Call for Papers: Kurdish Culture, Identity and Geopolitics – Towards Decolonization

17 08 2017

Zanj: The Journal of Critical Global South Studies is a space for a broad range of conversations of and by the Global South, now published by Pluto Journals in the UK. In this special volume, global scholars critically approach the past, present and future of Kurdish identity, geography, nationalism, and socio-political movements for change. Focusing on contemporary Kurdish regions and their indigenous constituents, Kurdish cities and broader Kurdish geopolitics, this volume intends to initiate dialogue about the modes and methods of decolonization, cultural survival, creative definition, reinvention and transformation.

Kurds have often been the victim of modern empires, power-politics, and their attendant conceptual categories. When the ‘Scramble for the Middle East’ occurred 100 years ago, Kurds were left bereft of the critical political unit since the nineteenth century: the nation-state. Hence, Kurds continue to exist at and/or beyond the boundaries of communal categorization, including national, regional, ethnic, and cultural configurations of identification, a vantage point that provides unique and important lessons worthy of analysis.

Kurdish regions, cities, parties and communities are increasingly emergent actors in an expanding global circle of individuals, groups, communities, institutions and governments, even as some of the most violent atrocities in recent history have been and are still being experienced in the Kurdish regions. This collection aims to: (1) develop a solid understanding of the crucial historical timeline which led to Kurdish statelessness and subsequent deterritorialization / reterritorialization and other developments in the Kurdish political status-quo, (2) present substantial and representative snapshots of the contemporary Kurdish zeitgeist, how communities and individuals are forming identities in this context, and/or (3) discuss the future of Kurds, Kurdish towns, cities, regions and communities.

Limited to the realm of paradiplomacy, in the extremely complex “quadri-regional” dynamics of the Kurdish status quo, the Kurdish case represents a deadly quagmire in which some of the most dystopian of dreams have already come true, leaving destroyed lives in its wake. This collection is therefore also a modest attempt by global scholars to push a progressive agenda, seeking ways and means to overcome the heavy weight of the past and present, and to contribute to the utopian imaginary of Kurdish futures.

As an interdisciplinary space for global scholars with critical engagements on the Global South, this volume seeks innovative and critical work on Kurds and Kurdish issues related (but not limited) to the following areas of research:

  • History, political history and historical analysis of Kurdish communities, parties, institutions, regions and colonialism, decolonization
  • Identity, difference, diversity, intersectionality, multiculturalism, transregional identifications, intersectional modes of alliance building, indigenous epistemology
  • State, nation, nation-state, nationalism, state formation, state capacity building, diplomacy and statecraft, comparative politics, regionalism/federalism, electoral systems, parties, democracy, self-ruling and self-determination
  • Critical theory, world systems theory, power theory, feminist theory, ecology
  • Politics of contention, identity, ethnicity, gender, religion
  • Conflict, security, intelligence, military, crime, violence, displacement, political repression
  • Political Economy, International Development, Global Health, Education, Infrastructure and Urban Development, Trade, Self-sufficiency, Human Development/Security, Resilience

Publication Timeline:

  • August 25th: Deadline for Abstracts (150-200 words)
  • August 30th: Response to Abstracts.
  • November 15th: Deadline for final articles
  • December 30th: Reviewers Feedback
  • January 15th 2018: Final revisions, proofs

Please send abstracts and inquiries to:

Please Note: Zanj was formerly called South: Critical Global South Studies and we are still in transition to the new name.

Editor: Dr. Jesse Benjamin

Co-Editors: Dr. Djene Bajalan and Dr. Haluk Baran Bingöl


To simplify the initial submission process, please follow the basic formatting guideline below:

  • Times New Roman size 12, double-spaced,
  • End of article reference page with full citations in Chicago Style
  • BOOK: Rodney, Walter. How Europe Underdeveloped Africa. London: Bogle-L’Ouverture, 1972.
  • CHAPTER IN BOOK: Lorde, Audre. “Coal.” In New Black Voices: An Anthology of Contemporary Afro-American Literature, edited by Abraham Chapman, 291-292. New York: NAL/Penguin, 1972.
  • ARTICLE IN PRINT JOURNAL: Crowder, Ralph L. “The Historical Context and Political Significance of Harlem’s Street Scholar Community.” Afro-Americans in New York Life and History 34(1) (2010): 34-71.
  • Footnotes (at bottom of page), not endnotes; with brief relevant text and/or citation of Author’s last name and year of publication only,
  • No in-text citations,
  • You may submit your document either as a .pdf or .doc,
  • Include a short (100-200 word) abstract to supplement your piece,
  • Please provide 5-10 keywords for your article,
  • Length of article: We place no boundaries on the length of your work, as long as the content is sufficiently guided and relevant throughout,
  • Do not include a cover page or your name on document itself.



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