Dilara Kadriye Üsküp is a joint doctoral candidate at the University of Chicago in the Department of Political Science and the Divinity School. Her forthcoming manuscript, Sex in God’s City, examines theology as political persuasion. Her research interests include: race, politics, religion, gender, and sexuality at the intersection of public opinion and policy.
Dilara is a native of Izmir, Turkey, but was raised in Detroit, Michigan. Born to a Turkish father and an African-American mother, she identifies as a double hyphenated citizen of the world: being proudly Turkish and proudly African-American. Her upbringing in a multi-religious, multi-ethnic, multi-cultural, and multi-national household helped her to cultivate her conception of self. Dilara's extensive traveling shaped her research trajectory. Her time as an adolescent scholar, producing science fair projects and searching for library books during her mother’s graduate study, were formative in her development.
A graduate of the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy at the University of Michigan, her undergraduate education ignited her passion for research in the social sciences. Dilara believes her vocation is to be a scholar-activist. As a Political Scientist and Theologian, who embodies the trifecta of being a scholar, researcher, and educator, she hopes to expand the contours of the academic study of religion and its impact on our polity.