Salih Can Açıksöz, an assistant professor of anthropology in the UCLA College, has been awarded the Fatema Mernissi Book Award from the Middle East Studies Association for his book “Sacrificial Limbs: Masculinity, Disability, and Political Violence in Turkey.” This award is bestowed annually to the best work in studies of gender, sexuality, and women’s lived experience.
“Sacrificial Limbs” centers on disabled veterans of Turkey’s Kurdish War. Chronicling veteran’s post-injury lives and political activism, the book examines how veterans’ experiences of war and disability are closely linked to class, gender, and ultimately the embrace of ultranationalist right-wing politics.
The book impressed the MESA awards committee with the rigor of its theoretical perspective, and the nuance and care with which Açıksöz approaches this community.
Açıksöz’s new book project, “Humanitarian Borderlands: Medicine and Terror at Turkey’s Syrian Border,” focuses on humanitarian prosthetics and emergency field medicine along and across Turkish-Kurdish-Syrian border. The work explores how new forms of medical care and ethics emerge in a zone of political violence through a contest over the meanings of health, humanitarianism, and terrorism.
In addition to these projects, Açıksöz has written on PTSD, assisted reproduction technologies for people with disabilities, crowd control technologies, prenatal genetic testing, and the gender politics of populist movements.