Events

Kurds and Yezidis in the Middle East: Shifting Identities, Borders, and the Experience of Minority Communities

Hosted by the Middle East Centre

Zoom (Online)

Speakers

Majid Hassan Ali

Majid Hassan Ali

Ilia State University Georgia

Ohannes Kılıçdağı

Ohannes Kılıçdağı

Güneş Murat Tezcür

Güneş Murat Tezcür

University of Central Florida

Arzu Yilmaz

Arzu Yilmaz

University of Hamburg

Chair

Zeynep Kaya

Zeynep Kaya

LSE Middle East Centre

 kurds yezidis book cover 800x600

This event is co-organised with the Kurdish Studies Programme at the University of Central Florida. It will be the book launch of 'Kurds and Yezidis in the Middle East: Shifting Identities, Borders, and the Experience of Minority Communities'.

The diversity of Kurdish communities across the Middle East is now recognized as central to understanding both the challenges and opportunities for their representation and politics. Yet little scholarship has focused on the complexities within these different groups and the range of their experiences. This book diversifies the literature on Kurdish Studies by offering close analyses of subjects which have not been adequately researched, and in particular, by highlighting the Kurds' relationship to the Yazidis. Case studies include: the political ideas of Ehmede Xani, “the father of Kurdish nationalism”; Kurdish refugees in camps in Iraq; the perception of the Kurds by Armenians in the late Ottoman Empire and the Turks in modern Western Turkey; and the important connections and shared heritage of the Kurds and the Yazidis, especially in the aftermath of the 2014 ISIS attacks.

The book comprises the leading voices in Kurdish Studies and combines in-depth empirical work with theoretical and conceptual discussions to take the debates in the field in new directions. The study is divided into three thematic sections to capture new insights into the heterogeneous aspects of Kurdish history and identity. In doing so, contributors explain why we need to pay close attention to the shifting identities and the diversity of the Kurds, and what implications this has for Middle East Studies and Minority Studies more generally.

To receive a 35% discount on this book, please read the information on this flyer.

Majid Hassan Ali completed his doctoral research with a focus on religious minorities in Iraq, at the Institute of Oriental Studies, University of Bamberg, Germany. He is an associate member of the Department of Yezidi Studies at the Giorgi Tsereteli Institute of Oriental Studies, Ilia State University, Tbilisi, Georgia. His research interest includes the difficulties and challenges the ethnic and religious minorities are facing in Muslim-majority countries in the Middle East.

Ohannes Kılıçdağı researches the history of non-Muslims in the Ottoman Empire and Turkey, intercommunal relations in multi-ethnoreligious societies, citizenship and minorities, the history of citizenship and military service, historical sociology and the philosophy of history. He was Kazan Visiting Professor in Armenian Studies at California State University in Autumn 2020. In Spring 2020 he was appointed as Nikit and Eleanora Ordjanian Visiting Professor in the department for Middle Eastern, South Asian and African Studies (MESAAS) at Columbia University. From 2017 to 2019, he was a post-doctoral fellow at the Center for Middle Eastern Studies at Harvard University. He has also previous lectured at İstanbul Bilgi University's Sociology Department on the social and political history of the late Ottoman Empire and modern Turkey. Kılıçdağı was a research fellow at the department of Near Eastern Studies at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor in 2012-2013. He completed his PhD in 2014 at Boğaziçi University in Istanbul writing his dissertation on "Socio-political Reflections and Expectations of the Ottoman Armenians after the 1908 Revolution: Between Hope and Despair". 

Güneş Murat Tezcür is the Jalal Talabani Chair and Professor at the School of Politics, Security, and International Affairs at the University of Central Florida (UCF). He also directs UCF's Kurdish Political Studies Program. Most recently, he has edited Kurds and Yezidis in the Middle East: Shifting Identities, Borders, and the Experience of Minority Communities, and The Oxford Handbook of Turkish Politics. He is currently writing a book on liminal minorities in the Middle East.

Arzu Yilmaz is a visiting scholar at the University of Hamburg. She moved to Berlin in 2018 as Istanbul Policy Centre (IPC)- Mercator Fellow at the German Institute for International and Security Affairs (SWP). She spent seven years in the Kurdish Region of Iraq (KRI) as a lecturer in the Department of Political Science at the University of Duhok and as the Chair of the Department of International Relations at the American University of Kurdistan. Arzu obtained her PhD in International Relations from Ankara University in Turkey, where she wrote her dissertation on Kurdish refugees in the KRI. Yilmaz is the author of the book 'Atruş’tan Maxmur’a: Kürt Mülteciler ve Kimliğin Yeniden İnşası' published in 2016 by İletişim Yayınları.

Zeynep Kaya is a Lecturer in International Development in the Department of Social and Policy Studies, University of Bath, and a Visiting Fellow with the LSE Middle East Centre. Previously she was a Senior Teaching Fellow at the Department of Development Studies at SOAS and an Academic Associate at Pembroke College, University of Cambridge. She is interested in understanding how communities and political groups perceive, interact with and challenge international processes and dominant norms. Her research looks at the relationship between gender, violence and development in conflict and post-conflict contexts. Zeynep has a PhD in International Relations from the LSE, where she conducted research on the transformation of Kurdish nationalism and territorial identity in an international context. Her book Mapping Kurdistan: Territory, Self-Determination and Nationalism was published by Cambridge University Press in 2020.

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From time to time there are changes to event details so we strongly recommend checking back on this listing on the day of the event if you plan to attend.

Image: ©I.B.Tauris 

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