More than two dozen papers on Kurdish issues at MESA this year!

The Middle East Studies Association (MESA) annual meeting will be held this year in San Diego, California from 18-21 November 2010.  San Diego is home to the second largest Kurdish community in the United States.

With more than two dozen Kurdish-related papers over four days, and given the location, this is a conference you do not want to miss!

If you are a presenter and would like your paper posted at Kurdistan Commentary so that others can read it, please send it along after the conference (in .pdf) to kurdistancommentary (at)

Here are some of the meetings/panels/papers to be presented at next month’s conference. The full conference programme is available at the MESA website.

Thursday, 18 November 2010

Kurdish Studies Association Business Meeting (2-5pm)

Leftists after All?: The Kurdish Movement in Turkey and the Left, from the 1960s to the 2000s (5-7pm)

Organized by Marlies Casier

Sponsored by the Kurdish Studies Association

Chair: Erol Ulker, U of Chicago
Discussant: Janet Klein, U of Akron

-Ahmet Alis, Boğaziçi U—A Critical History of the Affiliation between the Kurds and Turkish Socialist and Leftist Movement: 1959-1974

-Azat Z. Gundogan, Binghamton U (SUNY)—From Fellow Townsmenship to Leftist Activism: Kurdish ’68ers, Turkish Labor Party and Eastern Demonstrations

-Joost Jongerden, Wageningen U—A Party Without a History?: The Kurdistan Revolutionaries (PKK) and the Left in Turkey

-Mustafa Gurbuz, U of Connecticut—Enemies of the “Deep State”: Narrative Contests and Transformation of Kurdish Nationalist Identity

-Marlies Casier, Ghent U—‘Another Middle East is Possible!’: Turkey’s Kurdish Movement’s Capitalization of the Social Forum–Instrument for Internal Change or Internationalization of the Cause

Structures, Relations and Subjectivites: Youth in the Middle East (5-7pm)

Organized by Ayca Alemdaroglu

Chair/Discussant: Heidi Morrison, U of Wisconsin-La Crosse

-Zeynep Baser, Sabancı U—Imagining Citizenship, Identity and Peace: The Kurdish Youth in Diyarbakır

Clientelism and Ethnocracy (5-7pm)

-Fuat Dundar, U of Michigan-Ann Arbor—Referendum in Kirkuk, Ethnocracy in Iraq: The Role of Statistics in Iraqi-Kurdish Nationalism

Friday, 19 November 2010

Navigating the Middle East Minefields: Regional Responses to the Emergence of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) (11am-1pm)

Organized by Michael M. Gunter

Supported by Ahmed Foundation for Kurdish Studies

Chair: Michael M. Gunter, Tennessee Tech U
Discussant: Robert Olson, U of Kentucky

-Mohammed M.A. Ahmed, Ahmed Foundation for Kurdish Studies—The Iraqi Kurds and Regional States

-Murat Somer, Koç U—Turkey and Kurds in Post-US Iraq

-Vera Eccarius-Kelly, Siena Col—The KRG and Democratic Space: Europe’s Kurdish Diaspora Faces Competition

-Nader Entessar, U of South Alabama—Entente Cordiale: Iran and the Kurdish Regional Government

-Michael M. Gunter, Tennessee Tech U—Syria’s Response to the Emergence of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG)

Cooperation, Resistance and Violence in Kurdish Politics (2-4pm)

Organized by Gunes Murat Tezcur

Discussant: Cihan Tugal, UC San Diego

-Ceren Belge, Harvard U—Policing Loyalty: Resistance and Control in Turkey’s Kurdish Provinces

-Gunes Murat Tezcur, Loyola U Chicago—The Early Years: The Formation and Rise of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party

-Nicole Watts, San Francisco State U—When Remembrance isn’t Enough: State-Society Relations and Symbolic Politics in Halabja

-Ahmet Serdar Akturk, U of Arkansas—‘Good but Ignorant’: Kurdish Self-View under French Mandatory Rule

Saturday, 20 November 2010

Kurds in Turkey, Syria & Iraq: Historical Experiences (5-7pm)

-Umut Uzer, Harvard U—Gükalp and Arvasi between Turkish and Kurdish Identities

-Omer Ozcan, U of Texas at Austin—Prison and Fortress: Home in the Kurdish Experience of War

-Sargon Donabed, Roger Williams U—Misconceptions and Politics: Reconceptualizing ‘Historic Realities’ in Iraq 1960-1990

-Sevin Gallo, U of Akron—Modernity and Honor Violence: The Case of Turkey and the Kurds

-Christian Sinclair, U of Arizona—Kurdish Political and Cultural Rights in Bashar Al-Assad’s Syria

MESA will be at the Manchester Grand Hyatt

Sunday, 21 November 2010

Kurdishness in the Vernacular (11am-1pm)

Organized by Diane E. King and Shayee Khanaka

Sponsored by the Kurdish Studies Association

Chair: Diane E. King, U of Kentucky
Discussant: Janet Klein, U of Akron

-Shayee Khanaka, UC Berkeley—Kurdish Women under Ba’athist Rule

-Susan Benson-Sokmen, U of Toronto—Beyond the Nation: Celebrating the Kurdish “Counter-Diaspora” in the Streets of Toronto

-Mustafa Kemal Mirzeler, Western Michigan U—Cemo

-Omer Tekdemir, Durham U—European Union and Kurdish Relations and the Transformation of Kurdish Identity within Turkey’s Democratization Process

Gender and the Organization of Dissent (11am-1pm)

-Salima Tasdemir, U of Exeter—Kurdish Women’s Political Activism in Turkey: ‘Feminization’ of Kurdish Politics?

Perspectives on Nationalism: Turks, Arabs & Kurds (1.30-3.30pm)

-Zeynep Sahin, U of Southern California—Political Representation of Kurdish Nationalist Women in Turkey in the 2000s


6 thoughts on “More than two dozen papers on Kurdish issues at MESA this year!

  1. Yes, it would be great to have these papers online and accessible to a wider audience. There’s a lot of ground-breaking research out there!

    PS have you checked your spam folder lately? :)

  2. Hahaha, Yes I checked it yesterday (don’t worry, I clicked NOT SPAM ;) so no way any message from you ends up there) but I couldn’t reply yet (the dark side of having a shared computer at home).

  3. I would love to read some of these papers, are they available on the internet yet?

  4. I have not seen them anywhere online. Perhaps some of the presenters will send them in and I can post them on the blog.

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