Anna Secor

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  • Professor of Geography
  • Hajja Razia Sharif Sheikh Islamic Studies Professor
  • Gender and Women's Studies
  • Geography
  • Social Theory
863 Patterson Office Tower
(859) 257-1362
Research Interests:


PhD, University of Colorado, 2000
MA, University of Colorado, 1996
BA, Oberlin College, 1992


I am a cultural, feminist, political geographer. I am also the Hajja Razia Sharif Sheikh Professor of Islamic Studies. I am currently conducting scholarship in three areas: 1) The role of religion and sectarian difference in public life in Turkey (in collaboration with Banu Gökarıksel, University of North Carolina; 2) The geopolitics of trauma and the resettlement of Iraqi refugees in the US (in collaboration with Patricia Ehrkamp, University of Kentucky, and Jenna Loyd, University of Wisconsin); and 3) Topological space, difference and politics (especially engaging Lacan and Deleuze). 

The strands of my work are the fields of my own struggle to understand difference, politics, and space as embodied, emergent, and dynamic. I ask: What is ‘difference,’ how does it emerge through affective encounter, how does it become political, and what is at stake in this process? What are the embodied, affective, and topological dimensions of the (geo)political? How can we unleash new political potentialities? How does space work? How do we account for its psychic dimensions, its multiplicity and dynamism, its continuities? And how do we relate spatial becoming to both difference and politics? These questions animate my ongoing reading, teaching, and writing in geography.

At the undergraduate level, I teach courses on Orientation to Geography, Political Geography, War, and the Middle East. At the graduate level, I regularly teach a seminar on Geographies of Power, and occasionally offer seminars on other topics (e.g. State, Empire, Postcoloniality and Psychoanalysis, Difference and Affect).  I advise undergraduates and graduate students working on range of topics, including quite a few with research interests in the Middle East.

I am not currently accepting graduate students at the University of Kentucky because I will be joining the Department of Geography at  Durham University, UK, in summer 2019. 


Selected Publications: 

(Full Google Scholar Profile here)

Ehrkamp, P., Loyd, J., and Secor, A.J. (2017) A Geopolitics of Trauma: Refugee Administration and Protracted Uncertainty in Turkey. Transactions of the Institute for British Geographers. Article DOI:10.1111/tran.12234


Secor, A.J. and Linz, J. (2017) Becoming Minor. Environment and Planning D: Society and Space 35(4): 568-573.


Secor, A.J. Preface: Gender, Sexuality, Mobility. (2017) Journal of Middle East Womens Studies. 13:2: 219-221.


Gökarıksel, B., & Secor, A. J. (2017) Devout Muslim masculinities: the moral geographies and everyday practices of being men in Turkey. Gender, Place & Culture, 24(3): 381-402.


Gökarıksel, B., & Secor, A. (2017) The post-Islamist problematic: questions of religion and difference in everyday life. Social & Cultural Geography, 18(5): 645-654.


Cockayne, D. G., Ruez, D., & Secor, A. (2016) Between ontology and representation Locating Gilles Deleuze’s ‘difference-in-itself’ in and for geographical thought. Progress in Human Geography, DOI: 0309132516650028.


Agnew, J., Mamadouh, V., Secor, A., and Sharp, J. (eds) (2015) The Wiley Blackwell Companion to Political Geography. Sussex: John Wiley and Sons.


Gökarıksel, B. and Secor, A.J. (2015) Postsecular geographies and the problem of pluralism: Religion and everyday life in Istanbul, Turkey. Political Geography 46(May): 21-30. (Published first on-line, open access, December 2014, doi:10.1016/j.polgeo.2014.10.006).

Gökarıksel, B. and Secor, A.J. (2014) The veil, desire, and the gaze: turning the inside out. Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society 40(1): 177-200. 

Martin, L. and Secor, A.J. (2014) Towards a post-mathematical topology. Progress in Human Geography, Vol 38 (3): 420-438. DOI: 10.1177/0309132513508209.

Blum, V. and Secor, A.J. (2014)  Mapping trauma: topography to topology. In Pile, S. and Kingsbury, P. (eds), Psychoanalytic Geographies. Ashgate. pp. 103-116.

Secor, A.J. (2013) Topological City. Urban Geography. Vol 34 (4): 430-444.

Gökarıksel, B. and Secor, A.J. (2012) ‘Even I was tempted’: The moral ambivalence and ethical practice of veiling-fashion in Turkey. Annals of the Association of American Geographers, Vol 102 (4): 845-862.

Gökarıksel, B. and Secor, A.J. (2012) 'You can't know how they are inside': The ambivalence of veiling and discourses of the other in Turkey. In P. Hopkins, L. Kong, and E. Olson, eds, Religion and Place: Landscape, Politics and Piety. Springer, pp. 95-113.

Blum,V. and Secor A.J. (2011) Psycho-topologies: closing the circuit between psychic and material space. Environment and Planning D: Society and Space, 29: 1030-1047.

Gökarıksel, B. and Secor, A.J.(2010) Islamic-ness in the life of the commodity: veiling-fashion in Turkey Transactions of the Institute for British Geographers 35 (3): 313-333.

Secor A J. (2008) Žižek’s dialectics of difference and the problem of space. Environment and Planning A 40(11) 2623 – 2630.

Secor, A.J. (2007) Between longing and despair: State, space and subjectivity in Turkey. Environment and Planning D: Society and Space 25(1): 33-52.

Secor, A.J. (2006) “An unrecognizable condition has arrived”: Law, violence, and the state of exception. In Derek Gregory and Allan Pred (Eds.), Violent Geographies: Fear, Terror, and Political Violence. Routledge, New York, pp. 37-53.

Secor, A.J. (2004) ‘There is an Istanbul that belongs to me’: Citizenship, space and identity in the city. Annals of the Association of American Geographers 94 (2): 352-368.

Roberts, S., Secor, A., and Sparke, M. (2003) Neoliberal geopolitics. Antipode 35 (5): 886-897.

Secor, A.J. (2002) The veil and urban space in Istanbul: Women’s dress, mobility and Islamic knowledge. Gender, Place and Culture 9 (1): 5-22.

Secor, A.J. (2001) Toward a feminist counter-geopolitics: Gender, space and Islamist politics in Istanbul. Space and Polity 5 (3): 199-219.


Website for Research on Veiling Fashion in Turkey
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