Deren is a PhD candidate in the joint program in History and Middle Eastern Studies. Her research focuses on Ottoman Kurdistan in the nineteenth century, especially during the Tanzimat Era (1839-1876). She is particularly interested in the intellectual history of Ottoman state-building, the political formation of borderland subjectivities in the nineteenth-century, and indigenous conceptions of property, sovereignty, and belonging.
Deren obtained her MA from the New School for Social Research in 2019, where she received the Outstanding MA Student in Historical Studies Award. Her thesis, titled Negotiating the State in Ottoman Kurdistan, 1835-1844, explored the application of the Tanzimat in Ottoman Kurdistan, especially focusing on how new taxation and conscription measures sought to realign relations of sovereignty between the Ottoman state and Kurdish communities and the reactions emerging from the ground. In 2016, she received her BA from Wesleyan University, where she wrote an award-winning honors thesis, titled “Everywhere is Taksim, Resistance Everywhere”: The Gezi Uprising and Radical Democratic Beginnings in Turkey.