Young Scholars: Passing the Whiteness Threshold; That’s All That Matters


Yunus Emre Institute in London is delighted to announce the upcoming Young Scholar Seminar Series talk on “Passing the Whiteness Threshold; That’s All That Matters. Experiences of Turkish Academics in the UK” on Tuesday 15th of February 2022 at 19:00 pm (UK Time) with Tugay Durak.



Passing the Whiteness Threshold; That’s All That Matters. Experiences of Turkish Academics in the UK

While numerous studies underline the positive outcomes of an overseas experience for international academics, the other, darker side of the coin remains largely overlooked. Approaching the matter critically, scholars have begun to draw attention to the intrinsic meaning of mobility associated with the loss of stability, de-territorialization, and loss of fixed national identification. This is paired with widespread job instability as well as overt and covert forms of racism, xenophobia, and exclusion against mostly ethnic-minority migrant academics. However, there are several interacting factors, such as gender, ethnicity, and religiosity, that influence an academic’s experiences overseas.

In this talk, Tugay Durak will discuss the experiences of Turkish academic staff while working at UK universities and how intersecting characteristics such as ethnicity, gender, and religiosity affect their overseas experiences. In this talk, Tugay Durak will report the Turkish academics who have the most positive experience in the UK are the ones who pass the ‘whiteness threshold’ based on forty-six interviews with Turkish academic staff working at UK universities. Those who cannot pass the threshold face discrimination, discomfort, and isolation.

Date: Tuesday 15th February 2022

Time: 7 pm

Venue: Yunus Emre Institute in London, 10 Maple Street, London, W1T 5HA

Admission is FREE but registration*** is ESSENTIAL via Eventbrite.

About the speaker:

Tugay Durak is a PhD candidate and postgraduate teaching assistant at IOE, UCL’s Faculty of Education and Society, and he focuses on the Turkish academic diaspora in the UK. Last year, he worked at a British Council project aiming to promote higher education partnerships between Turkey and the UK. In 2019, he completed his master’s degree at the same institution about international scholarships for academic mobility. Before his postgraduate studies, Mr Durak had taught Mathematics in Istanbul for four years at the secondary level. He took his bachelor’s degree from Boğaziçi University in Istanbul, Turkey.


About the ‘Young Scholar Seminar’ series:

Established in 2017, the Young Scholar Seminar Series is a platform giving postgraduate students the opportunity to present their research to the wider public and encourage the exchange of knowledge. In particular, the series have been designed to promote the academic achievements of young academics, increase their visibility, and facilitate networking opportunities. Yunus Emre Institute in London invites young academics from all disciplines with research into global or Turkey-related topics to present their findings and become part of the institute’s growing young academic network.