Ayşe Öncü (PhD Yale, 1971) is an Emeritus Professor of Sociology, currently affiliated with Sabancı University in Istanbul. She was among the founding members of the Sociology Department at Boğaziçi University, where she taught for more than 30 years and served in various administrative capacities. She joined Sabanci University in 2003, to coordinate the Cultural Studies Program. She has been an elected member of the Academy of Sciences in Turkey since 2013.

Ayşe Öncü’s research interests center on questions of space, culture and power in ‘globalizing’ cities of the South. Her work is situated in the intersection between social theory and cultural theory. She has explored the multiple links between visual media and the transformation of the public sphere in Turkey. She has written extensively on the transformations of urban cultures and spaces of İstanbul in recent decades. She has also been actively involved in developing/facilitating research networks between major capital cities of the region, including Amman, Cairo, Istanbul, and Beirut.