37 Kurdish studies papers to be presented at MESA

Marriott Wardman Park Hotel, Washington, DC
22-25 November 2014

A full listing of Kurdish panels, papers, and events.

An amazing 37 Kurdish studies papers will be presented in 4 days!


Meetings: Saturday, November 22 2-3pm

ksa_logo copyKurdish Studies Association meeting (Coolidge Room)

Guest speakers:

Mehmet Yüksel, HDP representative in Washington
Mutlu Çiviroğlu, Washington-based journalist will provide update on Kobanê

Kurdish Studies Association Reception to follow
3.30-5pm (location to be announced at meeting)


Saturday, November 22

Undergraduate Research Poster Session

Three of the 16 poster presentations are focused on the Kurds:

Jennie Barker, Tulane U–The Kurds In Turkey: Prospects for Peace Under the AKP
Julie Duerst, Lewis & Clark Col–The Roots of Unrest in Turkey
Kevin Miller, Loyola U–From Sheikhs to Statesmen: The Gradual Shift from Regional Rebellions to Nationalist Movements in Southern Kurdistan Since WWI


Kurdish-themed panels and papers (marked with *):

Saturday, November 22 5.30-7.30pm

The Kurds and the Changing Middle East Political Map

Organized by Michael M. Gunter
Supported by Ahmed Foundation for Kurdish Studies
Chair: Robert W. Olson, U Kentucky
Discussant: Tozun Bahcheli, King’s Col London


*Mohammed M.A. Ahmed, Ahmed Foundation for Kurdish Studies–Are the Kurds Missing the Boat?
*Michael M. Gunter, Tennessee Technological U–The Syrian Kurds & the Changing Middle East Political Map
*Diane E. King, U Kentucky–The Kurdistan Region of Iraq and the Changing Middle East Political Map
*Nader Entessar, U South Alabama–Securitization of Kurdish Demands in Iran
*Vera Eccarius-Kelly, Siena Col–Kurdish Identity and Diaspora Politics: Re-Positioning Dissent


Sunday, November 23 8.30-10.30am

Failing to Imagine Cartographic and Discursive Borders

Organized by Emine Rezzan Karaman
Discussant: Sabri Ates, Southern Methodist U


*Emine Rezzan Karaman, UCLA–Neither Persian nor Kurdish: Imposition of Osmanlilik in the Kurdish Frontier and Making of the Ottoman-Persian Border
*Seda Altug, Bogaziçi U–State, People and Violence in the Making of the Turco-Syrian Frontier
*Dilan Okcuoglu, Queen’s U–Control and Resilience in Kurdish Geography: Case Studies of Van and Hakkari


ksa_logo copySunday, November 23 11am to 1pm

Conflict, Displacement and the Transformation of Kurdish Identity in Turkey: Negotiating Linguistic and Religious Identity(ies)

Organized by Mehmet Kurt
Sponsored by Kurdish Studies Association (KSA)
Chair: Christian Sinclair, U Arizona


*Gulay Turkmen, Yale U–United in Religion, Divided by Ethnicity: The Failure of Islam as a Supranational Identity in the Kurdish-Turkish Conflict in Turkey
*Mehmet Kurt, Selcuk U–Between Radical Islam and Kurdishness: An Ethnography of Kurdish Hizbullah in Turkey
*Yeşim Mutlu, Middle East Technical U–Negotiating Kurdishness Through Language: The Case of Internally Displaced Kurdish Youngsters within the Education System in Turkey
*Birgul Yilmaz, SOAS, U London– Language, Identity and Conflict in Turkey: Language Rights and Activism as a Catalyst of Democratization, Political Negotiation and Resistance


Sunday, November 23 11am – 1pm

Nature and Society: Environmental Roots of State Formation in the Modern Middle East, 18th-20th Century

Organized by Yaron Ayalon
Discussant: Alan Mikhail, Yale U


Zoe Griffith, Brown U–A Fine-Grained History: Socio-Politics of Rice Cultivation in 18th-Century Ottoman Egypt
Andrew Robarts, Rhode Island School of Design (RISD)–Nowhere to Run To, Nowhere to Hide: State, Society, and Epidemic Disease in the Ottoman Balkans
Ranin Kazemi, Kansas State U–The Environmental Causes of the Tobacco Protest in Nineteenth-Century Iran
Yaron Ayalon, Ball State U–Natural Disasters and the Fall of the Ottoman Empire
*Joseph D. Lombardo, The New School– Eppur Si Muove: Italian Capital, the Environment, and the Kurdish Struggle


Sunday, November 23 2-4pm

ksa_logo copyIdentity, Language, Media, and Memory: Kurds in the US Diaspora

Organized by Christian Sinclair
Sponsored by Kurdish Studies Association (KSA)


*Aynur de Rouen, Binghamton U SUNY– Coming to America: Kurdish Diaspora in the United States
*Stan Thangaraj, City Col of New York– Navigating Empire(s) Through Religion and Culture: Muslim Kurdish American Women and Challenging Power(s)
*Christian Sinclair, U Arizona–Infusing Media Rhythms into the Diasporic Space: Kurds and Media Production in the US
*Amir Sharifi, CSU Long Beach– The Role of Heritage Language in Identity Construction Among Diasporic Kurds in the United States


Sunday, November 23 4.30-6.30pm

Kurdish Imaginations – Imaginations of Kurdishness

Organized by Marlene Schafers and Susan Benson-Sokmen
Chair: Sophie Richter-Devroe, U Exeter
Discussant: Hisyar Ozsoy, U of Michigan Flint


*Marlene Schafers, U Cambridge–In Pursuit of Permanent Traces: Constituting Authorship Through Inscription
*Susan Benson-Sokmen, U Toronto–Imagining the Non-State: Historical Production in Turkey’s “Fourth Most-Kurdish City”
*Elif Ege-Tatar, U at Buffalo–A Feminist Account of Kurdishness: Everyday Lives of Young Kurdish Women in Istanbul
*Veronica Buffon, U Exeter–Imagining and Sense of Belonging in Diyarbakır: When ‘Health’ and Kurdishness Encounter Political Conflict and Biomedical Domain
*Anoush Tamar Suni, UCLA–An Armenian Past in a Kurdish Present: The Politics of Remembering and Forgetting


Monday, November 24 2.30-4.30pm

Kurdishness, Identity, and Memory in Turkey

Chair: Dilan Okcuoglu, Queen’s U


*Muna Guvenc, UC Berkeley–Making Claims of Kurdishness: ‘Alternative’ Urban Projects in Diyarbakir, Turkey
*Gozde Ege, U Washington–The Kurdish Movement and the Politics of Memory: Remembering Armenians in Van, Turkey
*Mucahit Bilici, John Jay Col CUNY–Kurdishness at Peace with Islam: Indigenization and the Kurdistani Approach to Post-Conflict Articulations of Kurdish Identity in Turkey
*Lydia Shanklin Roll, U Kentucky–“Here We Live Our Culture”: Claiming Kurdishness in Urban Turkey


Monday, November 24 5-7pm

Dressing and Undressing for the Nation in the Post-World War I Middle East

Organized by Ahmet Serdar Akturk
Chair: Joel Gordon, U Arkansas
Discussant: Sarah D. Shields, UNC Chapel Hill


*Sevgi Adak, Leiden U–Clothing and the Debate on Secular National Identity in Turkey: The Dress Law of 1934
*Ahmet Serdar Akturk, Georgia Southern U–Kurdish Nationalism and Clothing Reform in the Post-Ottoman Era
Sivan Balslev, Tel Aviv U–Dressing and Impressing Hegemony: Dress Reform and Hegemonic Masculinity in Interwar Iran
Hilary Kalmbach, U Sussex–From Turban to Tarboush: Dress and the Construction of Egyptian National Identity in the Interwar Period


Tuesday, November 25 8.30-10.30am

Anthropology of Everyday Contradictions and Mediations in Turkey’s Kurdistan

Organized by Firat Bozcali, Omer Ozcan, Dilan Yildirim, and Cagri Yoltar
Discussant: Narges Erami, Yale U


*Firat Bozcali, Stanford U–Materials and Moralities of Smuggling: Moral Economy of the Kurdish Border-Trade across Turkey and Iran
*Cagri Yoltar, Duke U–A Tale of Two Strikes: Moralities of Kurdish Struggle and Municipal Labor Politics in Turkey’s Kurdistan
*Omer Ozcan, U Texas Austin–Smuggling at “Peace”: The Peace Process and “Smuggling” in a Border Town of Turkey’s Kurdistan
*Dilan Yildirim, Harvard U–Disobedient Mountains and Rivers of Revolt: Insurgency and Counter-Insurgency by the Other Means in Turkish Kurdistan


Tuesday, November 25 11am-1pm

Kurdistan(s) in Conflict

Chair: Suheir Abu Oksa Daoud, Costal Carolina U


*Daniel Meier, CNRS-PACTE–Disputed Territories in KRG: A National Identity Issue
*Zeki Sarigil, Bilkent U–Inter-ethnic Tolerance in Turkey: Turks vs. Kurds
*Kawa Morad, U Exeter–(Dis)Placing Bodies: Syrian Kurdish Refugees in Iraqi Kurdistan
*Thomas Schmidinger, U Vienna– Rojava (Syrian-Kurdistan) as a Borderland in Civil War


Tuesday, November 25 1.30-3.30pm

Transnational Cultural Production

Chair: Zeynep Seviner, U Washington


*Suncem Kocer, Kadir Has U–Kurdish Cinema as a Transnational Homeland
Mohammed Hirchi, Colorado State U–Tangiers and the Dynamics of the Borderland in the Era of Globalization
Anders Ackfeldt, Lund U–Staging Islam in Music Videos: The Case of “Paid in Full”
Isra Ali, Rutgers, State U of New Jersey–Adaptation: Cultural Alliances and Television Production in Israel and the United States
Robert Lang, U Hartford–Ari Folman’s Waltz with Bashir: Whose Trauma?


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