Stockholm university

Jenny WhiteProfessor

About me

Jenny White has written numerous books and articles on Turkey and lectures internationally on topics ranging from political Islam and Turkish politics to ethnic identity and gender issues. She has been following events in Turkey since the mid-1970s.

Prof. White is the former president of the Turkish Studies Association and of the American Anthropological Association Middle East Section. She has received numerous grants and fellowships from, among others, Riksbankens Jubileumsfond, the Social Science Research Council, the MacArthur Foundation, the National Science Foundation, and Fulbright-Hays.

Academic publications

She is author of Turkish Kaleidoscope (May 2021, Princeton University Press), Muslim Nationalists and the New Turks (2012, Princeton University Press, second edition, 2014), Islamist Mobilization in Turkey: A Study in Vernacular Politics (2002, winner of the 2003 Douglass Prize for best book in Europeanist anthropology) and Money Makes Us Relatives: Women’s Labor in Urban Turkey (second edition, London: Routledge, 2004). Many of her books have been translated into Turkish.

Prof. White first came to Stockholm University and SUITS as a Distinguished Visiting Professor, at Stockholm University Instiutute for Turkish Studies (SUITS) for 2013-2014. In 2016, she was invited by President Astrid Soderbergh Widding to join SUITS as a "kallad" professor. 

Historically inspired fiction

She also has written three historical novels set in nineteenth-century Istanbul, The Sultan’s Seal (2006), The Abyssinian Proof (2008), and The Winter Thief . The Sultan’s Seal, translated into fourteen languages, was named one of the top ten first novels of 2006 by Booklist and was shortlisted for the 2006 Ellis Peters Historical Crime Award.

Prof. Jenny White holds a PhD from University of Texas at Austin.


A selection from Stockholm University publication database

  • Spindle Autocracy in the New Turkey

    2017. Jenny White. Brown Journal of World Affairs 24 (1), 23-37


    This article applies insights from cultural anthropology to the study of politics, nationalism and Islam in Turkey, with particular focus on group formation and competitive networks. It develops a model for understanding political fragmentation and inter-group hostility.

    Read more about Spindle Autocracy in the New Turkey
  • Turkey at a Tipping Point

    2014. Jenny White. Current history (1941) 113 (767), 356-361


    By pulling the levers of suspicion and social polarization, Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan appeals to the conservative nationalist core of his supporters, but he is out of touch with a large part of the population.

    Read more about Turkey at a Tipping Point

Show all publications by Jenny White at Stockholm University