Recent Ph.D. Alumni on the Job Market

This page is for recent alumni looking for a second position upon completion of the postdoctoral fellowship, initial contract teaching job or research position they gained on first graduating.

Shai Dromi, Ph.D. 2016

Lecturer, Harvard University

Shai Dromi is a College Fellow in Sociology at Harvard University. He is a cultural and comparative-historical sociologist with research on altruistic behavior, transnational solidarity, and morality. His research explores how beliefs about the common good shape a variety of social sites by focusing on the ways discourse about morality is used to justify the existence of social practices and institutions. His current book project is titled The Religious Origins of Transnational Relief: Calvinism, Humanitarianism, and the Origins of Social Fields. It asks how humanitarian activism became a distinct professional and social sector. The research draws on archival research at the International Committee of the Red Cross and related repositories. It highlights the role of mid-nineteenth-century Calvinist reform movements in formulating and propagating the moral principles that justified the establishment of humanitarian NGOs and continue to prevail in the humanitarian community today. An article from this research appeared in The Sociological Review, and another article is forthcoming at Sociological Theory. Dromi also works on other projects relating to`professional communities and their moral beliefs, and has previously conducted research on attitudes towards urban poverty and on the effects of cultural trauma on political culture in the Middle East. 


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Gulay Turkmen-Dervisoglu, Ph.D. 2016

Post-Doctoral Researcher, University of Goettingen

Gulay Turkmen-Dervisoglu is a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Goettingen’s Forum for Interdisciplinary Religious Studies. She is a comparative-historical sociologist with research interests that stand at the intersection of culture, politics and religion. She is specifically interested in how certain historical, cultural and political developments inform questions of belonging and identity-formation in multi-ethnic and multi-religious societies. Under that rubric, her research focuses on how religious, ethnic and national identities intersect, intertwine and compete with each other, especially in Muslim communities in the Middle East and Europe. She is also interested in cultural trauma and collective memory in the context of national identity formation.

 Her book project, originating from her dissertation, is titled United in Religion, Divided by Ethnicity? The Role of Islam in the Kurdish Conflict in Turkey. It investigates Sunni Islam’s role as a supranational identity in Turkey’s Kurdish conflict. Relying on in-depth interviews with Turkish and Kurdish religious elites, and participant observation in Friday prayers, it puts forward a four-fold typology that illuminates the divergence and convergence of religious and ethnic identities. After demonstrating the role these distinctions play in preventing the successful implementation of “Muslim brotherhood” as a solution to the Kurdish conflict it argues that this typology is of prime importance in analyzing not only the origins but also the solutions to ethnic conflicts.

She is currently conducting research on ethnic diversity in German mosques. Through ethnographic research and in-depth interviews, she explores the strategies Muslim immigrants use to navigate their way through the complex web of identity categories that become available to them upon their arrival in Germany. By focusing on identity formation among Muslim immigrants this project turns a critical eye towards the tumultuous relationship between immigrants and “host societies”.

Her work has appeared in the Annual Review of Sociology, Nations and Nationalism, Yale Review of International Affairs, and the Routledge Handbook of Religion and Security. She has also written public sociology pieces for Open Democracy, the European, and Policy Trajectories.

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Natalie Nitsche, Ph.D. 2014

Post-Doc, Vienna Institute of Demography in Austria

Natalie Nitsche is a quantitative family sociologist and social demographer. Her research investigates family formation dynamics and gendered life course outcomes. She has two main lines of research. One focuses on the intersection of educational and union-formation & childbearing trajectories. The other examines gendered dynamics in families and tries to understand where they come from and what their consequences are. Much of her work employs a couple-perspective, arguing that both partners and the interactions between them need to be taken into account in order to fully understand family formation processes and gendered dynamics in families.

She has, for instance, investigated 1) the effect of gender ideology and relative resources of both partners on the division of housework; 2) the interrelatedness of sibship sex-composition and majoring in a STEM discipline in college; 3) the impact of social norms on childbearing behavior, and 4) the effect of educational pairings of both partners on birth progressions among couples.

Natalie Nitsche received her Ph.D. in 2014 and is currently a post-doc at the Vienna Institute of Demography in Austria. Her work was supported with a NSF Dissertation Improvement Grant and with a highly selective Marie-Curie fellowship from the European Commission.

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