Kristen Biehl

Kristen Biehl

DPhil, Social and Cultural Anthropology

Linacre College

Thesis: Diversity, Informality and Space-making in a Migrant Hub of Istanbul (working title)

Research: My doctoral research addresses two core questions: How are urban contexts of intense migration led diversification socially and spatially experienced and practiced? How do changing conceptions and intensifying mixtures of difference relate to particular uses of space and senses of place? The context in which I have examined these questions is a locality of Istanbul known as Kumkapi that is intricately laden with distinct histories of migration, diversity and informality, both historical and recent. During my fieldwork in Kumkapi, I applied a combination of ethnographic methods including spatial mapping, extensive informal discussions, life story interviews and participant observation, focusing in particular on the scales of housing and neighbourhood. In my PhD thesis, I am analysing the intersections between narratives and practices of migration, informality, difference and diversification, and those of space and place. Through this lens my overall goal is to engage with discussions around causes and consequences of key transformations in contemporary urban spatiality and governance.  

Other research interests: Migration, Urban and Diversity studies, with an emphasis on space and place making, housing and home, informality, illegality, governmentality, multiculturalism and cosmopolitanism, Istanbul, Turkey.

Biehl, K. (forthcoming). 'Spatializing diversities, diversifying spaces: housing experiences in a migration hub of Istanbul.' Ethnic and Racial Studies.

Biehl, K. (forthcoming). 'Governing through Uncertainty: Experiences of being a refugee in Turkey as a transit country for asylum'. Social Analysis

Biehl, K. (2015). 'Irregular migrants and Negotiated Urban Space in Istanbul.' In Fatma Muge Gocek (ed.), Contested Spaces in Contemporary Turkey: Politics of the Urban, Secular, Legal and Environmental, London: IB Tauris

Yasin, Y., Biehl K. and Erol M. (2015). 'Infection of the Invisible: Impressions of a Tuberculosis Intervention Program for Migrants in Istanbul.' In Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health.  DOI: 10.1007/s10903-014-0115-7.

Biehl, K. (2013). 'New Diversities in Istanbul: Setting a Research Agenda for Studying Migration and the City'. SSIIM UNESCO Chair Paper Series, Universita IUAV di Venezia. Available online

Icduygu, A. and Biehl, K. (2013). 'The Changing Trajectory of Migration to Turkey'. In M. Balbo, A. Icduygu and J. Perez (Eds.), Countries of Migrants, Cities of Migrants: Italy, Spain, Turkey, Istanbul: Isis Press.

Biehl, K. (2013). 'New Migrations to Istanbul and Emerging Local Practices'. In M. Balbo, A. Icduygu and J. Perez (Eds.), Countries of Migrants, Cities of Migrants: Italy, Spain, Turkey, Istanbul: Isis Press.

Biehl, K. (2008). 'Migration ‘Securitization’ and its Everyday Implications: an examination of Turkish asylum policy and practice', CARIM Summer School 2008 – Best Participant Essays Series 2009/01, Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies, San Domenico di Fiesole (FI).

Icduygu, A. and Biehl, K. (2008). Living Together Program, Migrant Cities Research: Istanbul. British Council, November 2008. 




List of site pages