Research Agenda & Themes

I am a feminist economic geographer who is interested in financialization of everyday life and social reproduction around topics of housing, higher education and debt. I take an ethnographic approach to urban research that draws on multiple qualitative methods, centering on people and their experiences of social and economic life in cities.

My work is motivated by an interest in urban justice through policy-relevant and interdisciplinary research. It is informed primarily by theories of feminist political economy and critical urban theory, as well as insights from labour geographies, and geographies of finance and debt. You can read more about my research below.


Bringing visibility to international student families through narratives of homespace

SSHRC Insight Development Grant (2022-2024)

The goal of this research is to examine the housing experiences of postgraduate international student families living off-campus in Waterloo Region, analyzing economies, temporalities and spatialities of home and housing to provide insights into local housing and immigration planning and policy. Using a feminist relational approach to international student families’ housing experiences, the research will contextualize ‘family’ within the international student mobilities literature and contribute to geographies of family and home through the narratives of international student families. This research maps out an 18-month case study on housing with international graduate student families living off-campus in Waterloo, using multiple qualitative methods and asking about (a) economies of housing (experiences of affordability in relation to financial security), (b) meaning of housing and home making in transience, (c) housing as space of caregiving-receiving. With its focus on family and housing, this research will make key contributions to the mobilities literature on international students, considering meanings of home, experiences of homemaking and caregiving in transience, and what it means to be a student-parent-newcomer in Canada.

For more information please visit project website:

Queen's University Research Opportunities Fund (2022-24)

This project examines the role of private lending practices in Canada’s international higher education system, focusing on the socio-economic impacts of predatory lending on student experiences in university towns. Through a critical and relational-feminist approach, I focus on how private finance’s unregulated lending practices are manifested in Canada’s international higher education system and experienced across international student communities with respect to gender, race and class. The research has two lanes of inquiry: (1) Policy Research: investigating the scale, actors, and mechanisms of alternative student loans market available for international students in Canada, complemented with key informant interviews with policymakers and semi-structured interviews with credit companies, to map out the roles, motivations, and strategies of actors in the market, as well as the regulatory context. (2) Narrative Inquiry of in-depth interviews and oral histories, to capture personal accounts of indebted students who exist in a liminal space between immigrants and visitors, experiencing urban life in a crisis of social reproduction. This research aims to illuminate how financialization of higher education intersects with other forms of oppression: urban segregation, labour precarity, and marginalization of young student populations in Canadian university towns. The research will build an evidence base to inform legislative and advocacy options for challenging further financialization of higher education.


Urban Care Justice

Rethinking Urban Care Infrastructure in Greater Toronto Area

The pandemic has exacerbated the existing crisis in care economy. Being able to access affordable and quality care (child, elderly, sick care) is increasingly difficult, as care infrastructures are designed around private provisioning and defined as personal challenges to resolve. This situation brings more burden on women, especially BIPOC, working-class, recent immigrants and single parents with historically more caregiving responsibilities. This research intersects with pandemic-imposed working from home, perhaps the largest and most abrupt labour force transformation of the past 50 years, and the urgent need to conduct spatialized and long-term qualitative research to understand urban care infrastructure inequities and offer alternatives to overcome those. My research trajectory, over the next couple of years, will follow a feminist approach to urban economic geography, focusing on spaces, agents and forms of care giving-receiving in Greater Toronto Area (GTA). Drawing insights from the theories of ‘care as infrastructure’ (Alam and Houston, 2020), ‘feminist ethics of relational care’ (Held, 2018), and ‘diverse economies’ (Gibson-Graham, 2008), my research aims for a full understanding of who and what constitute the urban care economy and how it reshapes urban space moving beyond institutionalized and privatized forms of care.


PhD Research: Urban Housing Debtscapes

In Debt to the State: Lived Experiences of Indebtedness in State-led Housing Projects in Istanbul

The research examines the lived experiences of indebtedness in housing to understand how housing policies shape relations of homeownership, gendered labour, and finance. I focus on state-led housing mobilization programs for low-income groups in Turkey, investigating everyday negotiations of finance and debt between the state’s Mass Housing Administration (TOKI), its local representatives and low-income mass housing estate households. My research focuses on how housing policy plays in the field, financializing affordable housing and redefining state-citizen relation as long-term creditor-debtor relation. I combine policy analysis and ethnographic research across various scales and spaces of TOKI, from its headquarters to family homes. The research generates fresh insights into theorizing how neoliberal housing finance relies upon and reworks household reproductive capacities and local networks of labour and politics.

Graduate Research Work: Home/Work

Understanding work-at-home freelancing in Toronto

Between 2018-2022, I worked as a research associate in Home/Work, a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) funded project with my supervisor Dr. Nancy Worth (PI). This project engaged with concepts of freelancing, work at home and precarious/flexible labour of the millennial generation. As the project associate, I conducted interviews in Toronto with millennial freelancers, tracing their complex narratives of how work and life intersect. Our co-authored manuscript on the absences and ambiguities in the freelancing labour relation is published in Tijdschrift voor Economische en Sociale Geografie (2021). Connected to this project, we co-authored an invited white paper for the Region of Waterloo on ‘working from home’, covering policy suggestions for the Regional Official Plan 2041, on new work arrangements in the context of Covid-19. Currently, Dr. Worth and I are co-authoring the next paper on working from home strategies of media freelancers during Covid-19 pandemic.

From Shelter to Product

Comparative analysis of use and exchange value in Ankara 100. Yıl Workers Cooperative Housing

In my master’s thesis, I carried out research in a workers cooperative housing estate in Ankara, where I also was a resident. The neighborhood was targeted by a government-backed real estate investment trust and was in the midst of a coercive urban transformation process. I collaborated with the 100.YIL Initiative, a neighborhood collective that aimed to unite residents against speculative development. Through mixed methods research, I examined the confrontation between use and exchange values reflected in everyday spaces and practices. We organized forums and workshops to inform the community and to foster political involvement against neoliberal urban transformation. My research provided insights for the Initiative on the socio-spatial dynamics of the site and the potential for collective action for defending the neighborhood as a shared space, as opposed to individual bargaining for real estate. I also presented elements of this work at national conferences and in publications, including a presentation at the Turkish Association of City Planners’ public conference on ‘Housing Rights’ and a chapter in the edited book: Housing (2015).

Urban Co-Production

Planning, Policy and People: Social and Economic Dimensions of the London 2012 Olympic Legacy Games

I have studied planning and sociology as an undergrad and finished my master’s at LSE Cities Programme—fully funded by the EU’s Jean Monnet Scholarship. In design studio, I worked as part of an interdisciplinary research team on addressing practical challenges in London’s Olympic fringe sites, where the uneven impacts of development led to prevailing deprivation. Our research focused on the community of Leyton to achieve a fine-grained knowledge of the everyday life threatened by social segregation arising from the development of the affluent residential complexes in the nearby Olympic Village. We proposed a methodology of urban co-production based on unfinished spatial interventions that encouraged the political empowerment of urban dwellers. I co-authored a chapter on this research in an edited book entitled Olympic Fringe (LSE, 2010).