Dr. Onur Suzan Nobrega

Wissenschaftliche Mitarbeiterin


Goethe-Universität Frankfurt am Main
Fachbereich Gesellschaftswissenschaften
Institut für Soziologie

Theodor-W.-Adorno-Platz 6
60323 Frankfurt am Main

Raum: PEG 3 G 032
Tel: +49 (0)69 798-36586
E-Mail: o.nobrega@em.uni-frankfurt.de


Dienstag 10.00 - 11.00 Uhr (nach Vereinbarung).

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Current position
Since September 2016: Lecturer at the Institute of Sociology, Focus on Culture and Migration, Goethe University Frankfurt, Germany

Previous academic positions
2013-2014: Lecturer in Media and Communications, Department of Media and Communications, Izmir University of Economics, Turkey. BA seminars: Introduction to Film Studies, Contemporary World Cinema, Turkish Cinema, Introduction to Visual Theory

2009-2012: Associate Lecturer in Media and Communications, Department of Media and Communications, Goldsmiths College, University of London, UK. BA seminar: Intellectual Foundations of Social Theory

2008-2011: Researcher at the University of the Arts, London, UK. Research projects: The UK Designer and Manufacturer Fashion Economy, Successful Designer Fashion Business Models, Scoping University of the Arts London’s International Relationships

Academic qualifications
Ph.D awarded 31/01/2016, Department of Media and Communications, Goldsmiths College, University of London. Title of the Ph.D thesis: “Postmigrant Theatre and Cultural Diversity in the Arts: Race, Precarity and Artistic Labour in Berlin”

MA awarded “with distinction” 01/11/2007, Department of Media and Communications, Goldsmiths, University of London

The Bucerius Ph.D. Scholarship in Migration Studies “Settling into Motion”, ZEIT-Stiftung, Hamburg, Germany 

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British Cultural Studies and Cultural Sociology
Critical Migration and Race Studies
Postcolonial and Decolonial Theory and Methodology
Feminist Theory
Cultural Policy, Urban Sociology and Gentrification
Media, Film and Theatre Studies, Focus: Migration, Race and Ethnicity
Visual Culture and Theory
Turkish German Studies
African and Black Studies
Qualitative Methods, Focus: Ethnography

Postdoctoral research project: From the Ottoman Empire in Africa to Contemporary Turkish-African relations: A Sociological Analysis of Racial Formation in the Muslim World
Critically, the project seeks to understand the specific histories, religiousities and lived experiences that have and continue to inform and produce distinct forms of racialization (racial formation) of Turks as “white” and Africans as “black”, through the processes of their mutual encounters. By highlighting the longstanding interactions between these two regions, the project also works to de-center Western conceptual frames as the conduits through which knowledge about racialization is produced.

It investigates how racism shapes social encounters and mobility for East African and Turkish Muslims by examining the historical construction of “race” in the Ottoman slave system, the representation and accounts of Black slaves in the Ottoman Empire (such as kuls, eunuchs, harem women and agricultural and domestic workers), master-slave relationships, and Ottoman colonialism in Africa. Although most of the literature sources used in this project are written by scholars who are based in Western universities (which shall also be discussed in more detail in the book), this project aims to produce a conceptual framework, that is not relying on appropriating Western notions of race and racism that emerged vis-à-vis Western, Christian, transatlantic, colonial and postcolonial history, but describes and analyses race relations in Muslim societies and its encounters with the West within the framework of transnational migration history and sociology.

This research project challenges the narrative of an exclusively Western theoretical framework in the sociology of race in which the transatlantic nexus and the analysis of Western imperialism has dominated our understanding of the ways in which racial formation has been taking place historically, and the continuities of historical legacies in the construction of “race” in today’s societies. By doing so, it looks at important dimensions in global history with a particular focus on Muslim cultures as well as transnational migration movements. Thus, the project also contributes to discussions about migration and postcolonial societies in the West. This is particularly the case in Germany with a large population of Turkish and African descent, where academic and public debates about diversity and integration, German colonialism in Africa, German-Turkish relations and the 2016 refugee deal between the European Union and Turkey are of great significance for German society.

Ph.D research project (2007-2014):  Postmigrant Theatre and Cultural Diversity in the Arts: Race, Precarity and Artistic Labour in Berlin
The study analyses the ways in which artistic labour is racialised and made precarious. It examines the working and living conditions of Turkish German artists throughout the institutionalisation of postmigrant theatre and the implementation of cultural diversity in the arts policies in Berlin’s cultural landscape. It illuminates the dynamics that unfold with regards to cultural diversity in the arts and the labour involved in its practices. The main argument of the thesis is, that the emergence and development of postmigrant theatre needs to be understood as the successful establishment and institutionalisation of new aesthetic, narrative and political tools, which, on the one hand, signal the arrival of Turkish German and other artists of colour and of the language of cultural diversity in the field of the arts in the midst of a new globalised urban cosmopolitanism. On the other hand, however, this thesis also accounts for the still limited access of Turkish German and other artists of colour to institutions of high culture, for their precarious and racialised labour conditions and the lack of material resources available for the diversity work that the artists of the postmigrant theatre movement do. As a critical ethnography, this study maps out the field of opportunities and the restrictions that Turkish German artists working in postmigrant theatre experience in their everyday lives and in negotiating their position in institutional life. This includes their experience in arts school education, the artistic labour market, the sphere of cultural policy, existing funding structures and public discourses about migration, gentrification, cultural diversity and the arts in Germany. The study shows how postmigrant theatre artists’ representational practices produce new postmigrant ethnicities, and challenge narrow conceptions of ethnicity, German culture, national identity as well as power relations in Germany’s theatre landscape. Postmigrant theatre artists perform acts of memory by reaffirming intergenerationally transmitted cultural memories and lived experiences of migration. These become political through acts of remembrance that counteract the long neglect of Turkish German hi/stories. Ultimately, the artists of the postmigrant theatre movement determine the meaning of “diversity in the arts” by working collaboratively to establish sustainable funding and employment structures, networks of solidarity and by giving voice to an increasingly well-organised movement of artists who critique the racialised division of labour in the state-subsisided theatre and cultural landscape.

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Publikationen und Tagungsbeiträge


(2015) “Race, Precarity and Artistic Labour in Berlin”, in: Prekäre Kunst: Protest & Widerstand, alpha nova, Berlin, 30-33.

(2015) “Post-Göçmen Tiyatro ve Kent Hakkı: Berlin’de Irksallaştırmış Sanatçılar, Soylulaştırma ve Güvencesizleştirme” (in English: “Postmigrant Theatre and the Right to the City: Racialised Artists, Gentrification and Precarisation in Berlin”, in: Körükmez, Lülüfer and Ilkay Südaş (eds.) Göçler Ülkesi Çalışmaları, 229-261.

(2013) “Alienation in Higher Education: Lived Experiences of Racial and Class Based Inequality in Film and Drama School”, in: The Living Archive: Cultural Productions and Spaces, Heinrich Böll Stiftung, Berlin, Germany. Link: http://www.migration-boell.de/web/integration/47_3554.asp.

(2012) “Radius of Art: Reflections on the Geometry of Global Symbolic Power”, Heinrich Böll Stiftung, Berlin, Germany. Link: http://www.goethe.de/ges/prj/ken/pup/en9119515.htm.

(2012) “We bark from the third row: Berlin’s cultural landscape and the funding of cultural diversity work”, in: Jahrbuch Türkisch-deutsche Studien, Band 2, 2011, 91-112.

(2011) „Das ‘K-Wort’ im Kontext des Europäischen Kolonialismus und der deutschen Nachkriegsmigrationsgeschichte”, in: Arndt, S. and N. Ofuatey-Alazard (eds.) Gefärbtes Wissen. Kolonialismus, Rassismus und Weißsein im Wissensarchiv der deutschen Sprache, Unrast-Verlag, 638-643.

(2010) „Rassifizierte kreative Arbeit im kognitiven Kapitalismus”, in: kulturrisse – Zeitschrift für radikaldemokratische Kulturpolitik, Volume 1, March 2010, IG Kultur Österreich, 16-19.

(2009) “Politics of Voice and Location”, in: Re/Positionierung: Critical Whiteness/Perspectives of Color, NGBK Berlin, 154-159.

(2008) “Artists, Race and Precarity”, in: freitext: Kultur- und Gesellschaftsmagazin, Volume 11, October 2008, 27-33.


(2016) "The Ottoman Scramble for Africa and Contemporary Turkish - East African Relations: A Postcolonial Critique"
Presentation, workshop: Inhabiting the Corridor: On Surging Resource Economies and Urban Life in East Africa, Max Planck Institute for the Study of Religious and Ethnic Diversity, Department of Socio-Cultural Diversity, Göttingen, 27. – 29. Oktober 2016.

(2016) „Wissenstransfer zwischen Kunst und Wissenschaft”
Keynote lecture, panel: 10 Jahre Postmigrantisches Theater, Ballhaus Naunynstrasse, Berlin, 17.10.2016.

(2016) „Narrative des postmigrantischen Theaters”
Keynote lecture, panel serie: 10 Jahre Postmigrantisches Theater, Ballhaus Naunynstrasse, Berlin, 24.05.2016.

(2015) „Wie geht es weiter?”
Presentation, panel: Über Un/sichtbarkeiten im Theater und die Zukunft des postmigrantischen Theaters, Ballhaus Naunynstrasse, Berlin, 12.10.2015.

(2015) „Einwanderungsland als Aufgabe der Kultur”
Lecture, panel, conference: Performing Arts Programm Berlin, 09.10.2015.

(2015) "Race, Precarity and Artistic Labour in Berlin"
Keynote lecture, symposium: Prekäre Kunst und Widerstand, Alpha Nova Gallery, Berlin, 26. - 27.09.2015.

(2015) „Kulturelle Vielfalt in der Einwanderungsgesellschaft als Motor für Transformation”
Lecture, panel, conference: 7. Bundeskongress der Kulturpolitischen Gesellschaft, Berlin, 17. - 19.06. 2015.

(2015) „Akteure des Wandels jenseits der Politik: Initiativen aus der Zivilgesellschaft”
Paneldiscussion, conference: 7. Bundeskongress der Kulturpolitischen Gesellschaft, Berlin, 01.-19.05.2015.

(2014) "Contending Modernities, Postmodernism, Secularism and Islam"
Lecture, symposium: Acts of Imagination: Muslim Institute Winter Gathering, Sarum College, Salisbury, England, 05. - 07. 12.2014.

(2014) "Black Skin – White Gaze: Lived Experiences of Racism in Turkey"
Lecture, conference: Faşizm, Irkcılık ve Kitle Psikolojisi, Toplumcu Psikologlar, Izmir. University of Economics, Izmir Sanat, Izmir, Türkei, 09.05.2014. 

(2014) "Migration, Gentrification and Postmigrant Theatre"
Lecture, conference: Settling Into Motion, ZEIT-Stiftung, Berlin, 09. - 13.04. 2014.

(2013) "From Another Place: From James Baldwin’s Turkish Period to Black Turkish History and Politics in Contemporary Turkey"
Lecture, conference: Dislocating Europe: Travels and Theories in Times of Recolonization: Re-Engaging with Cabral, Césaire and Du Bois, Faculdade De Letras Da Universidade de Lisboa, Portugal, 10. - 11.10.2013.

(2013) „Zwanzig Olivenbäume und ein Haus”
Hauptorganisatorin der zweitägigen Konferenz gemeinsam mit dem Department of Sociology, Ege University Izmir, dem Afro-Türkischer Verein Izmir und dem Ballhaus Naunynstrasse im Rahmen des Festivals „Black Lux“ und Vortrag zu “James Baldwin’s Years in Istanbul“ und “Afro-Turkish Popular Music in Turkey”, Ballhaus Naunynstrasse, Berlin, 07. - 08.09.2013.

(2013) "Göç, Soylulaştırma ve Sanatcıların Etkinlikleri" (Migration, Gentrifizierung und die Rolle von Künstler*innen)
Lecture, symposium: Lisansüstü Göç Araştırmaları Sempozyumu, Ege University, Izmir, Turkey, 18. – 19. 04.2013.

(2013) "Situating Postmigrant Theatre: Contemporary Aesthetics, Politics and Subjectivities” and “Postmigrant Theatre Professionals and Artists"
Lecture, conference: Postmigrant Perspectives on European Theatre, Goethe-Institut London, England, 20. – 22. 03.2013.

(2012) "Cultural Translation in the Arts"
Gesprächs- und Workshopleiterin, Symposium: where we meet, Institut für Auslandsbeziehungen, Berlin, 04. – 06.06.2012.

(2012) "Migration, Institutional Racism and the German Education System"
Lecture, symposium: Glendon International Studies Symposium. Germany Symposium 2012: Prospects and Challenges for Contemporary Germany, Glendon College, University of York, Toronto, Kanada, 31.03.2012.

(2012) “Reflections on Cultural Policy Strategies and Funding Structures”
Teilnehmerin und Berichterstatterin, Konferenz: Radius of Art – Kreative Politisierung des öffentlichen Raums/Kulturelle Potentiale für soziale Transformation, Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung, Berlin, 08. - 09.02.2012.

(2011) "We bark from the third row: The Ballhaus Naunynstrasse in the context of Berlin’s cultural landscape and the funding of cultural diversity work"
Lecture, symposium: International Symposium: European Union, Central Asia, Turkey, Middle East and Africa, Bosphorus Research Centre, SOAS, University of London, England, 06.12.2011.

(2011) "Discussing the Concept of Açılım"
Workshop Leitung und Vortrag, Workshop: Turkish German Future Workshop – Exploring the Turkish German Nexus, In/Outside the Debate: Voices from Academia in the Turkish-German Nexus, Goethe-Institut, Burg (Brandenburg), 03. – 06.11.2011.

(2010) "Negotiating Cultural Diversity in the Arts: The Ballhaus Naunynstrasse in Berlin in the Context of German Cultural Policies"
Lecture, conference: Post-Secular Society as a Transatlantic Model? Migration, Religion and Class in Comparative Perspective, University of Toronto in Berlin und Berlin Graduate School of Social Sciences, ZEIT- Stiftung and Heinrich Böll Stiftung. Berlin, 24. – 25.06.2010.

(2010) "Migration and Diversity – Challenges for Cultural Institutions"
Lecture, conference: Settling Into Motion, ZEIT-Stiftung Hamburg, Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin, 30.04.2010.

(2009) "Culural Diversity in the Arts Policies and Turkish German Artists’ Working Conditions in Berlin’s Cultural Industries"
Lecture, conference: Beyond Boundaries: Media, Culture and Identity in Europe, Bahceşehir University, Istanbul, 02. – 03.10.2009.

(2009) "Cultural Diversity in the Arts Policies and Turkish German Artists’ Working Conditions in Berlin’s Cultural Industries"
Lecture, conference: Cultural Policy and Creative Labour in an Urban Frame, Simmel Zentrum für Metropolenforschung, Humboldt University Berlin, 03.07.2009.

(2009) „Cultural Diversity and the Creative City: Lebensbedingungen von Artists of Colour in Berlins Kulturindustrie"
Presentation, lecture: Re/positionierung, Neue Gesellschaft für Bildende Kunst, Berlin, 20.03.2009.

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