The Centre for Kurdish Studies at the University of Exeter will be holding an inaugural international conference on 2-3 April 2009, on the theme of ‘The Kurds and Kurdistan: Identity, Politics, Culture’. The rapidly-growing area of Kurdish Studies exemplifies not only the tensions between region and discipline which are typical of ‘area studies’ in general, but is also affected by the multiplicity and heterogeneity of Kurdish experiences and identities. Who are the Kurds, what are ‘Kurdish studies’, and where can they lead us as scholars and practitioners? While the Kurds are implicated in many contemporary political developments in the Middle East, epistemological questions in the field of Kurdish Studies itself lie at a crossroads of disciplines and history. What then are the epistemological and political bases for our field?
In this first decade of the 21st century, the Kurds and Kurdistan have attracted attention from media and the international community, accompanied by a proliferation of scholarly attention on this rapidly changing society. With these realities setting the backdrop to our academic pursuits, the aim of the conference is to provide a historical review of the burgeoning field, identify gaps and challenges in contemporary research, and to consider emergent directions for scholarship at this pivotal moment in Kurdish history and society.
A plenary session is planned; we would welcome proposals for individual papers and for panels across the range of disciplines, which address any aspect of Kurdish Studies. The organisers wish to bring together scholars from a wide range of disciplines, including literature, history, political science, linguistics, anthropology, ethnomusicology, religious studies, gender studies, peace and conflict studies, refugee studies, and others.
Topics may include, but are not limited to, the following broad themes:
*Politics and Kurdish national movements
*Gender dynamics in Kurdish society
*The transnationalisation of Kurdish populations and politics
*Ethics and knowledge production of the Kurds
While we have funds in place to pay the costs of some participants, these are limited and priority will be given to those who cannot find funding elsewhere. Participants are strongly advised to seek funding from their own universities or research bodies.
Potential participants are invited to send their proposals by 30th September, 2008, to email@example.com. Individual paper submissions should include the full details of the presenter and an abstract of 300 words (for a twenty-minute presentation). Proposals for entire panels should include at least three papers, a Chair and a suggested discussant. These should be submitted online from mid-September 2008.
Centre of Kurdish Studies,
University of Exeter,
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