Faculty Fellows

Nurcan (Noor-john) Atalan-Helicke is Associate Professor in Environmental Studies and Sciences at Skidmore College, New York. She teaches Politics of Food, Environment and Development in the Middle East, Human Rights and Development, and Political Ecology. She grew up in Turkey, and worked professionally in the environment and development sectors with government agencies and non-profit organizations. Her research is on food systems and social movements, particularly in relation to 1) conservation of traditional wheat varieties, and 2) Islam and genetically engineered food. She is a qualitative social scientist, and has carried out fieldwork in Turkey and the northeast United States. Her research has been published in interdisciplinary peer review journals such as Agriculture and Human ValuesJournal of Environmental Studies and Sciences, and Global Environmental Politics. She has been committed to social justice issues and interfaith dialogue, and given public talks on Islamophobia and how to understand Middle East beyond conflict.

Project Description

In the United States, we are surrounded with plenty of healthy and junk food, as well as food with several natural and synthetic ingredients. Together with increasing surveillance of body size due to the risk of obesity and other modern age diseases, we pay more attention to our weight, waist size, what we eat and where we eat. Especially women and mothers reflect these anxieties on their daughters, due to fat stigma, and gendered nature of feeding the family. I plan to highlight how we surveil our cities (e.g., livable cities), bodies (e.g., fitbit and other technological devices, Weightwatchers), and how we reflect our concerns of self-esteem and anxieties on the children’s body sizes (e.g., measuring what they eat).


Scott Mulligan is a Teaching Professor in the International Affairs, Arts Administration and Media & Film Studies Programs, as well as the Management and Business Department, at Skidmore College. An attorney by training, he teaches and lectures on information privacy/ethics and surveillance, terrorism/national security and international intellectual property issues. His research involves examinations of international intellectual property, innovation policy and international trade issues, particularly with respect to incentive models for collaboratively-driven business ventures and unorthodox business models, as well as of legal and ethical uses of customer, partner and employee personal information found in large datasets. He received his J.D., magna cum laude, from the Syracuse University College of Law where he studied in the Technology Commercialization Program, and holds an LL.M. in International Trade Regulation from the New York University School of Law, where he studied antitrust & government trade regulation, intellectual property and information privacy. He worked on antitrust and regulatory issues in the New York State Attorney General’s Office before coming to Skidmore College, where you can often find him singing in the Skidmore Community Chorus.

Project Description

His Storytellers’ Institute project, tentatively titled “Surveillance Studies: Documenting Surveillance in Saratoga Springs, NY” will employ individual case studies to explore the widespread local deployment of advanced surveillance technologies, by government and private businesses, in an effort to document the experiences of local citizens living their lives under surveillance and to chronicle their awareness of surveillance platforms in a small town in upstate NY.