Profile

Ayten Gündoğdu, assistant professor of political science, joined Barnard’s faculty in 2008. At Barnard she teaches courses on political theory and human rights.

Professor Gündoğdu’s current research centers on critical approaches to human rights, contemporary problems of citizenship, and political and ethical dilemmas of international migration. She has recently published a book titled Rightlessness in an Age of Rights (Oxford University Press, 2015; ISA Theory Honorable Mention; Choice Outstanding Academic Title). The book offers a critical inquiry of human rights by engaging with the works of twentieth-century political theorist Hannah Arendt. At the center of this critical inquiry are the challenging questions posed by the contemporary rights struggles of asylum-seekers, refugees, and undocumented immigrants. Examining immigration detention, deportation, refugee encampment, and demands for regularization, the book revisits and revises Arendt's key concepts and arguments, including her phenomenological account of the human condition, her critical analysis of “the social question,” and her puzzling proposal of “a right to have rights.”

Professor Gündoğdu is the recipient of a postdoctoral fellowship from the Mahindra Humanities Center at Harvard University, Sawyer Dissertation Fellowship from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and several other grants and awards from Barnard College and the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities.