Gülden Özcan and Anti-Racist Activism

This book is dedicated to the tireless efforts of all those past and present who have devoted their life’s work to abolish state sanctioned, systemic, structural, and interpersonal forms of violence and oppression in all their forms. Through this dedication we acknowledge all those whose survival is resistance; who have succumbed to COVID-19; and all those we have lost to this violence.

Aziz Choudry (Professor at the Centre for Education Rights and Transformation (CERT), University of Johannesburg) and Mónica Trujillo (Professor of International Relations, Universidad Popular Autónoma del Estado de Puebla (UPAEP) were taken from this world too soon. This book is crafted in the spirit of their scholarly activism.


Gülden Özcan, our dear, beloved friend, colleague and contributor to this volume was diagnosed with terminal cancer on December 24, 2021.  She was admitted into palliative care at the Chinook Regional Hospital on May 5, 2022.  This book is also dedicated to her life, her work and the ongoing resilience of her partner Ozgur and her son Ekim. Her research stands at an analytical distance to the traditional disciplines of sociology, political science, history, law and legal studies, and criminology while equally benefiting from the literatures commonly linked to these disciplines. Her projects involve different geographies of what is known as Turkey, the UK, Canada and the USA and her life was devoted to the kinds of scholarly activism celebrated by this volume.

Gülden’s concerns with the theory of pacification as a war strategy aimed at ordinary citizens and her explorations of the history of primitive accumulation, exploitation and work speak directly to the life-threatening work of our contributors to this volume and the colleagues to whom it is dedicated. The work of challenging the state sanctioned and/or extra-legal production and exploitation of group differentiated vulnerability to premature death, kills people.  The contemporary neoliberal university, and its perpetuation of systemic and structural forms of violence and discrimination against those who are different is a deadly instrument of pacification, slow death, and exploitation.  We call on our readers to join the resistance. We call on our universities to stop killing our best scholars.