Perin Gurel

Assistant Professor


Ph.D., Yale University

M.A., Yale University

B.A., University of California, Berkeley


1034 Flanner Hall

University of Notre Dame

Notre Dame, IN  46556

Phone: (574)-631-0250


Perin Gurel is Assistant Professor of American Studies and Concurrent Assistant Professor of Gender Studies at the University of Notre Dame. Her research and teaching explore the United States in the world and the world in the United States through transnational feminist lenses, with special focus on U.S.-Middle East relations and Islam in the United States after World War I.  Gurel earned her Ph.D. in American Studies and a graduate qualification in Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies from Yale University in 2010. Her first book, The Limits of Westernization: A Cultural History of America in Turkey (Columbia University Press in 2017), explores how gendered stock figures and tropes associated with the concept of “westernization” in Turkey have intersected with U.S.-Turkish relations in the twentieth century. Her second book project, tentatively titled America's Wife, America's Concubine: Turkey, Iran, and the Bounds of Middle Eastern Solidarity, analyzes cultural production in Turkish, Persian, and English to examine how American media and discourses have impacted Turkish representations of Iran and Iranian representations of Turkey from the Cold War to the War on Terror. Professor Gurel has held fellowships and grants from the Institute of Turkish Studies, the Union Theological Seminary in the City of New York, Dickinson College, and Yale University. Her work has appeared in American Quarterly, American Literary History,Journal of Transnational American Studies, Journal of Turkish Literature, and elsewhere. She is a member of the Advisory Network for the Yale Initiative for the Study of Material and Visual Cultures of Religion. She is also Faculty Fellow for the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies and the Nanovic Institute for European Studies at Notre Dame. She teaches a variety of courses at Notre Dame, including “Transnational America,” “Gender and Popular Culture,” “Humor and Power,” “Islam and America,” and “American Conspiracies.



AMST 3010 Gender and Popular Culture

AMST 30194 Transnational America 

AMST 43144 Humor and Power



The Limits of Westernization: A Cultural History of America in Turkey (Columbia University Press, 2017)

Perin Gurel Book

"With sophistication and mastery, Gurel offers an original perspective on how the Turkish elite and public have been refashioning images of America for their own political and social purposes for more than a century. The result is an extraordinarily well-written account of the role of culture in the international relations of both Turkey and the United States, allowing us to better grasp and critique the roots of contemporary Turkish and American narratives about identity and politics." - Cemil Aydin, author of The Politics of Anti-Westernism in Asia: Visions of World Order in Pan-Islamic and Pan-Asian Thought


"In The Limits of Westernization, Perin Gürel offers a multifaceted approach to interpreting the complex ways in which the United States has figured in a rapidly changing Turkey, using four key lenses through which to tell this story: political history, literary analysis, a discussion of language and humor, and gender and sexuality studies. Taken as a whole, the book illuminates how during the American century, Turkey and the United States were intertwined in ways much greater and more sophisticated than we knew." - Brian T. Edwards, author of After the American Century: The Ends of U.S. Culture in the Middle East


"Gurel's book is a savvy and nuanced account of the multiple meanings of America and the West in Turkish culture and politics. This is groundbreaking scholarship that uses culture—from novels to jokes to signs held up at protests—to explore how issues such as Westernization, the decline of the Ottoman empire, and US-Turkish relations were imagined in Turkey. Gurel goes beyond showing the love-hate relationship that Turks had had with the United States; she examines how cultural flows across borders created "vernacular transculturation"—spaces of interchange and transformation. The book is at once humorous and erudite, a pleasure to read and to learn from. An outstanding piece of scholarship." - Melani McAlister, author of Epic Encounters: Culture, Media, and US. Interests in the Middle East since 1945