Kendra Gimblet is a senior majoring in anthropology at Hunter College. During her time as a Mellon Mays fellow, Kendra has focused on immaterial spaces of citizenship, the sociology of sovereignty and human migration within the Middle East. She has investigated questions related to the Syrian migration to neighboring countries, more specifically Turkey.
Her academic interests include the construction of migrant identities in the Middle East and how imagined communities can be mapped across fixed boundaries. She also enjoys studying languages, including Hebrew, Arabic, Turkish and Japanese, which has allowed her to volunteer her time as an English teacher at the Arab American Association during the summer in Brooklyn.
Over her two years as a Mellon Mays fellow, Kendra has developed an interest in spaces that nourish or shun the identities of Syrian migrants in Turkey. In particular, she is interested in how spaces can affect behavior, mental health and interaction within communities. Kendra is currently conducting cultural anthropological research that utilizes social media and documentaries to write an ethnography of safe spaces in Istanbul as seen by Syrian migrant youth.