Skip to content
Cuneyt Cakirlar

Cuneyt Cakirlar

Associate Professor

School of Arts & Humanities

Staff Group(s)
English, Culture and Media


Dr Cüneyt Çakırlar is Associate Professor in Film and Visual Culture. He teaches on a variety of modules in film and media studies.

  • Sound and Screen Media: Culture and Practice
  • Reading the Screen
  • Researching Media and Culture
  • International Cinemas I and II
  • Theorising Media and Culture; Theorising the Screen
  • Identity and Difference
  • Understanding Globalisation

He is also contributing to the MA Media and Globalization provision (NTU and ICUC – Beijing/China joint degrees).

Career overview

Dr Çakirlar joined the Media and Cultural Studies team NTU in 2012. He holds BS in Chemical Engineering (Bogaziçi University, Turkey), MA in Cultural Studies (Istanbul Bilgi University, Turkey) and PhD in Gender Studies (University College London, UK).

Before his current position at NTU, Dr Çakirlar has taught at University College London (UK), Bogaziçi University (Turkey), Koç University (Turkey) and Istanbul Bilgi University (Turkey). He has designed and convened modules on (i) Queer Aesthetics and Contemporary Film; (ii) Film, Ethics, Erotics; (iii) Film, Genre, Gender; (iv) Cinema and Nation, and (v) Research Methodologies in Gender Studies.

Research areas

Dr Çakirlar is member and co-director of the Centre for Inequality, Culture and Difference.

Areas of his research interests include:

  • Queer Studies, Transnational Sexuality Studies
  • Film Theory, Film Aesthetics, World Cinemas
  • Visual Cultures, Contemporary Visual Arts
  • Culture and Globalization

Dr Çakirlar is currently working on a series of collaborative projects that focus on issues of scale and regionality in film, documentary and contemporary arts. These projects cover a wide selection of films, documentaries, and art practices, and focus on issues of cross-cultural translation in international industries/sectors of film and contemporary visual arts.

He published a co-edited book, Cinsellik Muammasi (2012), which is the first extensive collection of studies on cultures of sexual dissidence in contemporary Turkey (in Turkish). He co-authored (with Serkan Delice (UAL) and Prof Wendy Shaw (Frei Uni, Berlin)) the exhibition catalogue of the artist Taner Ceylan, Lost Painting Series published by Damiani Press and Paul Kasmin Gallery. Çakırlar has authored essays for exhibition catalogues of various artists including Erinç Seymen (Zilberman Gallery), Jake & Dinos Chapman (ARTER), and Soufiane Ababri (The PILL). Çakırlar also co-translated Judith Butler’s Bodies That Matter (1993) into Turkish (2014).

Dr Çakirlar currently works on ‘representations of monogamy/promiscuity in LGBTQ film’, ‘Bersani-Dutoit collaboration’, 'youth/coming-of-age film', and 'queer art in contemporary Eurasia'. The special issue Çakirlar edited on the symposium he co-organised (Queer/ing Regions) is published in the journal Gender, Place and Culture.

Dr Çakirlar welcomes new research students in the following areas:

  • Gender and sexuality studies
  • Contemporary visual arts
  • Cultures of sexual dissidence
  • Global film cultures; world cinemas; documentary film/arts
  • Star/Celebrity studies

He has previously supervised theses in the following areas:

  • Digital queer cultures
  • Histories of representing same-sex intimacy in arts
  • Body/performance art
  • Cultures of hard-core pornography
  • Contemporary world cinemas

PhD Supervision (Current):

Brailsford, Kallina. Visual Literacy in a Culture of Immediate Photography: the Impact of Participatory Visual Methodologies on Engagement with NEETs. PhD. Nottingham Trent University [M4C Scholarship, supervised with Prof Duncan Higgins (NTU) and Dr Anthony Luvera (Coventry)], 2017-present.

Bulut, Ece. Queering the Child in Indie Film. PhD. Nottingham Trent University [VC PhD Scholarship, supervised with Prof Martin O’Shaughnessy (NTU) and Dr Francesca Hardy (NTU)], 2020-present.

Derouineau, Marion. Fashioning Digital Models: Posing and Contextualising the Body in Contemporary Niche Fashion Magazines. PhD. Nottingham Trent University [VC PhD Scholarship, supervised with Assoc. Prof. Marco Bohr (NTU)], 2021-present.

Ditch, Zack. Locating Regional Cultures of Drag in Medium-Sized English Cities: An Ethnographic Case Study of Nottingham’s Drag Scene. PhD. Nottingham Trent University [M3C Scholarship, supervised with Dr Stephanie Genz (NTU) and Dr Ellen Wright (DMU)], 2020-present.

Busse, Emre. Role, Class, and ‘Race’ Play in Gay ‘Ethnic’ Pornography: German-Turkish Porn Movies Produced in Turkey (1995-2005). PhD. Freie Universitaet [Hans Böckler Stiftung Scholarship, supervised with Professor Wendy Shaw (Freie Universitaet, Berlin)], 2019-present.

Jovcic-Sas, Alexander. Locating Grunow and Oram in the Bauhaus Centenary: parallel canonisation as curatorial practice. PhD. Nottingham Trent University [M3C DTP, supervised with Sam Thorne from Nottingham Contemporary and Danica Maier (NTU)], 2018-present.

Tahsili, Negar. Veiled Bodies, Naked Minds, Resistant Souls: Utilising Interdisciplinary Arts to Decolonise the Image of Iranian Women in Post-revolutionary Cinema, supervised with Alissa Clarke (DMU) and Harriet Curtis (DMU),  2022-present.

Wileman, Jessica.  Migration Activism and Social Media Clusters in the UK:  Collective Identity in a Neoliberal Landscape, PhD. Nottingham Trent University, supervised with Dr Colin Alexander (NTU) and Dr Laura Coffey-Glover (NTU), 2021-present

Winter, Zeynep Serinkaya. Digital Intimate Publics, Yeşilçam Fandom, and Nostalgia for Old Turkey. PhD. Nottingham Trent University [M4C Scholarship, supervised with Assoc. Prof. Marco Bohr (NTU) and Dr Laura Coffey-Glover (NTU)], 2021-present.

PhD Supervision (Completed):

Moro, Sabrina. 2022. Ripped from the Headlines: Sexual Violence and Celebrity Culture in Contemporary US Media. PhD. Nottingham Trent University [VC PhD Scholarship, supervised with Dr Stephanie Genz (NTU) and Dr David Woods (NTU)]. [link]

Recio, Rocio Palomeque. 2022. Who’s your Daddy? Intimacy in a Neoliberal Era, and the Sugar Babe Phenomenon. PhD. Nottingham Trent University [VC PhD Scholarship, supervised with Dr Stephanie Genz (NTU) and Dr Stefanie Petschick (NTU)]. [link]

Salamah, Mai. 2017. The Intercultural Experiences of the Saudi Community in the UK: Gender Segregation and Media Islamophobia. PhD. Nottingham Trent University [supervised with Olga Bailey (NTU)].

Sarson, Charlie. 2020. Masc4Masc: Masculinity, Gay Men, and their use of Online Cruising. PhD. Birmingham City University [M3C Scholarship, supervised with Prof. John Mercer (BCU)].

Tiryakioglu, Nevsal. 2015. The Western image of Turks from the Middle Ages to the 21st century: the myth of 'terrible Turk' and 'lustful Turk'. PhD, Nottingham Trent University. [link]

Opportunities to carry out postgraduate research towards an MPhil/PhD exist and further information may be obtained from the NTU Doctoral School.

External activity

Public Engagement: Events Organized

  • Transnational Horror, Folklore, and Cultural Politics, symposium funded by the British Academy and Leverhulme Trust, NTU, 18 May 2022.
  • Curator for House of Wisdom Nottingham Public Programme (28 September – 27 October 2018), in collaboration with Queer Art Projects (London), Bonington Gallery (NTU), Collective Çukurcuma (Istanbul), Five Leaves Bookshop (Nottingham), Primary (Nottingham), Bromley House Library (Nottingham), UNESCO City of Literature. [video documentation of all events]
  • House of Wisdom: Cross-Cultural Mobility and Post-gallery Curatorial Practice, Panel Discussion with Mine Kaplangı (Collective Çukurcuma, Istanbul), Işıl Eğrikavuk (UdK, Berlin), and Istanbul Queer Art Collective (London & Istanbul), Primary Nottingham, 29 June 2018. [video documentation]
  • Queer Love: 6 Films on Intimacy, 6 Takes on Love, an international LGBTQ film season curated for Nottingham Broadway Cinema and Nottingham Pride, July 2017.
  • Queer/ing Regions (a one-day symposium with talks by Dr Camila Bassi (Sheffield Hallam), Dr Jon Binnie (MMU), Dr Gavin Brown (Leicester), Dr Howard Chiang (Warwick), Professor Richard Phillips (Sheffield), Dr Silvia Posocco (Birkbeck), Professor William Spurlin (Brunel)), Centre for Inequality, Culture and Difference, Nottingham Trent University, 7 February 2013 (co-organizer: Dr. Hongwei Bao).
  • Research Seminars: Queer Transpositions (Alison Bancroft on Leigh Bowery, Gavin Butt on Oreet Ashery, Murat Aydemir on Francis Bacon), UCL Mellon Programme 2008-09: Translations/Transpositions, UCL, 26 Nov 2008 – 11 Feb 2009.
  • Performing Gender: Transpositions of Identity (a study of three films, Manijheh Hekmat's Three Women (2008), K. Kosoof's Corazones de Mujer (2007), Zemirah Moffat's Mirror Mirror (2006), including Q&A's with the directors), co-organizers: Dr Federica Mazzara and Dr Saeed Talajooy, UCL Mellon Programme 2008-09: Translations/Transpositions, UCL, 6 Mar – 20 Mar 2009.
  • Filming the Queer, Queering the Film (a series of 8 public screenings and discussion of films by Isaac Julien, Marlon Riggs, Derek Jarman, Tom Kalin, Todd Haynes, Kutluğ Ataman), UCL Mellon Programme 2008-09: Translations/Transpositions, UCL, 30 Sept – 5 Dec 2008.

Invited Lectures:

  • Unsettling the Patriot: Queer Art in the New Autocracy of Turkey, Invited Lecture, MA Queer Studies in Art and Culture, organised by Prof. Henry Rogers, Glasgow School of Arts, Glasgow, UK.
  • The 50,000 Nails of Istanbul Queer Art Collective: Translation and Cross-cultural Mobility of Queer Performance, Invited Talk, Protest Art in the New Autocracy, organised by Nicola Kozicharow, CRASSH, University of Cambridge, 20-21 June 2019.
  • Unsettling the Patriot: Reflections on Cross-cultural Critique and Queer Aesthetics, Invited Talk, Atlantic Dialogues curated by Tom Trevor, University of Plymouth, 14 November 2017.
  • On Jake Yuzna's Open/ings, Closing Talk: Skeptical Thoughts on Love (exhibition), curated by Adnan Yildiz, Kuenstlerhaus Stuttgart, Germany, 30 March 2014.
  • Queer Art of Failed Translation II: Aesthetics of Glocal, Invited Participant, Symposium: Queer Cinema and the Politics of the Global (AHRC Research Networking), organized by Rosalind Galt and Karl Schoonover, University of Sussex (contributors: Cüneyt Çakırlar (NTU), Rohit Dasgupta (UAL), Samar Habib (SOAS), Hoang Nguyen (Bryn Mawr), JD Rhodes (Sussex), Deborah Shaw (Portsmouth), Juan Suarez (Murcia), and B. Ruby Rich (UCSC)), 5-7 April 2013.
  • Art of Failed Translation: Ming Wong's Cinephilic Drag, Invited Participant, Symposium: Queer Cinema and the Politics of the Global, organized by Rosalind Galt and Karl Schoonover, University of Sussex (contributors: Cüneyt Çakirlar (UCL), Catherine Grant (Sussex), David Eng (UPenn), Gayatri Gopinath (NYU), Michael Lawrence (Sussex), Song Hwee Lim (Exeter), Shamira Meghani (Leeds) and Patricia White (Swathmore)), 12-13 May 2012.
  • Queer Art from Turkey: Aesthetics of the Glocal, Erotics of Translation, Invited Lecture, Authority and Subversion: Turkish Society in the Neoliberal Age, organized by Kerem Öktem, Lauren Mignon and Celia Kerslake, University of Oxford, 9 May 2012.
  • Queer's Honor, Queer's Death: Cross-cultural Criticism and Derek Jarman's Blue (1994), Invited Lecture/Conversation, organized by Leman Sevda and Berfu Şeker, LambdaIstanbul, 4 April 2012.
  • Conscientiously Queer: Transregional Aesthetics of Sexual Dissidence, Cultural Studies Seminars, Invited Lecture, organized by Department of Cultural Studies, Sabanci University, Istanbul, Turkey, 28 March 2012.

Sponsors and collaborators

  • Transnational Horror, Folklore, and Cultural Politics, 1 September 2021 - 30 November 2023, funded by the British Academy and Leverhulme Trust SRG.
  • House of Wisdom Nottingham [Bonington Vitrines, 28 September – 27 October 2018]– Funded by Arts Council England and NTU School of Arts and Humanities, in collaboration with Queer Art Projects and Collective Çukurcuma.
  • The UCL Andrew W. Mellon Programme, Postdoctoral Research Fellowship, Translations / Transpositions: Intergeneric Translations (2008 / 2009)
  • UCL Graduate School Research Scholarship, Full PhD Scholarship, Disidentification, Mimicry, Melancholia and Image: Queer Reconfigurations in Contemporary Visual Arts (2005 - 2008)


Mustang: translating willful youth. (co-authored with AKÇALI, E. and GÜÇLÜ, Ö.) London: Routledge, 2023. ISBN 9780367543136

Ameliorative homecomings: framing the queer migrant in A Sinner in Mecca (2015) and Who’s Gonna Love Me Now? (2016).The Garage Journal: Studies in Art, Museums and Culture 1(1), 2020, pp. 245-263. (info on The Garage Journal)

The monogamous/promiscuous optics in contemporary gay film: registering the amorous couple in Weekend (2011) and Paris 05:59: Theo & Hugo (2016) (co-authored with Gary Needham). New Review of Film and Television Studies 18(4), 2020, pp. 402-432.

Transnational pride, global closets and regional formations of screen activism: documentary LGBTQ narratives from Turkey. Çakirlar C. CriticalArts 31(2), 2017, pp. 1-17.

The non-ameliorative art: Erinç Seymen's unsettled scenes of cruel optimism. Çakirlar C. In: Erinç Seymen: Homo Fragilis [exhibition catalogue]. Istanbul & Berlin: Zilberman Gallery, 2017, pp. 34-55.

Aesthetic inertia, bathetic death: on the profoundly banal art of Jake and Dinos Chapman. Çakirlar C. In: Jake & Dinos Chapman: In the Realm of the Senseless [exhibition catalogue]. Istanbul: ARTER, 2017, pp. 78-95.

Introduction to Queer/ing Regions. Çakirlar C, Gender, Place & Culture: A Journal of Feminist Geography, (themed section Queer/ing Regions edited by Çakirlar C with contributions by Camila Bassi, Jon Binnie, Howard Chiang and Alvin Wong) published online in 2016

Mothers on the Line: the (Maternal) Allure of Julianne Moore. Çakirlar C, [in] Transition: Journal of Videographic Film and Moving Image Studies 3(1), 2016.

A Form of Proto-Cinema: Aesthetics of Werner Herzog’s Documentary Essayism. Çakirlar C, Akçali E, Cineaction 97 (Special Issue: Contemporary Documentary), 2016, pp. 50-59.

Unsettling the Patriot: Troubled Objects of Masculinity and Nationalism. Çakirlar C in (eds) Alyson Campbell and Stephen Farrier, Queer Dramaturgies: International Perspectives on Where Performance Leads Queer, Oxford, Palgrave Macmillan, 2015, 81-97, information on the book Queer Dramaturgies.

Taner Ceylan: Lost Paintings Series. Çakirlar C, Delice S and Shaw W, 2013, New York, Damiani / Paul Kasmin Gallery, Taner Ceylan: The Lost Paintings Series

Queer Art of Parallaxed Document: the Visual Discourse of Docudrag in Kutlug Ataman’s Never My Soul!. Çakirlar C, Screen, 2011, 52 (3), 358-75

See all of Cüneyt Çakırlar's publications...

Press expertise

Dr Çakirlar can offer comment on topics related to:

  • globalization
  • culture
  • sexuality
  • queer
  • gender
  • aesthetics
  • the Middle East
  • film
  • visual arts