New Book Out: Between State and Non-State Politics and Society in Kurdistan-Iraq and Palestine

11 04 2017

Gürbey, Gülistan, Hofmann, Sabine, Ibrahim Seyder, Ferhad (Eds.)

Palgrave Macmillan, 2017

  • ISBN 978-1-137-60181-0

This edited volume compares the internal dimension, politics and society in Kurdistan-Iraq and Palestine. In particular, it focuses on internal processes in Kurdistan-Iraq and Palestine (Palestinian Territory of the West Bank and Gaza Strip) in their specific shaping, development and transformation. The contributing authors analyze the transformation processes of the internal power structures, the economic basics, and the civil societies and provide an overview of the current political, economic and societal situation and challenges in both regions.  The book presents the similarities and differences between both de facto states with regard to a set of guidelines: legitimacy, power relations, transformation of politics and society. It provides empirical explanations and contributes to a better understanding of both de facto states.

Click here for details.


New Book Out: The Modern Kurdish Short Story

18 03 2017

Shakely, Farhad

Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis, 2016

ISBN: 978-91-554-9774-3

The focus of this study is on the Kurdish short story, read from the viewpoint of literary history. The political course of events in Kurdistan, and the political and social circumstances which followed, have without question strongly influenced the Kurdish short story both in content, style, and language. The Kurdish short story has its origins in the second decade of the twentieth century. Kurdish prose arose in the beginning of the nineteenth century. There are few examples of Kurdish prose from that time; in every case, they are non-literary.Kurdish journalism played a central role in the development of the short story. The origin of the art of the Kurdish short story is directly related to Kurdish journalism. This development cannot be isolated from very conscious attempts to further the Kurdish short story with the help of translations of short stories into Kurdish from other languages – European languages in particular. This essay is an attempt to study the development of the Kurdish short story from its start until the beginning of the first decade in the 21st century.

For details click here.


New Book Out: Kurdish Hizbullah in Turkey – Islamism, Violence and the State

7 02 2017

greenKurt, Mehmet

Pluto Press, 2017

ISBN: 9780745399348

This study analyses Kurdish Hizbullah as a social movement and investigates this biggest Kurdish Islamist group by means of ethnographic fieldwork in their daily lives. As opposed to Hizbullah in Lebanon, whose followers are mainly adherents of the Shiite sect of Islam, Hizbullah in Turkey is populated by Sunnis, more specifically by Shafii Kurds. Mehmet Kurt charts the development of a particularly powerful Islamist social movement – Kurdish Hizbullah – from its origins in violent militancy to a more ‘civic’ mode of engagement, an engagement which nonetheless provides a rationale for disenchanted young Islamists to engage in political violence. It offers a unique insight into Kurdish Hizbullah, its political rise and the apparent power of Islamism amongst Kurds in the region, particularly in a context in which the leftist Kurdish political movement is the hegemonic political discourse. Through ethnographic field work and extensive interviews with members, leaders and supporters of Hizbullah, Kurt revelsa the manner in which Islamic civil society has taken root in a region where ethnic identity has been the primary organising tool against a repressive and violent state.

Dr. Mehmet Kurt studied Theology and Islamic Studies, and has a PhD in Sociology. He worked as a visiting researcher at Yale University Department of Anthropology. His areas of expertise are Kurdish Islamist groups, social movements, radicalisation, the Kurdish issue in Turkey, visual ethnography and oral history. He is the author of Turkiye’de Hizbullah (leti im Publication, 2015), and is the British Academy Newton Advanced Post-Doctoral Fellow at Queen Mary University of London.

Call for Papers: Narratives of Struggle – Maintaining and Preserving Kurdish Cultural Heritage

5 02 2017

ksa_logo-copy-2The Kurdish Studies Association (KSA) announces a call for papers for the November 2017 Middle East Studies Association (MESA) meeting to be held in Washington DC, November 18-21, 2017.

Narratives of Struggle: Maintaining and Preserving Kurdish Cultural Heritage

Deadline for submission: February 9, 2017
Organizer and Chair: Christian Sinclair

This organized panel seeks to explore the narratives and politics of cultural maintenance and preservation in the face of repression and conflict. Culture, as defined by UNESCO, is “that complex whole which includes knowledge, beliefs, arts, morals, laws, customs, and any other capabilities and habits acquired by [a human] as a member of society.” Cultural heritage can be tangible or intangible. According to Bouchenaki (2003), “[c]ultural heritage is a synchronized relationship involving society, norms, and values” and the “intangible heritage should be regarded as the larger framework within which tangible heritage takes on shape and significance.”

The overt struggles faced by the Kurds across the Middle East are well known and have a rich literature. What is less researched, and hence the theme of this panel, are the behind-the-scenes efforts to maintain, preserve, and document Kurdish cultural heritage in the face of these decades-long struggles in the region and beyond. How does culture survive decades of oppression? How is it preserved and documented when challenged by the state or even from within?

There is no singular Kurdish culture, but rather a multitude of sub-cultures that together form Kurdish cultural heritage, writ large. Questions this panel hopes to answer include: Who defines these Kurdish culture(s)? For whom is the culture maintained and/or preserved, and why? Are there competing narratives of a singular cultural element? What risks and challenges are inherent in preserving Kurdish culture in the region? What are the relationships between tangible and intangible Kurdish culture?

Points of consideration may include, but are not limited to:

  • The role of institutions such as libraries, archives and museums
  • Patrimony, ownership and possession
  • Hegemony and representation
  • Gendered perspectives on cultural heritage
  • Language and ethno-linguistics
  • Religion and religious institutions

DEADLINE: By February 9, 2017, please send abstracts of 300-400 words for the panel. Include a brief 50-75 word bio. Those selected for the panel will be asked to submit their abstracts to MESA via their online submission system by February 15, 2017. Abstracts for this KSA-sponsored panel should be sent to: KSA Executive Secretary, William Kopycki at

NOTE: All selected panelists must be members of MESA at the time of paper submissions to MESA. Student membership to MESA is $65. Professional membership rates vary according to income. Please do not submit an abstract to us if you are not prepared to join MESA once your abstract has been accepted. For more information about the MESA meeting, go to:

Call for Papers: 3rd Lalish Conference for Peace and Coexistence – Civic State Guarantees the Sustainable Peace

31 01 2017

auk-logo-copyThe Center for Peace and Human Security at the American University of Kurdistan in Duhok, the Women Peace Group and Emma Organization for Human Development will hold the 3rd Lalish Conference for Peace and Coexistence in April 25th and 26th, 2017 entitled “Civic State Guarantees the Sustainable Peace”. The 3rd Lalish Conference for Peace and Coexistence will be a two days conference. The ultimate objective of the conference is to endorse the principles of democracy, social justice and sustainable peace in the Middle East, through understanding genocide, self-determination of nations and affects of the war on women. These would only be guaranteed within the framework of the civic and democratic state.

Conference Themes

The conference papers will be presented in three panels:

Panel ONE:

Revisiting Genocide Experience: Recognition and Protection

The main objectives of this panel are: exchange the experiences of nations that faced genocide, documented the crimes and advocated to recognize it as a genocide internationally and getting international support for self determination. For this panel we invite papers and academic research on cases of genocide from different nations experienced genocide.

Panel TWO:

Self-determination is Vital for Sustainable Peace

This panel aims to discuss the right of self-determination of nations, as a guarantee to protect them from genocide and other threating to maintaining sustainable peace, through comparing between experiences of nations that are part of democratic communities and those are under pressure of dictatorship.

Panel THREE:

Effects of War on Women

The goal of this panel is focusing on the effects of ISIS war on the women that includes:

  • The condition of women and children that have being abused and sexually harassed by ISIS soldiers during war.
  • The women that have being forced to marry ISIS fighters.
  • The situation and rights of female headed families

Limited fund will be provided for transportation and accommodation

You can Submit your abstract to  or

Important Dates  
Call for Paper Announcement December 29th, 2016
Abstract Submission February 17th, 2016
Abstract Acceptance Announcement February 23rd, 2017
Full Paper Submission April 6th, 2017
Announcement of Preliminary Program April 18th, 2017
Announcement of Final Program April 25-26th, 2017

Kurdish Studies Summer School

25 01 2017

logo-500Kurdish Politics and Society: Contemporary and Historical Perspectives

Please join us at this intensive summer school at the Kurdish Institute, Paris (17-20 July 2017) focusing on Kurdish politics and society. The School and will bring together scholars, postgraduate students and community advocates.

Dates: 17-19 July 2017 (teaching); 20th July 2017 (Kurdish ‘Paris’ tour TBC).

Place: Kurdish Institute, Paris

Registration Fees: 125 Euros (until 25 April 2017);

Registration fees cover tuition and venue costs.

Students will arrange and pay for their own accommodation and travel. Special rates on accommodation will be sent to those who have registered following the early registration deadline. This summer school is designed to engage postgraduate students (Master and PhD level), independent scholars, recent graduates in the field of Kurdish Studies as well as community advocates in the politics, society and culture of Kurds.

 Keynote lecturers and panellists include:

  1. Professor Joyce Blau
  2. Professor Hamit Bozarslan
  3. Dr Nazand Begikhani
  4. Dr Ipek Demir
  5. Dr Wendy Hamelink
  6. Dr Welat Zeydanlioglu

The lectures and workshops will be organized in line with the lecturers’ area of expertise. They will be delivered in English, and broadly in these areas:

Area 1: Politics, Resistance, Radicalism and Violence in Kurdistan and the Middle East

Area 2: Kurdish Language and Literature

Area 3: Kurdish Studies and Gender & Gender-based Violence and Resistance

Area 4: Kurdish Diaspora

Area 5: Kurdish Culture, Arts and Music

Area 6: The Politics of Kurdish Language

The format of each day is as follows:

1)   Opening plenary/keynote lecture by at least one of the invited speakers above, outlining the main approaches and methods employed in their specific field (e.g. gender).

2)   15 minute presentations by participants which are then followed by feedback from at least one keynote speaker. Group discussion and feedback.

3)   Closing session with two student rapporteurs summing up key insights from the day and closing statements.


Please fill in the attached application form.

You are welcome to apply as one of the following:

(a) as a presenter of a paper

(b) as an attendee.

You will be able to indicate this on the application form.

Those wishing to present a paper and receive feedback, please include a long abstract (max 500 words) in the application form. Please note that both the word limit and the deadline are strict.

Send the application form to Ipek Demir:

Deadline: 15 March 2017 (spaces might be filled before this date, hence please send your application asap)

Shortlisting will be finalised and communicated by 25 March 2017


Registration (for those who have been accepted) will open on 5 April 2017

Early Registration Deadline: 25 April 2017

Early Registration Fee: 125 Euros

Registration Fees after 25 April 2017200 Euros

Please note that this is not a conference but a teaching and learning event involving teaching sessions from senior scholars of Kurdish Studies. It is a unique opportunity and places are strictly limited. In the event of the summer school being oversubscribed, participants may be selected according to the likely coherence of the sessions – this is not necessarily a reflection on the quality of work submitted.

For the application form click below: 


New Book Out: Little Turkey in Great Britain

23 01 2017

9781910781197Sirkeci, Ibrahim et al.

Transnational Press London, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-910781-19-7

This book is the outcome of a collaborative writing exercise drawing upon a dozen of researches carried out by authors independently and jointly from 2011 to 2015 on Turkish, Kurdish and Turkish Cypriot diaspora populations in Britain, and particularly in London. It is a well round account of these particular immigrant populations from Turkey in the UK. Rich material covers official statistics, survey data as well as a wealth of narratives built upon hundreds of face-to-face interviews carried out in London and elsewhere in Britain. Each chapter looks into different aspects of the three populations ranging from political participation to employment relations to integration and identity formation, and from remittances to football and community life.
Turkish migration to British Isles has a long history but sizeable diaspora communities and enclaves of Turkish origin have emerged only in the last four to five decades. Earlier groups arrived were Cypriots fleeing the troubled island in the Eastern Mediterranean whilst Turks and Kurds of the mainland were not even considering the UK as a destination. This book is about these contemporary movers from Turkey, their movement trajectories, practices, and integration in Britain. Eight researchers from different disciplinary backgrounds and methodological schools came together to do the ground work for the students of this emerging subfield of human mobility studies. Turkey is now at the forefront of accommodating large scale inward mobility mostly due to the crisis in Syria and Iraq. This also brings some attention to Turkey’s own diasporic populations.