First North American Conference on the Kurdish Language

The Kurdish American Education Society (KAES), a non-profit cultural organization in Los Angeles, will be hosting the First North American Conference on the Kurdish Language and Culture on 05 November 2010. The event is co-sponsored by UCLA’s G.E. von Grunebaum Center for Near Eastern Studies (CNES).  The conference will bring to Los Angeles Kurdish and non-Kurdish linguists, students, and scholars from different parts of the United States, Canada, and Europe to address a wide spectrum of topics and research on Kurdish studies.

The primary goal of the conference is to stress the need for reviewing the existing trends, current challenges, and new linguistic, socio-linguistic and historical studies, recognize the achievements that scholars and practitioners have made in their respective fields of research, and open new possibilities for raising consciousness about and change the state of the language and its community of speakers.

Conference participants and presenters are from a wide spectrum of disciplines, including but not limited to applied linguistics, dialectology, lexicography, sociolinguistics, anthropology, art and language, educational linguistics, Kurdish as a heritage language, discourse analysis, media studies, and historical linguistics.

The conference will take place in the Collins Conference room at the UCLA James West Alumni Center on Friday, 05 November from 9am to 6pm. Some of the emerging conference topics include: The Influence of Kurdish on the Neo-Aramaic Language, Kurdish language policy and planning, language and identity, challenges of developing educational materials in Kurdish, music and cultural rights.

For additional information on the conference and registration, please refer to the KAES website.

Confirmed presenters include:

Yonar Sabar, scholar, specializing in Neo-Aramaic studies, professor in the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Cultures, University of California Los Angeles.

Jaffer Sheyholislami, Assistant Professor at the School of Linguistics and Language Studies, Carleton University, Ottawa, Canada. Areas of research: language and identity; language of/in media; language policy and planning; language and power/ideology; genre studies.

Christian Sinclair, Assistant Director, Center for Middle Eastern Studies, The University of Arizona; PhD candidate in Kurdish Studies at the University of Exeter, specialized in media, language policy, and identity.

Shayee Khanaka, librarian for Linguistics & Middle Eastern Studies, at UC Berkeley, has an MA in Folklore and a thesis on Kurdish Humor.

Rashid Karadaghi, Author of the Azadi English-Kurdish Dictionary and writer on Kurdish affairs.

Ali Ashuri, author, poet, and critic, specialized in philology and Kurdish literature; he has taught at San Diego State University.

Muhamad Tawfiq Ali, Applied linguist, translator, critic, member of Chartered Institute of Linguistics ( MCIL).

Gregory Scarborough, field researcher on Kurdish music and cultural rights, focusing on Kurdish areas in Turkey, director of Cultural Cornerstones.

Alexandra Jaffe, incoming editor of Linguistic Anthropology and formerly the editor of Language and Education, specialized in linguistic anthropology, language ideology, bilingualism and the status of minority languages, professor at California State University, Long Beach.

Susan Barwari, PhD student, UCLA Department of Linguistics, educator specializing in assessment and educational material development in Kurmanji.

Hashem Ahmadzadeh, Kurdish scholar, a lecturer in the Centre for Kurdish Studies at the University of Exeter, specialized in language in Kurdish novels.

Opengin Ergin, 2nd year PhD student at L’Université de Paris -Sorbonne Nouvelle, specializing in Kurdish sociolinguistics.

Amir Hasssanpour (via Skype), scholar of Kurdish sociolinguistics and history, professor at the Department of Near and Middle Eastern Civilizations, University of Toronto.

Michael Chyet (via Skype), Library of Congress, author of Kurdish Dictionary: Kurmanji-English, scholar and researcher, author of “And a thornbush sprang between them, Studies on Mem û Zîn: A Kurdish Romance.”

Amir Sharifi, applied linguist, translator, specializing in literacy socialization, lecturer, Department of Linguistics, California State University, Long Beach.

4 thoughts on “First North American Conference on the Kurdish Language

  1. Pingback: Tweets that mention First North American Conference on the Kurdish Language and Culture « KURDISTAN COMMENTARY --

  2. The present “established understanding”of Kurdish languages, history and indentity is evidently not correct. since the ancient languages which are unjustly accepted as Elamite, Sumerian, Babylonian, Akkadian, Hittitian, Assyrian, Syriac, Hurrian, Persian etc., are ancient Kurdish tribal languages, recognizable in present Kurdish languages and no people other than the Kurds had ever been in possession of Kurdsu.
    and for more see

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