Berin Golonu


Berin Golonu image.

Berin Golonu


Berin Golonu


Research Field

Art History; Visual Studies


  • BA in Art History, Vassar College
  • MA in Visual and Critical Studies, California College of the Arts
  • Ph.D. in Visual and Cultural Studies, University of Rochester


Golonu’s research interests include Ottoman art and visual culture, modern and contemporary art from Turkey, art and ecology, and photographic histories of the Middle East. Her current book project Modernizing Nature/Naturalizing Modernization: Urban Greenspace and Cultural Memory in Ottoman and Post-Ottoman Lands looks at the design, function, use of recreational greenspace in key Ottoman cities during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Golonu’s art criticism has been published in ApertureArt in AmericaArtforumArt PapersfriezeModern Painters and X-Tra Art. 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.

Recent Publications

  • “Cultivating Flowers and Loyal Subjects: A Case Study of the Işkodra Municipal Garden.” In Infrastructures and Society in (Post-)Ottoman Geographies, edited by Ilkay Yılmaz. TRAFO – Blog for Transregional Research (June 2021).
  • “From Graveyards to the ‘People’s Gardens’: the Making of Public Leisure Space in Istanbul.” In Commoning the City: Empirical Perspectives on Urban Ecology, edited by Derya Özkan and Güldem Büyüksaraç. London: Routledge, 2020.
  • “Images with a second life: photographs of the Hüdavendigâr Province that became landscape paintings.” In Ottoman Arcadia, The Hamidian Expedition to the Land of Tribal Roots (1886), edited by Bahattin Öztuncay and Özge Ertem, 107-121. Istanbul: Koç University Research Center for Anatolian Civilizations, 2018.

Recent Grants and Fellowships

  • Post-Doctoral Fellowship in the History of Art, Getty/ACLS, 2022
  • Post-Doctoral Research Grant, Institute of Turkish Studies, 2020
  • Post-doctoral Fellowship, ARIT/National Endowment for the Humanities, 2019
  • Grabar Post-doctoral Fellowship, Historians of Islamic Art Association, 2019
  • Leibniz Fellowship for Historical Authenticity, Zentrum Moderner Orient, 2018


  • VS 521: Intro to Critical Theory
  • VS/AHI 470: Global Modernisms
  • AHI 395: Contemporary Art
  • AHI 207: Arts of the Islamic World

Other Visual Studies/Art History Faculty