The Kurdish people are one of the largest ethnic groups in the Middle East. They have a strong sense of nationhood and form large populations in Iran, Iraq, Syria, and Turkey, as well as several European countries. The Kurdish Political Studies Program (KPSP), hosted in the Department of Political Science, is the first academic program dedicated to the study of politics of Kurds and Kurdistan in the United States.
From Victimhood to Empowerment: The Yazidi Kurdish Women
The already highly precarious existence of Yazidi Kurds, a religious minority with long history of persecution, in Iraq took an ominous turn with the rise of the self-styled Islamic State (IS) in the summer of 2014. The IS assault against the Yazidi communities in the Sinjar area located in northwestern Iraq in August 2014 led to mass displacement, sexual slavery of Yazidi girls and women, and massacres. Entire Yazidi villages were wiped out from the map. Thousands of Yazidi girls and women who were captured by the IS endured a life of abuse. Most of Yazidi areas have been liberated from the IS rule and some of these women eventually have managed to regain their freedom since then. The genocidal campaign destroyed the world these women knew of and they were left with permanent scars for the rest of their lives.
The “Sexual Violence as a Weapon of War: Ending the Silence, Empowering the Survivors” Conference held in the German Parliament, Berlin, on June 29th, brought the limelight on these women. [Read the full article]
The Best Article Award in Kurdish Political Studies
This award recognizes the best article in Kurdish Political Studies by a rising scholar during the previous calendar year. For this award cycle, articles published in 2016 will be considered. All articles published in English language peer-reviewed journals addressing questions and covering issues related to Kurdish politics, broadly defined, are eligible for the award. The award is open to all disciplines under social sciences and humanities. The primary author of the article needs to be an untenured scholar (graduate student, post-doc, independent scholar, assistant professor or equivalent) at the time of the publication. The winner will be awarded $500. The awardees will be announced in November 2017.
A copy of the nominated article should be sent by email to Güneş Murat Tezcür at email@example.com. Self-nominations are welcome.
Deadline for nominations: June 15, 2017.
The committee is composed of Sabri Ateş (Southern Methodist University), Hakan Özoğlu (University of Central Florida), Güneş Murat Tezcür (University of Central Florida), and Nicole Watts (San Francisco State University).
The following articles won the last year’s prizes:
The First Prize Winner
Wendelmoet Hamelink and Hanifi Barış, “Dengbêjs on borderlands: Borders and the state as seen through the eyes of Kurdish singer-poets,” Kurdish Studies 2 (2014): 34-60.
The Second Prize Winner
Harun Yilmaz, “The Rise of Red Kurdistan,” Iranian Studies 47 (2014): 799-822.