Kurdish Studies Conference

Hosted by the Middle East Centre



Martin van Bruinessen

Martin van Bruinessen

Utrecht University

 KSS Conf Elena Odareeva Iran 1200x800

Download the conference programme 

Download the list of abstracts

The Middle East Centre is pleased to be holding its inaugural Kurdish Studies Conference at the London School of Economics and Political Science on 24-25 April 2023. The conference is organised by the LSE Middle East Centre with the support of the Atlantic Fellows for Social and Economic Equity programme based at the International Inequalities Institute, LSE, the University of Sheffield and I.B Tauris.

This interdisciplinary event marks the fifth anniversary of the establishment of the Kurdish Studies Series at the Middle East Centre. The series encourages dissemination and discussion of new research on Kurdish politics and society and provides a network for scholars, students and all others with related research interests. Over the past five years, the series has hosted 18 public events and published eight monographs and edited volumes as part of the I.B. Tauris/Bloomsbury Kurdish Studies Series.

The conference will cover social sciences disciplinary approaches to any aspect of Kurdish studies. These might include but are not limited to: history; political movements; social movements; gender; political representation; governance; displacement; anthropology; nationalism; ethnography, ecology, political economy; international relations; diaspora; security; and religion. The conference seeks to promote, share and celebrate recent research across this growing field and encourage connections between scholars, students, professionals and members of the public.


Keynote speaker:

Martin van Bruinessen is Professor Emeritus of Comparative Studies of Modern Muslim Societies at Utrecht University. He is an anthropologist with a strong interest in politics, history and philology, and much of his work straddles the boundaries between these disciplines. He has conducted extensive fieldwork in Kurdistan (Turkey, Iran, Iraq, Syria) as well as Indonesia and Southeast Asia generally and has taught on subjects ranging from Ottoman history and sociology of religion to theories of nationalism. He carried out his first field research among the Kurds during two years in the mid-1970s when access was relatively easy and has frequently revisited the region during the following decades. Martin has published extensively on various aspects of Kurdish society, culture and history. His work was translated into Turkish, Persian, Arabic and Kurdish and is easily available in the countries concerned. Since his formal retirement in 2011, he held visiting professorships in Indonesia and Singapore as well as Turkey.

His publications include Agha, Shaikh and State: The Social and Political Structures of Kurdistan (London, 1992); Evliya Çelebi in Diyarbekir (with H. Boeschoten, Leiden, 1988), Mullas, Sufis and heretics: the role of religion in Kurdish society (Istanbul, 2000), Kurdish ethno-nationalism versus nation-building states (Istanbul, 2000), the edited volumes Islam und Politik in der Türkei (with J. Blaschke, Berlin, 1985), Islam des Kurdes (with Joyce Blau, Paris, 1998) and more. Most of his numerous published articles can be accessed at his page.

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: ©Elena Odareeva / Alamy Stock Photo