Chiara Maritato
Chiara Maritato

Chiara holds a Ph.D. in Political Science and International Relations from the University of Turin (Italy). In her dissertation, entitled “Women between Religion and the State. The Institution of Vaize in Turkey”, she investigated the redefinition of Turkish secularism through the institution of female preachers (vaizeler) employed by the Turkish Presidency of Religious Affairs (Diyanet). Drawing on ethnographic observation of the vaizeler’s everyday activities in Istanbul, the work inductively contributes to assess how the vaize institution reshapes the intertwined relation between women, religion and the state in contemporary Turkey. Currently, Chiara is Postdoctoral Visiting Researcher at Stockholm University Institute for Turkish Studies (SUITS) with a grant by the Lerici Foundation and is working on the activities carried out by Diyanet’s female preachers within the Turkish Muslim communities in Sweden.

After earning a BA and MA double degree program both in France, at Sciences Po Bordeaux, and in Italy, at the University of Turin, in 2011, Chiara interned at the French Institute for Anatolians Studies (IFEA) in Istanbul. During her PhD, she was also visiting at the Political Science Department of the Boğazici University and at the Center for Islamic Studies (ISAM) in Istanbul. In 2016, she worked as a postdoctoral fellow and research assistant at the University of Turin, Department of Cultures, Politics and Society (DCPS).

Her research interests include the relation between state and religion in Turkey, with a particular focus on female preaching and the Turkish Presidency of Religious Affairs' policies towards women and the family.

Selected Publications

“To Make Mosques a Place for Women. Female Religious Engagement within the Turkish Presidency of Religious Affairs” in Özyürek E. and Ersoy M. (eds.), Contemporary Turkey at a Glance II, New York: Springer, 2017, 39-52.

“Reassessing Women, Religion and the Turkish Secular State in the Light of the Professionalisation of Female Preachers (Vaizeler)”, Religion, State & Society, August 2016.

“Performing Irşad. Female Preachers (vaizeler) in view of the Turkish State’s Moral Support”, Turkish Studies, 16, 3, 2015, 433-447