As a political and historical sociologist, Burçak is interested in how power inequalities within and between communities shape, and are shaped by, the processes of identity formation and institution-building.
Her M.A. thesis at the University of Chicago explored how Turkey’s nationalist, Islamist, and feminist activists interacted with each other through the binarism of secular modernity and religious traditionalism, and thereby failed to challenge the predominant forms of discrimination within and beyond their particular communities. Her dissertation at the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor focused on the limits of power and resistance in the context of foreign assistance programs and examined the conjunctural negotiation of power disparities in the case of the Marshall Plan in Turkey.
Before joining Stanford, Burçak was actively involved in teaching, research projects, and academic event organization at the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor. Her work on religion, nationalism, modernization and gender has appeared in academic journals and books.
As Associate Director of the Abbasi Program in Islamic Studies and the Mediterranean Studies Forum, she manages the programs' academic and curricular initiatives, communications strategy, annual budget, and strategic planning. She also serves as a manuscript reviewer for academic journals, a pre-major advisor for Stanford’s Vice Provost of Undergraduate Studies, a Cardinal Service Connector for Stanford's Haas Center for Public Service, and a campus reviewer for fellowships administered by the Fulbright, the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, and Stanford Vice Provost of Graduate Education. She is an avid fan of Stanford Women's Basketball Team, and enjoys photography, digital journalism, and coloring mandalas.