In Celebration of Gülden Özcan

We are deeply saddened by the passing of Gülden Özcan, Assistant Professor in the Department of Sociology at the University of Lethbridge on May 11, 2023, after a diagnosis of cancer. Gülden was a passionate leader and defender of human rights, social justice, and contributor to social movements and change, and her influence on her students, colleagues and the communities she worked and lived with is both inspiring and courageous as a brilliant and compassionate scholar, colleague, friend, activist, and loving partner and mother. Gülden was also the first recipient of the SNAC+ Excellence in Equity Award in January 2022.

In order to recognize her impact, SNAC+ and ULFA members worked together to formulate an idea to create a scholarship for students in honour of Gülden’s activism and dedication to social justice and to the creation of a better world. This scholarship will honour students who have lived experience with organizing and activism to create a better future on campus and in our wider local, provincial, national and international communities. The eligibility and parameters for this scholarship will draw upon the knowledge of various actors engaged with campus organizations at the University of Lethbridge. The details for this award will be available once the collective of campus organizations meets to form a committee and begins its work to develop a policy and procedural timeline over the next year and into 2024. A link to information will be posted here once it is available.

In addition, due to the unique circumstances of Gülden’s passing, ULFA has revised and expanded the language and eligibility for the ULFA Academic Award to include the following:

  • Students must be enrolled full-time at a post-secondary institution (university, college or technical  institution), and meet one of the two eligibility criteria below;
    -are the spouse, common-law partner, child, or step-child of a Statutory  Member(s) of the University of Lethbridge Faculty Association (ULFA); or
    -were the dependent of a legal guardian and Statutory Member of the University of Lethbridge Faculty Association (ULFA) at the time of that Member’s death.

The Dean of the Faculty of Art & Science at the University of Lethbridge also posted a lovely tribute to Gülden on the U of L Noticeboard.

Members are encouraged to donate to the GoFundMe page set up to provide support to Gülden’s husband Özgur and her son Ekim. If her family decides to establish an RESP for Ekim, we will update this page with that information.

You can view and write your own memories of Gülden on her Kudoboard here:

And you can read the condolence notice about Gülden’s passing on the University of Lethbridge Notice Board.

Some writings on and by Gülden Özcan:

Caroline Hodes, “Honoring Gülden Özcan: All that You Touch, You Change,” Vol 1, No. 1, Feminist Asylum (2022). SPECIAL SECTION: THE ACTIVIST SCHOLAR; SCHOLAR ACTIVIST – DR. GÜLDEN ÖZCAN.

Rigakos G. S. Rigakos, J. L. McMullan, J. Johnson, G. Özcan, eds., A General Police System: Political Economy and Security in the Age of Enlightenment (Ottawa: Red Quill Books, 2009).

Gülden Özcan“The TEKEL Resistance in Turkey: The Making of the Proletarian Public Sphere,” in Contemporary Left-Wing Activism Vol 1: Democracy, Participation and Dissent in a Global Context (Abingdon and New York: Routledge, 2019).

Gülden Özcan, “Revisiting National Security Discourse in Turkey with a view to Pacification: From Military Power to Police Power onto Orchestration of Labour Power,” Moment Dergi, Vol. 1, Iss. 1 (2014): 37-55.