Postdoctoral Fellows


Burç Köstem

2023–2025 Postdoctoral Fellow, Cinema and Media Studies
PhD in Communication Studies, McGill University

Burç Köstem is a researcher whose work is situated in the intersection of cultural studies, political ecology, and media studies. He is interested in affect, infrastructure, waste, value, urban politics, and eco-Marxist thought. His book project, Affective Ecologies of Limitation: Art, Ecology and Infrastructure in Istanbul is based on fieldwork in the peripheries of urban İstanbul and investigates the cultural politics of environmental limitation. The book thinks alongside artists and activists who have represented İstanbul’s environmental transformations through diverse media practices such as painting, photography, film, and mapping. Drawing on cultural studies, eco-Marxist theory, and infrastructure studies as well as thinkers like Gilles Deleuze and Gilbert Simondon, the book argues that how the environmental limits are registered in feeling and culture matters. Whereas existing conceptions of limitation both in environmental movements and in academia tend to conceive of limits as analytically bounded, scarce, and heteronomous, the book proposes that the limits of urban space become culturally meaningful in concrete practices of subsistence, technical mediation, and struggle, and that such limits cannot be known in advance but must be discovered amidst collective action.

Burç’s work has appeared in Cultural Studies, Theory, Culture & Society, Cultural Politics and Pli: The Warwick Journal of Philosophy. He has recently received his PhD in Communication Studies from McGill and is currently at the USC Society of Fellows. He is also a contributing editor to the political ecology blog Uneven Earth.