Born in Istanbul, Berin Golonu holds a PhD (2017) from the Visual and Cultural Studies Program at the University of Rochester, an MA (2003) from the California College of the Arts and a BA (1993) from Vassar College. Golonu’s research interests include Middle Eastern modern and contemporary art, Ottoman and Orientalist art and visual culture, art and environmentalism in developing Asian countries, and photographic histories of the Middle East. Her book project “Modernizing Nature/Naturalizing Modernization: Late Ottoman and Early Turkish Republican Landscape Imagery, 1876-1939” looks at how processes of nation-building, economic development, and imperatives for conservation and preservation are reflected in the region’s modern landscape imagery.
Golonu’s other writings on modern and contemporary art have appeared in publications such as Afterimage, Aperture, Art in America, Art on Paper, Art Papers, frieze, Modern Painters, Third Text and Zing Magazine. She has lectured internationally at institutions including California College of the Arts, Institut Français d’Études Anatoliennes Istanbul, Museum of Photographic Arts San Diego, UCL London, Museums Quartier Wien Vienna, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Stanford University, University of Rochester and Yerba Buena Center for the Arts. Between 2003-2008 Golonu served as a curator at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco where she organized more thirty individual and group exhibitions. Between 1999-2003 she was editor-in-chief of Artweek magazine, a regional publication of West Coast art. Some of her writings and past curatorial projects can viewed on her website.