Eylem Atakav
  • 2.24A Registry And Council House

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Personal profile

Academic Background

BA (Hons) (Ankara), MA (Southampton Solent), PhD (Nottingham Trent)

Administrative Posts

Associate Dean International, Faculty of Arts and Humanities 

Key Research Interests

Gender politics and Middle Eastern media; feminist documentary practice; religion and cultural identity; public engagement with research


Keynotes and invited talks: 


  • ‘My Walsh Story: Digital Storytelling’, Fresher’s Week opening ceremony keynote, Walsh University, August 2018.   
  • ‘Teaching Excellence Framework: The significance of active learning’, Open Forum Events keynote, ‘Teaching Excellence Framework: Quality, Accessibility, Student Choice’, 28thJune 2018. 
  • ‘Doing Feminism through Filmmaking: Growing Up Married and its international impact’, Society for Cinema and Media Studies Conference, March 2018   
  • Growing Up Marriedand Social Impact of Film Research’, The Power of Women to Effect Social Change: Stories of Diverse Approaches to Peacebuilding and Conflict Resolution– Global Peace Seminar, NAFSA Annual Conference, May 2017
  • ‘Lights, Camera, Action: A Transnational Learning and Teaching Journey’, Southampton Solent University, Teaching and Learning Conference, June 2017
  • Growing Up Married: representing forced marriage on screen’, International Women’s Day Celebrations, University of North Carolina at Charlotte, March 2017
  • Growing Up Married: Child Marriage in Turkey and on Screen’, House of Lords,Women Worldwide Advancing Freedom and Equality Seminar, 2016 (by invitation of Baroness Gould)
  • ‘Using Film to Create Impact and Public Engagement with Research’, UEA Impact Week, 30thJanuary 2017 
  • ‘My Journey in Creating Impact through Public Engagement: from Theory to Practice’ UEA Inaugural Engagement Half Day, 25thMay 2016 
  • ‘Gender Equality and Violence against Women in the Middle East and beyond’, Dragon Hall Debates, UEA, March 2017 
  • ‘My Journey in Creating Social Change with Film’, UEA Impact Acceleration Showcase, February 2017
  • ‘From Theory to Practice: Reflections of an academic making a documentary’, University of Cambridge, British Association of Turkish Area Studies, 2016
  • ‘Child Brides on Screen: Growing Up Married’, Doing Women’s Film and Television History Network Conference, Phoenix Cinema, Leicester, May 2016
  • ‘Until Every Child is Safe: Representing “Legitimised” Abuse and Child Brides on Screen’, University of East London, The Centre for Research on Migration, Refugees and Belonging Research Seminars, December 2015
  • “Inclusive teaching approaches: Pedagogies that meet the needs of international students”, Leaders in Learning and Teaching Initiative, Anglia Ruskin University, February 2017. 
  • ‘Women, Islam and the Media’, Kingston University, Race and Ethnicity Matters, November 2016. 
  • ‘Women and Saudi Arabian Cinema’, Oxford University International Gender Studies Centre, Lady Margaret College, 2015. 
  • ‘Higher Education in Britain and Northern Cyprus’ House of Lords, 2014 (by invitation of Lord Sharkey). 


Selected conference papers: 

  • Advance HE Teaching and Learning Conference: Teaching in the spotlight: Learning from global communities, presented two papers on the global level impact of teaching, July 2018. 
  • ‘Every Student a Reporter: Digital Media, Story Telling and Global Learning’, NAFSA Annual Conference: Diverse Voices and Shared Commitment, May 2018. 
  • ‘Doing Feminism through Public Engagement’, Women’s Film and Television History Network Conference, University of Southampton, May 2018. 
  • ‘Public engagement with feminist film research and practice: making a difference with Growing up Married’, Creative Practice in the Age of Neo-Liberal Hopelessness, University of Bedfordshire, May 2018.
  • ‘The shared wonder of film: Teaching Film Studies to create national and international-level impact and public engagement opportunities’, International Federation of National Teaching Fellows World Summit, February 2017.
  • ‘British [Muslim] Values’, MECCSA Annual Conference, University of Leeds, January 2017.
  • ‘Child Brides on Screen: Growing Up Married’, Doing Women’s Film and Television History Network Conference, Phoenix Cinema, Leicester, May 2016.
  • ‘Until Every Child is Safe: Representing “Legitimised” Abuse and Child Brides on Screen’, University of East London, The Centre for Research on Migration, Refugees and Belonging Research Seminars, December 2015.
  • ‘Riding High: Critical Reception of Wadjda’, Console-ing Passions, June 2015.
  • ‘Internationalising UEA: A Critical Reflection on Strategies for Developing an Inclusive and Global Learning Environment’, PICASA Conference 2015 The Internationalisation of Higher Education: Policies, Practices and Pedagogies, University of Roehampton, February 2015.
  • ‘Gender, Politics and Television Adverts in Turkey’, University of Bedfordshire, RIMAP Research Seminar, February 2015.
  • ‘In conversation with Beeban Kidron’, Doing Women’s Film and Television History conference, UEA, April 2014.
  • ‘’Arabian Nights with a makeover by Valentino?’’ The critical reception of Sex and the City 2 in the Middle East and beyond’, Sex and the City Ten Years On, University of Roehampton, April 2014.
  • ‘Women and Turkish Cinema’, SOAS, University of London, November 2013
  • ‘Television that travels: the Middle East and beyond: A study of the critical reception of Magnificent Century (2011-present), Media and Globalisation Symposium, University of East Anglia, October 2013.
  • ‘Women and Turkish Cinema: Gender Politics, Cultural identity and Representation’, Film and Media 2013 conference, London, June 2013.
  • Women, Islam and Media, Media and Religion Symposium, University of East Anglia, April 2013.
  • Vendetta Song and representing ‘honour’ crimes in film”, SCMS, Boston, March 2012.
  • ‘The Republican Woman is Being Destroyed! Save your Republic!’ Women and Politics in Turkish Television Adverts’, Centre for Media and Cultural Studies Seminar Series, University of Sunderland, October 2011.
  • ‘‘Do one’s dreams become smaller as one becomes bigger?’ Memory, Trauma and the Child Turkish Cinema’, Child Actors/Child Stars: Juvenile Performance on Screen conference, University of Sunderland, September 2011.
  • ‘“Honour is Everything for Muslims? Religion and Gender Politics in Turkish Cinema’, Screen, University of Glasgow, July 2011.
  • ‘Rom-com Actually? The Critical Reception of an Art Film: Certified Copy’, Rom-Com Actually: A Two Day International Conference on Romantic Comedy in Film and Television, De Montfort University, March 2011.
  • ‘Feminism and Women’s Film History in Turkey: the 1980s’, Doing Women’s Film History: Reframing Cinema Pat and Future, University of Sunderland, April 2011.
  • ‘Reframing La Binoche: National Identity and Transnational Stardom’, Stardom and Celebrity: In the Spotlight, University of East Anglia, February 2011.
  • ‘A comparative study of gender representation in British and Turkish reality/talk shows’, Feminist Television Studies Conference, Centre for Research in Media and Cultural Studies, University of Sunderland, September 2010.
  • ‘New Turkish Cinema in the UK: Books, Festivals and Research’ New Perspectives in Turkish Cinema Studies Conference, Kadir Has University, Istanbul, May 2010.
  • ‘The Republican Woman is Being Destroyed! Save your republic! Women, Politics and Islam in Turkish Television Adverts’, Media, Communication and Cultural Studies Association Conference, London School of Economics, January 2010.
  • ‘The Child in Turkish Cinema’, Film and Television Research Seminars, University of East Anglia, November 2009.
  • ‘Sexualisation of Culture: Turkish Cinema in the Posters of Sex Films of the 1970s’, Framing Film - Cinema and the Visual Arts: International Film Conference, University of Winchester, 2009.
  • ‘Depoliticisation of the Film Text and the Child in Turkish Cinema’, Screen Studies Conference, Glasgow, July 2009.
  • ‘A Clandestine Resistance? Silence and female subjectivity in Innocence’, ScreenStudies Conference, Glasgow, July 2008. 
  • ‘Double Imprisonment: On the Metaphor of Prison in the Cities of Demirkubuz’, Society for Cinema and Media Studies Annual Conference, Middle Eastern Caucus, Philadelphia, March 2008. 
  • ‘The Mirror has Two Faces: A Clandestine Resistance versus the Fallen Woman’, Images at the Threshold: Postgraduate Film Conference, European Studies and Modern Languages, University of Bath, April 2007.
  • ‘The (Im)Possibility for a Feminist Discourse in Turkish Cinema, Interdisciplinary Film Research Workshop, University of Cambridge, February 2007. 
  • ‘Deleuze and Women’s Cinema as Minor Cinema’, The Work of Gilles Deleuze Conference, Greenwich University, July 2006. 
  • ‘The Invisible Gendered Subject: the Representation of Masculinity in Fight Club’,Research Students Conference, Southampton Solent University, Southampton, June 2006. 
  • ‘Investigating Turkish Women’s Cinema, Its Audience and Cultural Identity’, Cinema Audiences Conference, University of Newcastle Upon-Tyne, Newcastle, June 2006.
  • ‘Masculinity in Crisis? Representations of Masculinity in Cinema’, Midlands Arts Centre’s Guest Speaker, Birmingham, May 2006. (The paper was given by invitation of Midlands Arts Centre)
  • ‘The History of Feminism in Turkey’. Advanced Scholarship Day, Southampton Solent University, Southampton, January 2006.
  • The Piano: Language in Feminist Films’. Philosophy and Film Conference. Queen’s University, Belfast, August 2005.
  • ‘Writing On Ice: Patriarchy in Feminist Films’. Women, Art and Culture: 14th Conference of the Women’s History Network.Southampton Solent University, September 2005.
  • ‘Mona Lisa in Veils: Politics, Religion and Feminism in the context of Turkey’. Woman and the Divine Conference. Institute for Feminist Theory and Research, University of Liverpool, Liverpool Hope University College, June 2005.

Teaching Interests

Women, Islam and media; Middle Eastern cinemas; women and film; world cinemas

Teaching Awards


  • Higher Education Academy National Teaching Fellowship award (2016) 
  • Society for Cinema and Media Studies Pedagogy Award(given to one person in the world 2016) 
  • Teaching Excellence Award – UEA (2015)  
  • Most Inclusive Teacher of the Year– Transformative Teaching Awards - University of East Anglia Student Union (chosen by students 2015)
  • Teaching Excellence Award – UEA (2012)
  • Nominated for the Times Higher Education Most Innovative Teacher of the Year Award(2012)
  • Nominated for the Society for Cinema and Media Studies Pedagogy Award(2013 and 2014)
  • Nominated for the National Teaching Fellowship Award(Higher Education Academy) (2012)
  • Nominated for the National Coordinating Centre for Public Engagement Award(2014)



Eylem Atakav is Professor of Film, Gender and Public Engagement at the University of East Anglia where she teaches courses on women, Islam and media; and Middle Eastern media. She is the Chair-Elect for the Teaching, Learning and Scholarship Knowledge Community of NAFSA: Association of International Educators. She is the recipient of 2016 Society for Cinema and Media Studies Outstanding Contribution to Pedagogy Award, and is a HEA National Teaching Fellow (2016).  She is the author of Women and Turkish Cinema: Gender Politics, Cultural Identity and Representation (2012) and editor of Directory of World Cinema: Turkey (Intellect, 2013). She recently completed an Arts and Humanities Research Council-funded project entitled British [Muslim] Values. She is the director of Growing Up Married (2016) – an internationally acclaimed and award-winning documentary about forced marriage and child brides in Turkey. 

Professional Activities

Professional Training Activities Offered 

  • NAFSA E-Learning Seminar presenter for Cross-Cultural Competencies for Managing International Partnerships (November 2018)  
  • Aurora Leadership Foundation Programme Mentor (since 2017) 
  • ‘Intercultural Communication in the Classroom and on Campus’, The Centre for Staff Development at UEA (2017)
  • ‘Intercultural Communication: Challenges and Strategies’, NAFSA Annual Conference, May 2016.
  • ‘Challenges in and Strategies for Internationalising the Classroom: Faculty Roundtable’, NAFSA, May 2016.
  • Leader of the AHRC funded Collaborative Skillsproject entitled Skills for Media Engagement– a project designed to promote media engagement opportunities and training for Early Career Researchers (June 2014)
  • Teaching International Students – training for the Centre for Staff and Educational Development at UEA (2013/14)
  • Media Skills for Arts and Humanities – convenor of PPD sessions for PGR students (2015 and 2016) 
  • The Centre for Staff and Educational Development, MA in Higher Education Practice Examiner (2013/2014) 
  • Lecture and workshop for 30 members of Kings Lynn Cinema Club on women and Middle Eastern cinema, 2013.


Selected Public Engagement Activities (please see activities around Growing Up Marriedfor a range of public and media engagement activities): 

  • Taste of Anatolia Film Festival, opening keynote, Cambridge University, August 2018 
  • ‘One teacher. One camera. One Voice’, TEDx University of East Anglia, February 2018
  • Keswick Hall Lectures, Religion and ‘British Values’ (2017)
  • Dragon Hall Debates, Gender Equality (2017) 
  • Norwich Radical Film Festival, jury (2016) 
  • Report on women, religion and the media in the UK for the Commission for Religion and Belief in British Public Life, by invitation of Lady Elizabeth Butler-Sloss (2015)
  • Golden Island International Film Festival and UEA collaborative Erasmus Plus Cinema Beyond Borders Project: a student employability-focused public engagement project (2014)
  • Connected Curriculumproject involvement, Norwich High School for Girls, 2015. 4 workshop sessions about women, Islam and media representations. 
  • Public lecture – Women Reaching Womenproject, Norfolk County Council, a talk on Women and Middle Eastern film (2015) 
  • Academic consultant for Catarina Neves Ricci’s film on women filmmakers entitled Women on Women
  • Guest talk on public engagement for theAHRC Public Intellectual project, Open University, 2014. 
  • §ThoughtOutproject: a public engagement project through which I organised the UK premiere of the Palestinian documentary film Duma, 2013.
  • §Academic consultant to Betty Martin’s documentary film on veiling – I wasn’t Always Dressed Like This, 2013. 
  • §Academic consultant for the documentary film Ostitto/Existence, a film by the students of my Women, Islam and Mediamodule. 
  • §Collaboration with Balik Arts(a charity organisation established in 1999, with the aim of advancing the education of young people in the UK) since 2011
  • §Co-runner of AuteuseTheoriesblog to celebrate women’s work in film and television: http://auteusetheory.blogspot.co.uk/  
  • Academic consultant – The 13th Flying Broom International Women’s Film Festival, 2010. 
  • Academic consultant – 15th London Turkish Film Festival, 2009.


Selected Media Engagement Activities:

  • Frequent appearances on Al Jazeera and Sky News – particularly on issues around gender politics, media and the Middle East 
  • Growing Up Married: ‘Turkish child marriage film shines light on hidden abuses’, Zoe Tabary, 15thOctober 2016
    • Reuters
    • New York Times(US)
    • Daily Mail(UK)
    • Hurriyet Daily News(Turkey)
    • The Daily Star(Lebanon)
    • Gulf Times (Qatar)


Editorial Board Membership: 

  • Editorial board member for Feminist Media Histories
  • International editorial board member for Moment journal: Journal of Cultural Studies
  • International Advisory Board memberSine/Cine: Journal of Film Studies
  • Editorial board member for UEA’s Learning Highlightsjournal. 


  • Conference organisation: 
    • §University of East Anglia Learning and Teaching Day Steering Committee member (since 2015)
    • §Gender, Media and the Middle East International Symposium, University of East Anglia, April 2018 


  • Refereeing for journals and publishers: Routledge; I.B. Tauris, Edinburgh University Press, Screen;Sine/Cine: Journal of Film StudiesScopeVisual Communication QuarterlyAl RaidaFrontiers: Journal of Women’s Studies; European Journal of Cultural Studies


  • Refereeing for Research Councils:
    • §NAFSA: Association of International Educators Annual Conference and Global Research Seminar reviewer (since 2015)
    • §Internal Peer Reviewer for ESRC application, UEA (September 2017) 
    • §Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (since 2014)
    • §ESRC Impact Prize – International Impact (2015 and 2016) 

External Examiner: 

  • Anglia Ruskin University, Film, Television and Media Studies, 2014 – 2018. 
  • PhD viva – SOAS, University of London, examined a thesis on women and Turkish Cinema, 2014. 

Areas of Expertise

Women, Islam and the media (covering issues on veiling, 'honour' crimes, virginity testing, arranged marriages and their representation in film and television); representation of 'honour' crimes in the media; women and Turkish cinema and television; representations of violence against women; women in Middle Eastern film and television and the media.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 5 - Gender Equality
  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

External positions

Chair of Teaching, Learning and Scholarship Knowledge Community, NAFSA: Association of International Educators

1 Feb 20191 Feb 2022