Helin Burkay

Membership:  2017-2018

Member Bio

Helin received her PhD in sociology from Carleton University in 2016. She works on history and politics of development, environment, and state building with a particular focus on border settlements and military landscapes in the Middle East and Mediterranean. Her work is also situated in social theory and critical methodological inquiry, and tackles ethics and politics of “experimentation” as a research tool in social and policy research. She pays particular attention to the challenges that global environmental, technological, and political puzzles pose to conventional research methodologies, social theory, and policy design.
Currently, she is working on the role of environmental narratives and negotiation of cultural heritage in border islands. She focuses particularly on the histories and memories of displacement, mobility, and settlement, as well as the legacy of militarization and land politics in shaping the narratives of insularity and cultural heritage from a comparative perspective.
Before coming to RCC, she taught in the sociology department at Carleton University and worked as a researcher in equity and inclusion policy design for the Government of Canada.


  • “Representing the Greek Past in the Turkish Present: Food Labeling and Tensions of Tradition in Gökçeada.” In A Companion to Public History, edited by David Dean. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley-Blackwell, forthcoming March 2018.
  • “What’s in a Last Name?” In Gender Relations in Canada: Intersectionality and Beyond, edited by Janet Siltanen and Andrea Doucet. 2nd edition. Don Mills: Oxford University Press, 2017.
  • “Last Sentences: Narrative Analysis of the Letters of the Political Prisoners in the 1980s” (Son Hükümler: 1980’lerde Hapishanelerden Yazılan Son Mektupların Anlatı Çözümlemesi Denemesi). Kebikeç 40 (2015): 231–46.
  • Social Policy of Urban Space in Turkey: Low Income Housing Policies from 1980s to 2000s. Saarbrucken: Lambert Academic Publishing, 2010.