CfP: Mapping Kurdish Media and Cultural Production between the National and the Transnational

28725Middle East Journal of Culture and Communication
Special issue: “Mapping Kurdish Media and Cultural Production between the National and the Transnational”
Edited by Kevin Smets and Ali Fuat Şengül

Ongoing resistance against, and attacks on, Islamic State militias by Kurdish armed fighters in northern Iraq and Syria have brought international public and media attention to the Kurds’ continuing struggle for statehood. The fighting between the IS and Kurdish militias has brought unprecedented media attention to the Kurds and their struggle for territory, human rights and identity. Although it is too early to predict what direction the geo-political and national struggles will take, it is important to address mediated representations and production by and of Kurds and the role that the media play in new and multiple geographies and experiences of Kurdishness in changing contexts.

The volume and the geographical reach of Kurdish media are expanding exponentially, contributing to a shifting Middle Eastern mediascape. A number of studies already exist on some aspects of Kurdish media production, Kurdish identity and transnational connections and implications. However, these studies have either found home in the field of Kurdish studies or in transnational media studies without contributing, to a certain extent, to dialogues and connections between these fields which would certainly improve understandings of what has come to be known as the Kurdish question.

This special issue seeks to make a contribution to bridging the gap. We therefore invite submissions devoted to empirically grounded, historically-contextualized studies on Kurdish media and cultural productions and their multiple geographies. We welcome papers from a wide range of disciplinary and methodological approaches that focus on media broadly defined and on questions of media and cultural production while relating these issues to relevant socio-political contexts.

Contributions may address, but should not be limited to, the following questions:
– How is the question of Kurdishness articulated, represented and experienced in different geographies?
– How is Kurdish media and cultural production influenced by political economic contexts in different geographies?
– How are questions of gender, class and ethnicity articulated and negotiated?
– What role do Kurdish media and cultural products play in the relation between politics and everyday life?

The deadline for submission of abstracts is 15 March 2015. Abstracts should not exceed 500 words and should provide a clear outline of its proposed theoretical framework and empirical data, as well as its contribution to the themes of the special issue.

Notification of acceptance of abstracts: 20 May 2015.

Deadline for submission of complete manuscripts: 15 October 2015. Contributions should be between 6000 and 7000 words and include an abstract of 150 words, at least 5 keywords and the author’s affiliation and email address.

Please send abstracts by 15 March 2015 to Kevin Smets ( and Ali Fuat Şengül (

Call for committee members: KSA awards

ksa_book_awardThe Kurdish Studies Association is pleased to announce the establishment of two new awards: a Kurdish Studies book award and an award for best graduate paper presented at the Middle East Studies Association meeting. KSA will present these awards during its annual meeting at MESA.

KSA would like to have both selection committees in place in early 2015. If you would like to serve on either committee, please send an email to KSA President, Christian Sinclair, at christian dot sinclair at arizona dot edu by January 1, 2015. The first order of business for both committees will be setting guidelines for each award. After that it will be the function of the committee to select award winners.

KSA news for 2015

Dear KSA colleagues,

Many thanks to all of you who attended the Kurdish Studies Association meeting at MESA this year. We had a record turnout, which reflects the growing importance of Kurdish Studies. I hope too that you all enjoyed the reception afterwards at Levante’s. It was great to see so many new faces in DC – at the meeting, at the reception, and throughout the four days of the MESA conference. We hope to continue to build our presence at MESA.

During MESA 2015 in Denver (November 21-24), KSA will hold its annual meeting and we would like to host another reception for KSA members and guests. KSA is also going to begin a Kurdish Studies book award and an award for best graduate paper presentation at MESA. As the field of Kurdish Studies continues to grow, KSA will grow too, taking on new projects and moving forward to better serve its constituents. In order to do that though, KSA needs to begin collecting dues and formalizing its membership base.

Beginning in January 2015, dues will be collected annually at a rate of $30 ($15 for full-time students) and be valid for the remainder of the calendar year paid. Only current paid members will be allowed to propose panels, submit papers for a sponsored panel, vote on important KSA issues, submit a book or paper for an award, or be eligible to serve on award committees. Funds collected through membership dues will be used primarily for annual KSA membership with MESA, room rental at the annual MESA meeting, sponsorship of MESA-related events (ie films, guest speakers, receptions), and sponsorship of a KSA graduate student panel. The dues portal should be up and running by the end of this month.

Our first order of business for the new year is to set up two committees. One for the book award and one for the graduate paper award. If you are interested in serving on either committee, please send me an email (christian dot sinclair at arizona dot edu) by January 1, 2015. The KSA executive board will review names and select committee members. During this first year of service, committee members will have the task of setting up guidelines for each of the awards in addition to then selecting awardees.

Looking forward to a productive 2015 with all of you!



Christian Sinclair
President, Kurdish Studies Association

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