Nilüfer Göle is Professor of Sociology at École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales in Paris since 2001, where she has gained her Ph.D. in 1982. She previously taught at Boğaziçi University in Istanbul. She has been invited as a visiting scholar to several universities such as MIT in Massachusetts and The New School in New York. She is a member of the scientific council at IISMM, Institut d’études de l’Islam et des sociétés du monde musulman.
Her research themes include Islam, the public sphere, gender, secularism and multiple modernities. Her work focuses on the ways Islam becomes visible in European public spheres and engenders a series of debates on religious and cultural difference. Her sociological approach aims to open up a new reading of modernity from a non-western perspective that in turn produces a broader critique of Eurocentrism in the definitions of secular modernity.
Her pioneer work on the contemporary significations of the Islamic headscarf, The Forbidden Modern: Veiling and Civilization (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1996) has been published in Turkish, French, German and Spanish. In her recent publications such as Islam in Public: Turkey, Iran and Europe (with Ludwig Ammann [eds.], Istanbul: Bilgi University Press, 2006; first edition in German, 2004), she studied the emergence of Islam in different publics from a comparative perspective. In her books Interpénétrations: L’Islam et l’Europe (Paris: Galaade, 2005) and Islam in Europe: The Lure of Fundamentalism and the Allure of Cosmopolitanism (Princeton: Marcus Weiner, 2010), she argues that in the last two decades, Islam has become a decisive element of confrontation as well as self-presentation of Europeans. She is currently finalizing a European scale research project entitled “Islam in the Making of a European Public Sphere,” EuroPublicIslam, awarded and funded by the European Research Council Advanced Grant.