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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Support for Kadri Yıldırım

kadriyThe following statement (below in Turkish and English) is currently being circulated in support of Professor Kadri Yıldırım, who was taken into custody three days ago in Mardin. If you wish to offer your support, please send your title, name, and affiliation to Professor Mesut Yeğen at İstanbul Şehir Univeristy at the following email: Put “Support for Prof Kadri Yildirim” in the subject line.



Mardin Artuklu Üniversitesi Rektör Yardımcısı Prof. Kadri Yıldırım üniversitede gerçekleştiği iddia edilen bir yolsuzlukla ilgili olarak üç gündür gözaltında tutulmaktadır. Avukatları, gözaltında olduğu bu üç gün boyunca söz konusu yolsuzluk iddiasıyla ilgili olarak Kadri Yıldırım’a herhangi bir ithamda bulunulmadığını belirtmektedir. Bu hal, Kadri Yıldırım’a Kürt meselesinde almış olduğu muhalif tutumun ve Kürdoloji alanına yaptığı eşsiz katkının bedelinin ödetilmek istendiği şeklinde bir izlenimin doğmasına yol açmaktadır.

Biz aşağıda imzası olanlar Prof. Kadri Yıldırım’a dönük bu haksız muameleyi protesto ediyor ve hocanın yanında olduğumuzu duyuruyoruz.


Public Statement

Vice Rector of Mardin Artuklu University, Professor Kadri Yıldırım, has been in custody for 3 days due to alleged corruption charges. In these 3 days in custody his lawyers have stated that Kadri Yıldırım has not been accused of the aforementioned corruption claim. This situation gives the impression that he is paying the price for his unique contributions to field of Kurdology and his opposing viewpoints with regards to the Kurdish issue.

We whose signatures are below protest the unfair treatment of Kadri Yıldırım  and we announce our support for him.



CfP | Transformed Nations: State policies in Kurdish‐Populated areas in Syria, Iraq, Turkey and Iran


Abstracts: due 1st December 2014

Download full CfP here.


CSU Long Beach: Forum on Kurds | Crisis in Iraq and Syria


New KSA Logo


The Kurdish Studies Association has a new logo! The KSA’s new logo was designed by Iraj Esmailpour Ghouchani. More about the designer can be found at his website here: Many thanks Iraj for the inspired design!

CfP: Kurdish Geopolitics

Call for Papers: Association of American Geographers Annual Meeting 2014, Tampa, Florida, April 8-12th

“Kurdish Geopolitics”

Session organizers:
Till F. Paasche, Department of Geography, Soran University, Kurdish Region, Iraq
Sanan Moradi, Department of Geography, Miami University, Oxford, Ohio, US

Once again Kurdistan is at a crossroads regarding its future geopolitical arrangements. On the one hand, there is an old pan-Kurdish independence discourse that underlies, in one way or another, every debate on the region. On the other hand, more recent events that are sometimes not immediately controlled by the Kurds themselves re-structure Kurdistan granting increasing degrees of sovereignty and autonomy. In particular, this refers to the post-2003 events in Iraq including the current sectarian terror and the ongoing conflict in Syria. However, as Kurdish history has taught us, events in one part of Kurdistan do not leave other parts untouched. A tragic reminder of this is the Syrian Kurds pouring into Iraq.

The combination of the century old independence struggle and rapidly changing geopolitical formations create different forms of autonomous Kurdish regions which scholars still struggle to define. While many Kurdish individuals and politicians still see independence as an impermissible right, pragmatically, it seems, Kurds gradually tie their struggle for democratization within their hosting states and opt for shared sovereignty that is part of federal structures. While lacking de jure independence, parts of Kurdistan function as nation states. This relatively new development thus re-positions Kurds in the regional power-landscape and allows them to become a major player in democratization of their host countries, establish regional economic networks, and, although slowly, play a more active role in regional geopolitics beyond their immediate borders.

Following last year’s AAG session ‘Diverse Kurdish Geographies of Space, Place and Power’ this call for papers seeks to continue the discussion and attempts to provide a platform that enables an interdisciplinary dialogue on questions concerned with Kurdish nationhood, self-determination, sovereignty, and federalism.

Possible presentation topics include:

– Explanation of the different contemporary Kurdish (semi-) autonomous structures?

– Relationships between oil and sovereignty

– Strategic relationship between Turkey and the KRG and its impact on the PKK

– The Arab Spring and Kurdish territoriality (Syria and beyond)

– Iran’s new administration and democratic prospects for its ethnic periphery

– Turkey’s recent democratic reform and its (geo)political imperatives

If in doubt if your idea fits the session or if you have any other queries do not hesitate to contact the organizers (,

Submission deadline is December 3, 2013.

Call for Papers: Kurdish Studies Association at MESA 2014

Call for Paper Abstracts
MESA 2014

Deadline for submission: February 8, 2014

The Kurdish Studies Association (KSA) announces a call for papers for the November 2014 Middle East Studies Association (MESA) meeting to be held in Washington, DC, November 22-25, 2014.

While there is extensive literature on the Kurdish diaspora in Europe, very little, if anything, has been written on Kurdish communities in the United States. Therefore, to build on the literature of the global Kurdish diaspora, KSA would like to highlight at this meeting papers focusing on the Kurds and the United States, hosting both a panel and a roundtable event to explore this relationship.

For this special panel we are seeking papers that include, for example, Kurdish diaspora issues in the United States, activities of political parties/organizations working in Washington (Kurdistan Regional Government, Peace and Democracy Party, Kurdish American Caucus, etc), histories of Kurdish organizations in the US (Kurdish National Congress of North America, Kurdish American Educational Society, Kurdish American Youth Organization, etc), or the return “home” of second generation Kurds to Kurdistan, to name a few possibilities.

The roundtable will explore the state of Kurdish Studies in higher education in the United States and prospects for growth. KSA is accepting nominations for roundtable speakers who will lead the discussions at this session.

Selected panel papers will be presented at the MESA 2014 meeting. Those papers will then be put together for a proposed special KSA-sponsored issue of the Kurdish Studies journal, to be submitted for approval after MESA. Proceedings from the roundtable will be used to formulate an additional journal article.


By December 15, 2013, please forward nominations for speakers for the roundtable session. Self-nominations are welcome.

By February 8, 2014, please send abstracts of 300-400 words for the panel. Those selected for the panel will be asked to submit their abstracts to MESA via their online submission system by February 15, 2014.

Nominations and abstracts should be sent to:

warm regards,

Christian Sinclair
President, Kurdish Studies Association

Kurdish Studies Association events at MESA/New Orleans

2013-Logo-w-datesKurdish Studies Association events for MESA
If you are attending this year’s MESA conference in New Orleans, please join us at the following KSA events:

Thursday, October 10
Kurdish Studies Association General Meeting
Napoleon DC (3rd floor)

Friday, October 11
KSA sponsored film screening: About 111 Girls
MESA FilmFest venue

Saturday, October 12
KSA lunch gathering
Location: TBA

Saturday, October 12
Location: check MESA program
KSA sponsored panel

‘Othering’ and Kurds: Exploring Displacement, Belonging, and Resistance

Chair: Christian Sinclair, U Arizona
Discussant: Diane E. King, Ohio State U/U Kentucky

–Ozge Sensoy Bahar, UIUC–“Back Then and Now”: Experiences of Armed Conflict, Migration, and Its Aftermath through the Eyes of Kurdish Migrant Women

–Mehmet Kurt (panel organizer), Bingöl U–Changing Social Structure in Kurdish Border Towns: The Reflections of State-Society Relations on Identity Formation

–Ipek Demir, U Leicester, UK–Translating and Transforming Kurdishness in Diaspora

–Mija Sanders, U Arizona/ Mercy Corps–Being a Kurdish Transgender Woman Sex-Worker in Diyarbakir: Narratives of Displacement, Belonging, and Resistance


Kurdish Studies Association: Call for Logo Design


The Kurdish Studies Association (KSA) announces an open call to artistically-inclined individuals who are willing to design a logo for the association. This will be the logo used for KSA’s letterhead in official correspondence, website, and used for any other promotional materials as deemed suitable by the executive committee. Logo submissions do not have to be from KSA members.

The logo design must fulfill the following criteria:

1)    The design should be original

2)    The name “Kurdish Studies Association” should incorporated into the design

3)    It should accommodate the technical specifications:

a)     The design will possibly be used on various backgrounds (white, black, and even other colors), and will be used in different sizes (a relatively small one on the website and correspondence, but bigger in the case of posters/signage).

b)    Submissions may be in multiple colors, but should work equally well in the case of black and white printed materials.

c)     Designs should initially be submitted as low resolution JPG or PNG files (height and width 400px maximum).

d)    Designs should be sent as high-resolution vector file if chosen as a finalist.

Submissions should be received by October 9th with a review and selection during the KSA meeting to be held on October 10th at the Middle East Studies Association Conference in New Orleans, Louisiana. Three logos will be chosen and posted on the KSA website for a final vote.

Legal information:

The creator of the willing design will be asked to transfer copyright of the design to the association so it can be properly protected for the benefit of the association. The design also must not include any other copyrighted materials for which any license is required.

Submission information:

Please submit your design to with the subject line: KSA Logo Competition. Submit all entries via email by October 9th.