New Book Out: A Road Unforeseen – Women Fight the Islamic State

2 08 2016

ROAD-UNFORESEEN-by-Meredith-Tax-9781942658108Tax, Meredith

Trade Paper, 2016

ISBN: 9781942658108

In war-torn northern Syria, a democratic society—based on secularism, ethnic inclusiveness, and gender equality—has won significant victories against the Islamic State, or Daesh, with women on the front lines as fierce warriors and leaders.

A Road Unforeseen recounts the dramatic, underreported history of the Rojava Kurds, whose all-women militia was instrumental in the perilous mountaintop rescue of tens of thousands of civilians besieged in Iraq. Up to that point, the Islamic State had seemed invincible. Yet these women helped vanquish them, bringing the first half of the refugees to safety within twenty-four hours.

Who are the revolutionary women of Rojava and what lessons can we learn from their heroic story? How does their political philosophy differ from that of Iraqi Kurdistan, the Islamic State, and Turkey? And will the politics of the twenty-first century be shaped by the opposition between these political models?

For details click here.

New Book Out: Iraqi Kurdistan in Middle Eastern Politics

3 07 2016

9781138204478Danilovich, Alex 

Routledge, 2017

ISBN 9781138204478

The changes brought by the Arab Spring and ensuing developments in the Middle East have made the Kurds an important force in the region. Tel-Aviv and Washington place high hopes on Erbil to facilitate their dealings with Baghdad, Damascus, Teheran and Ankara. Kurds living in Turkey, Syria and Iran have been inspired by the successes of their brethren in Iraq who managed to gain significant independence and make remarkable achievements in state building. The idea of a greater Kurdistan is in the air. This book focuses on how the Kurds have become a new and significant force in Middle Eastern politics. International expert contributors conceptualize current developments putting them into theoretical perspective, helping us to better understand the potential role the Kurds could play in the Middle East.

For details click here.

New Book Out: Political Violence and Kurds in Turkey – Fragmentations, Mobilizations, Participations & Repertoires

26 06 2016

9781138918870Mehmet Orhan 

Routledge, 2016

ISBN 9781138918870

The Kurdish conflict is an acknowledged long-standing issue in the Middle East, and the emergence of radical Kurdish nationalist movements in the 20th century played a decisive role in the evolution of political violence.

Political Violence and Kurds in Turkey examines how this political violence impacts Kurds in contemporary Turkey, and explores the circumstances that move human beings to violent acts. It looks at the forms political violence takes and in which times and spaces it occurs, as well as the roles played by micro and macro factors. It takes a theoretical approach to violence, as both producer and product of interrelations between many actors, and contextualises this with studies of violence in Kurdish villages and towns. The book evaluates the three levels at which political violence operates; between the state and Kurdish movements, among Kurdish groups and between Kurdish political organizations and Kurdish society, and divides it into its different aspects and processes; fragmentation-segmentation (signifying intra-ethnic struggles between Kurdish actors), mobilization (the course leading the Kurdish movement to armed conflict), participation (the use of violence by individuals) and repertoires (the forms taken by political violence).

Offering an in-depth analysis of the dynamics behind political violence and its use amongst Kurds in Turkey, this book will be a key resource for students and scholars of Middle Eastern, Kurdish Studies and Conflict Studies, and offers new understanding and approaches to the study of political violence.

For details click here.

New Book: Kurdish Issues – Essays in Honor of Robert W. Olson

25 06 2016

ba6f47f7-6989-427f-a42a-3bd68c3f9708.jpgMichael M. Gunter (ed.)

Mazda Publishers, 2016

ISBN: 978-1568593104

This volume contains 13 essays, written by a group of distinguished scholars, on the most important issues facing the Kurds today. Subjects covered include politics, economics, ISIS, and number of issues that will be of interest to scholars, practitioners, and the intelligent lay public. Moreover, in delving into the nuances of such themes as ethno-nationalist origins, self-determination, US-KRG relations, democratic autonomy, ISIS, Kobane, the Kurdish Diaspora, Ataturk and Bourguiba, among others, these essays will definitely stand the test of time. The volume is dedicated to Robert W. Olson, a distinguished and recognized pioneer in the study of the Kurdish people and their relations with the neighboring countries, especially Turkey.

For details click here.

New Book: Alevis in Europe – Voices of Migration, Culture and Identity

13 06 2016

9781472456441Tözün, Issa

Routledge, 2017

ISBN 9781472456441

The Alevis are a significant minority in Turkey, and now also in the countries of Western Europe. Over the past century, many of them have migrated from rural enclaves on the Anatolian plateau to the great cities of Istanbul and Ankara, and from there to the countries of the European Union. This book asks who are they? How do they construct their identities – now and in the past; in Turkey and in Europe?

A range of scholars, writing from sociological, historical, socio-psychological and political perspectives, present analysis and research that shows the Alevi communities grouping and regrouping, defining and redefining – sometimes as an ethnic minority, sometimes as religious groups, sometimes around a political philosophy – contingently responding to circumstances of the Turkish Republic’s political position and to the immigration policies of Western Europe. Contributors consider Alevi roots and cultural practices in their villages of origin; the changes in identity following the migration to the gecekondu shanty towns surrounding the cities of Turkey; the changes consequent on their second diaspora to Germany, the UK, Sweden and other European countries; and the implications of European citizenship for their identity. This collection offers a new and significant contribution to the study of migration and minorities in the wider European context.

Click here for details.

Kurmanji at Berkeley

11 06 2016
Seal_of_University_of_California,_Berkeley.svgHûn bi xêr hatin Pola Kurdî ya Destpêker – Welcome to the Beginner Kurdish Course. For the first time, Near Eastern Studies will offer a course designed to introduce complete beginners to Kurmanji Kurdish, the dominant Kurdish variety spoken in Greater Kurdistan and among the Kurdish diaspora, and a language seldom taught in the United States.
The course provides complete beginners of Kurmanji Kurdish with a solid foundation in all four language skills. It introduces basic grammatical forms, essential frequent vocabulary and key aspects of pronunciation. Participants of the course will have opportunities to practices communicating in Kurmanji-Kurdish in class on daily topics such as routines and activities, hobbies and habits and so forth. By the end of this course, participants will be able to sustain basic communicative exchanges on common everyday topics in various social contexts and can then progress on to the Beginners Kurdish 2 class in spring term.
Class will meet on Tuesdays and Thursdays, 12:30-2:00 PM in 271 Barrows. Contact Near Eastern Studies with questions regarding the course or registration.

New Issue of Kurdish Studies Out

5 06 2016

ks_coverKurdish Studies, Volume 4, Issue 1, May 2016

The development of a field of studies such as our own, Kurdish studies, depends to a large extent on the existence of an institutional infrastructure of specialised academic departments, libraries, journals, etc. Only very few academic institutions in the world have a well-established tradition of Kurdish studies, and not surprisingly they are found in those countries that have had an imperial interest in Kurdistan: Russia, Great Britain and France. The general marginalisation of area studies in academia in favour of the more strictly discipline-oriented organisation of academic research has affected these established institutions too. The best specialised libraries in Europe are not in universities but in private Kurdish institutes in Paris, Stockholm, Berlin and Vienna, and they were established and funded by members of the Kurdish diaspora with incidental governmental support (Excerpts from the Editorial).
Table of Content


Martin van Bruinessen




Language Shift Among Kurds in Turkey: A Spatial and Demographic Analysis

Sinan Zeyneloğlu, Ibrahim Sirkeci, Yaprak Civelek


In Search of Moral Imagination that Tells Us “Who the Kurds Are”: Toward a New Theoretical Approach to Modern Kurdish Literature

Joanna Bocheńska



Making Sense: Research as Active Engagement


Book Reviews

The Kurdish Spring: A New Map of the Middle East

David L. Phillips


Shattered Dreams of Revolution: From Liberty to Violence in the Late Ottoman Empire

Bedross Der Matossian


The Kurdish Liberation Movement in Iraq: From Insurgency to Statehood

Yaniv Voller


Imagining Kurdistan: Identity, Culture and Society

Özlem Galip


The Kurds of Iraq: Nationalism and Identity in Iraqi Kurdistan

Mahir A. Aziz

Welat Zeydanlioglu

Managing Editor

Kurdish Studies is a peer-reviewed scholarly journal.

ISSN: 2051-4883 e-ISNN: 2051-4891



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