More information and full report here.