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Dilyara Suleymanova


Dilyara Müller-Suleymanova is an anthropologist working at the School of Social Work, Zurich University of Applied Sciences. She currently leads a project, financed by the SNF Ambizione program, on the ways young people with origins in former Yugoslavia and Turkey relate to their origin country, and engage with the violent past and conflict-induced history of their parents’ migration.


Prior to that, she was a visiting research Fellow at the Aleksanteri Institute, University of Helsinki, as well as a lecturer and an assistant at the Department of Social and Cultural Anthropology University of Zurich, among others. She obtained her PhD from the University of Zurich with a thesis on post-Soviet politics of education for which she conducted a school ethnography in a small provincial town in Russia. It was published in 2020 as the book “Pedagogies of Culture: Schooling and Identity in post-Soviet Tatarstan, Russia” (New York: Palgrave).


Her research and teaching interests lie in the areas of diaspora, migration and conflict studies, politics of memory, anthropology of education as well as the study of Islam and Muslim youth. In particular, she is working with biographic-narrative methods of research in combination with ethnography.


Along with scholarly work she was and is engaged in various projects at the intersection of academia and practice. She has been involved in trainings for various public sectors in Switzerland such as social workers, youth workers, police, religious workers.


She initiated and was a co-leader of the project #SwissMuslimStories ( - a digital storytelling project that portrays the life of young Muslims in Switzerland and is designed to counter extremism through alternative narratives.


She has also co-produced a film “Bizim Qirim” / “Our Crimea” on the narratives and memories of deportation and return among the Crimean Tatar population.


She has experience in connecting academic work with practice and a genuine interest in exploring various ways in which anthropological knowledge and an anthropological vision can contribute to dealing with societal problems and challenges. She has an expertise in developing projects at the intersection of the academic and the public sphere using innovative (visual, digital) methods. 

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