Humeyra Biricik

Department of Politics and International Relations, Pembroke College

Start year: 2022

Supervisors: Scott Williamson, Neil Ketchley

Humeyra Biricik is a doctoral candidate in Politics at Pembroke College. Her research focuses on the relationship between political speech, populism, and democratic backsliding in Turkey, Hungary, India, and Arabic-speaking Middle Eastern countries. She primarily employs large language models and text analysis, along with other econometric analyses, to conduct her studies.

She is the recipient of the joint studentship between Pembroke and the Department of Political Science and International Relations, as well as the Pembroke Senior Studentship for the academic year 2023-2024, granting her a place in the Senior Common Room alongside esteemed faculty members. In conjunction with her SCR membership, Humeyra formerly served as the President and the Academic Representative of Pembroke Middle Common Room, leading the college’s peer-reviewed academic journal, termly academic symposium, and the 3CR talks where the members of the undergraduate and graduate community present their research with the faculty across all disciplines. As part of her role, Humeyra advocated for increased accessibility to affordable housing for graduate students, with a particular focus on those from Global South backgrounds. She also serves as a lead mentor in the JCR/MCR mentorship program, designed to provide professional assistance and support to undergraduate students. As a part of her scholarship, Humeyra coordinates a series of politics talks at Pembroke College, on a wide array of topics, including local British electionsthe housing crisisregulation of AI and democracy, and machine learning methods used in political science. She is currently working on organizing writing workshops for undergraduate students in politics, to support women and ethnic minority undergraduates at Oxford University.

Humeyra currently serves as a student representative in the Department of Politics and International Relations at Oxford. In this role, she routinely attends multiple termly meetings with senior administration to advocate for the interests of DPhil students in Politics. Her advocacy focuses on addressing inequalities in research funding among colleges across Oxford and reducing graduate student fees. Additionally, she organizes termly formal dinners and various social events for the entire department. She is also affiliated with the Middle East Centre, and she co-organized the Middle East Politics Seminar Series and the Women’s Rights Research Seminars with Professor Maryam Alemzadeh for the academic year 2023-2024. She is also the co-organizer of the “2024 Oxford Language Models for Social Science” Workshop, which brings together machine learning scientists, leading researchers, and industry practitioners to provide comprehensive training to social scientists. For questions related to the 2024 Oxford LLMs Workshop, Middle East Politics Seminar Series, Women’s Rights Seminar Series, Pembroke Academic Symposium, or Politics at Pembroke talks, contact Humeyra via email.

Currently engaged with several academic collaborations, Humeyra was invited to present her work at several academic conferences, including the American Political Science Association (APSA), European Political Science Association (EPSA), Society for Political Methodology (PolMeth), the British Society for Middle Eastern Studies (BRISMES), Middle East Studies Association (MESA), International Studies Association (ISA), and New Directions in Analyzing Text as Data (TADA).

She currently teaches Middle East Politics and Comparative Political Economy to undergraduate students at New College and Pembroke College. She also formerly taught at St Catherine’s College, Keble College, St Anne’s College, and St Edmund’s College and conducted admissions interviews for the upcoming Politics, Philosophy, and Economics (PPE) students during the 2022-2023 admissions cycle.

Before Oxford, Humeyra obtained an MPhil Degree from the University of Cambridge in Economic and Political Sociology. Her MPhil dissertation titled “Resurrecting God: Analyzing Wartime Desecularization in France, the Soviet Union, and Turkey” was awarded the Cambridge Department of Sociology Polity Prize, as well as the Wolfson College Jennings Prize for the best dissertation and the best overall mark. She earned her BA in Government, Economics, and Sociology with a focus on Comparative Politics from Georgetown University and successfully defended her honors dissertation, receiving a distinction and a department prize.