Golonu’s research interests include Ottoman art, modern and contemporary art in Turkey, art and environmentalism, and photographic histories of the Middle East. Her book manuscript titled People’s Gardens: Structuring Public Leisure Space in the late Ottoman Empire traces the establishment of European-style public parks in key Ottoman cities during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Golonu’s writings on modern and contemporary art have appeared in many international arts publications including Aperture, Art in America, Artforum, Art Papers, frieze, Modern Painters and Third Text. 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, the University of Rochester and the Koç University Research Center for Anatolian Civilizations (ANAMED). Between 2003-2008 Golonu served as a curator of contemporary art at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco where she worked on more than thirty individual and group exhibitions.