Evren Savcı is a scholar of transnational queer and feminist critique. Her first book Queer in Translation: Sexual Politics under Neoliberal Islam (2021, Duke University Press) analyzes sexual politics under contemporary Turkey’s AKP regime with an eye to the travel and translation of sexual political vocabulary. She theorizes “neoliberal Islam” as a unique regime that brings together economic and religious moralities that work to deploy marginality onto ever expanding populations instead of concentrating it in the lower echelons of society, and suggest that sexual liberation movements are the most productive places from which to understand neoliberal Islam as well as to imagine resistances to it. This necessitates an understanding of counterhegemonic sexualities that steers away from binaries of traditional/modern, authentic/colonial, global/local and East/West. Translation as a methodology both enables that, as well as opens up ways of understanding the social movements and political discourses that congeal around sexual liberation as complex and fractured.
Savcı’s second book project turns to the political economy of monogamy. In it, she discusses the establishment of monogamy as a central tenet of civilized sexual morality, and attends to the current neoliberal incorporation of its alternatives and the restoration of its distributive logic. Alongside the book project, she is also co-editing an issue of South Atlantic Quarterly with Rana Jaleel (UC Davis) on “Transnational Queer Materialism” (January 2024). Savcı’s work on the intersections of language, knowledge, sexual politics, neoliberalism and religion has appeared in Journal of Marriage and the Family, Ethnography, Sexualities, Political Power and Social Theory, Theory & Event, Journal of Feminist Studies in Religion, GLQ, and New Perspectives on Turkey, and in several edited collections. Savcı received her Ph.D. in Sociology from University of Southern California, and her master’s and bachelor’s degrees in Sociology from University of Virginia. Following her Ph.D., she was a postdoctoral fellow at The Sexualities Project at Northwestern (SPAN).