Alev Çınar received her M.A. in Sociology from Bogazici University (1988); Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of Pennsylvania (1998), and completed two postdoctoral fellowships at the International Center for Advanced Studies, New York University, and the Five College Women's Studies Research Center, University of Massachusetts at Amherst. Her research interests include the intellectual foundations of politics and political institutions; Islamic intellectuals; nationalism and nation building as an ongoing process; formation of the national subject in relation to ethnicity, gender, religion (Islam), class; nation-building, modernity, secularism, and Islam in Turkey; subject formation; the public sphere, the media and the imagination as instruments of nation building; politics of modernity, secularism and religion; postcolonial studies; social and cultural dimensions of globalization.

 She is the author of Modernity, Islam and Secularism in Turkey: Bodies Places and Time (2005); co-editor of Urban Imaginaries: Locating the Modern City (2007), and of Visualizing Secularism and Religion: Egypt, Lebanon, Turkey, India (2012). She also has articles published in journals such as the Comparative Studies in Society and History; International Journal of Middle East Studies; Theory, Culture and Society; and Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society. Çınar has also taught at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst as a Ford Associate; and at Bryn Mawr College as a Fulbright Visiting Specialist. She has received prestigious awards and grants from different institutions including Fulbright, Ford Foundation, Social Science Research Council, Mellon Foundation, United States Institute of Peace, and received a Distinguished Teacher Award from Bilkent University in 2008. Dr. Çınar became a member of the School of Social Sciences at the Institute for Advanced Study in 2012-13.