Berna Turam is associate professor of sociology and international affairs at Northeastern University. She received two B.A degrees from sociology and political science departments at Bosphorus University, and her Ph.D. in sociology at McGill University. Her specialization is in political sociology focusing on state-society interaction, and intersections of religion, urban space and gender.
Her book Between Islam and the State: The Politics of Engagement (Stanford University, 2007; Bilgi University 2010) reveals and analyzes how Muslims negotiate and cooperate with secular states in and outside Turkey. In this project, she followed Turkish Islamists from Turkey to Kazakhstan and to the U.S. –three different secular states with various regime types. The main argument of the book is that non-confrontational interactions have transformed both pious Muslims and the Turkish state in unexpected and unintended ways. She also published many book chapters and articles in journals including British Journal of Sociology (vol 55:2), Nations and Nationalism (vol 10:3), and International Feminist Journal of Politics (vol 10:4), and edited a special issue, titled "Secular Muslims?" in Comparative Studies of South America, Africa and Middle East (vol 29:3) Her current project explores urban sites of multi-faceted polarization in Turkey. Turam is also a recipient of and collaborator in an NSF-funded comparative project on religion and science, which examines the tensions between evolution and Islamic creationism in and outside of the Muslim world.