Kurdish Studies Network

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


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:

Publication Timeline:

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: