April 18, 2017
3:00pm to 4:30pm
Haines 279

The UCLA Gender Working Group is pleased to present


~Zeynep Korkman~

Assistant Professor

Department of Gender Studies



"Gendered Fortunes: Feelings, Labors, and Publics of Divination in Turkey"


Tuesday, April 18th, 2017

3:00pm-4:30pm in Haines 279


The Irene Flecknoe Ross Lecture Series is made possible by a gift from Ray Ross in memory of his wife.


Gender and sexual minorities seek their fortunes in divination as neoliberalization renders their economic futures ever more precarious and as neoconservative gender politics renders their intimate fortunes ever more bleak in millennial Turkey. Drawing upon media, archival, and ethnographic research on the flourishing economy of commercial fortunetelling, I analyze how and why women and LBGTIQ individuals earn a livelihood from and explore their gendered fates through divination. I demonstrate that fortunetellers are channeled through heteropatriarchal gender norms and limited employment chances into an informal divination economy, where they are criminalized by a secularist ban against fortunetelling and stigmatized by an Islamist condemnation of unorthodox religious practices. I conclude that fortunetellers foster public spaces for the articulation of otherwise marginalized feelings of their women and LGBTIQ clients, ironically, at the expense of the devaluation of the labors of these same underprivileged groups.