Scholars, students and all others with related research interests came together on Monday and Tuesday for the Kurdish Studies Conference, hosted by the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) Middle East Centre, to disseminate and discuss new research on Kurdish politics and society.
The interdisciplinary event featured a total of 27 panels with over 100 speakers contributing to various topics, ranging from the question of ‘Kurdistan’ in historiography and Soviet Kurdish studies, to Kurdish women’s roles in political life and the Kurdish identity and diaspora.
Other aspects of Kurdish studies that stood out during the conference were political and social movements, political representation, displacement, ecology, international relations, security and religion.
The interdisciplinary keynote lecturer was prominent anthropologist Martin van Bruinessen, Professor Emeritus of Comparative Studies of Modern Muslim Societies at Utrecht University. Bruinessen began the event by asking the audience for the definition of ‘Kurdish studies’ before clarifying the history and development of this research area, while considering politics, history and philology.
Participants of the two-day conference hailed it as a resounding success, calling it a valuable forum and an opportunity to learn from and engage with experts in the field of study.
The Kurdish Studies Conference also marks the fifth anniversary of the establishment of the Kurdish Studies Series launched by the LSE Middle East Centre, at the initiative of Zeynep Kaya, lecturer in International Relations at the University of Sheffield and Robert Lowe, deputy director for the Middle East Centre.
This series, which is based on the idea that the recent growth of Kurdish studies increasingly reflects the salience of Kurdish political, social and cultural developments for the region and for wider geopolitics, has so far hosted 18 public events, published eight monographs and edited volumes as part of the I.B. Tauris/Bloomsbury Kurdish Studies Series.