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Aysegul Kesimoglu

Department of Culture & Creative Industriesnull


PhD title: Taste and Modernity: A case study of food, culture and identity in Istanbul

Professor Andy C. Pratt and Dr. Janet Merkel


Aysegul has a BSc (Vehbi Koc Scholar) in Economics from Koc University in Istanbul, Turkey. With the influence of her year abroad as an exchange student at Georgetown University in Washington D.C., Aysegul took an interest in cultural studies and creative industries towards the end of her studies in 2006-7. She has pursued an MSc degree in the economics and management of creative industries (Arts, Culture, Media and Entertainment) at the Università Commerciale Luigi Bocconi (Università Bocconi) in Milan/ITALY - where she was funded with a merit-based full scholarship. Aysegul finished her degree programme at Università Bocconi as a Cum Laude Graduate in 2009. She submitted her dissertation on Gastronomy and Tourism in Turkey.

After working professionally for a brief period of time, during which time she continued to attend conferences and seminars in the area of gastronomy and tourism, she commenced her doctoral training at King's College London in October 2012 within the department of Culture, Media and Creative Industries (CMCI). In her second year, she moved to the City University London with her supervisor Prof. Andy C. Pratt.

Aysegul is currently completing her PhD at City, University of London and expects to submit in late Spring 2016.

Summary of current doctoral research

Aysegul’s doctoral research focused on changing conceptions of culture and identity in transitioning societies and examined distinction practice/positional struggles that individuals give on a daily basis in relation to who they are, their likes and dislikes by studying their food cultures.

Working within the ambit of Bourdieusian theories of culture, Aysegul aimed to present an innovative mode of approaching taste and identity in her thesis. Aiming to go beyond the more conventional static ordering and stratification of culture, she explored the contradictory positionings that characterize everyday lives of individuals in Turkey (more specifically Istanbul), which can manifest themselves clearly in their food cultures.

Indeed, food facilitated a unique insight into the active making and remaking of cultural distinctions and identity, since food has always been about sociality, practice and organization, formality and commensality; and as Aysegul’s thesis also argued, it also extended to notions of cosmopolitanism, modernity, tradition and authenticity.

Research interests

Cultural Sociology, Food Studies, Cultural Studies, Cultural Identity

Public Presentations and Conference Papers Given


Aysegul has been leading seminars at City since 2015. These have included Interrogating Consumer Culture (BA) and Cultural Policy (MA). She has also given guest lectures on cultural tourism and interviews as a qualitative research method.







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