This essay explores the embodied forms of power and struggle that are manifest in the Boğaziçi University protests against the authoritarian offensive of the Turkish government. By focusing on the student and faculty protests, especially, the daily gowned performances, it suggests that Boğaziçi protests could be seen as part of the making of a counter or dissident body politic, which seeks to rethink and revitalize, at this conjuncture of neoliberal authoritarianism, the university as a critical social institution and as an arena of democratic struggle interconnected to other social struggles for equality and liberty in Turkey and beyond. Drawing on the collective history of struggles and different forms and scales of action, this making of the dissident body politic weaves together embodied public performances; mediatized communicative labor, including online forums, commissions, media commentaries, and productions; and formal institutional resistance and legal action. Altogether, Boğaziçi protests highlight, or, better, flesh out, the importance of university autonomy and democracy, reposing the question, What is a university? at this critical moment when public life and institutions have been violently targeted by the apparatuses of the state and capital.

The text of this article is only available as a PDF.

References

Aretxaga, Begona.
1997
.
Shattering Silence: Women, Nationalism and Political Subjectivity in Northern Ireland
.
Princeton, NJ
:
Princeton University Press
.
Aretxaga, Begona.
2001
. “
The Sexual Games of the Body Politic: Fantasy and State Violence in Northern Ireland
.”
Culture, Medicine, and Psychiatry
, no.
25
:
1
27
.
Arslanalp, Mert; Erkmen, Deniz.
2020
. “
Mobile Emergency Rule in Turkey: Legal Repression of Protests during Authoritarian Transformation
.”
Democratization
27
, no.
6
:
947
69
.
Butler, Judith.
2015
.
Notes toward a Performative Theory of Assembly
.
Cambridge, MA
:
Harvard University Press
.
Cumhuriyet
.
2021
. “
BÜMED Başkanı Şahin, Bulu ile görüşmesini anlattı: Öğrencilerle bu yüzden görüşmedi!
February
2
(2 Şubat).
English Bianet
.
2021
. “
Boğaziçi Constituencies, HDP’s Gergerlioğlu Granted Freedom of Expression Award
.”
June
14
. bianet.org/english/human-rights/245619-bogazici-constituencies-hdp-s-gergerlioglu-granted-freedom-of-expression-award.
Erdem, Esra; Akın, Kamuran.
2019
. “
Emergent Repertoires of Resistance and Commoning in Higher Education: The Solidarity Academies Movement in Turkey
.”
South Atlantic Quarterly
118
, no.
1
:
145
63
.
Greenberg, Jessica.
2014
.
After the Revolution: Youth, Democracy, and the Politics of Disappointment in Serbia
.
Stanford, CA
:
Stanford University Press
.
İdil, Neşe.
2021
. “
‘Neoliberal Authoritarianism at Its Best’: Boğaziçi University Academics Defy Erdoğan’s Rector Appointment
.”
Duvar English
,
January
7
. .
Kantorowicz, Ernst H.
1949
.
The Fundamental Issue Documents and Marginal Notes on the University of California Loyalty Oath
. (accessed June 21, 2021).
Küçük, Bülent; Özselçuk, Ceren.
2019
. “
Fragments of the Emerging Regime in Turkey: Limits of Knowledge, Transgression of Law, and Failed Imaginaries
.”
South Atlantic Quarterly
118
, no.
1
:
1
21
.
Lefort, Claude.
1986
.
The Political Forms of Modern Society: Bureaucracy, Democracy, Totalitarianism
.
Cambridge, MA
:
MIT Press
.
LSE Sociolgy
.
2021
. “
Defending Academic Autonomy in Turkey
.”
Facebook
,
April
28
. .
Madra, Yahya; Yılmaz, Sedat.
2019
. “
Turkey’s Decline into (Civil) War Economy: From Neoliberal Populism to Corporate Nationalism
.”
South Atlantic Quarterly
118
, no.
1
:
41
59
.
Rancière, Jacques.
2010
.
Dissensus: On Politics and Aesthetics
.
London
:
Continuum
.
Ross, Fiona C.
2002
.
Bearing Witness: Women and the Truth and Reconciliation Commission in South Africa
.
London
:
Pluto Press
.
Seremetakis, Nadia.
1994
.
The Senses Still: Perception and Memory as Material Culture in Modernity
.
Chicago
:
University of Chicago Press
.
Topuz, Ali Duran.
2021
. “
Aşağı bak komutunun kısa tarihi” (“The Short History of the Instruction of Look Down”)
.
Duvar
,
2
Şubat
.
Üstündağ, Nazan.
2019
. “
Pornographic State and Erotic Resistance
.”
South Atlantic Quarterly
118
, no.
1
:
95
110
.