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. In this year’s competition, social science and humanities articles published in English language peer-reviewed journals in 2017 were considered. The winning scholar is awarded $500. The selection committee was composed of Senem Aslan, (Bates College), Sabri Ateş (Southern Methodist University), and Güneş Murat Tezcür (University of Central Florida).
Sacha Alsancakli, “Matrimonial Alliances and the Transmission of Dynastic Power in Kurdistan: The Case of the Diyādīnids of Bidlīs in the Fifteenth to Seventieth Centuries,” Eurasian Studies 15 (2017): 222-49.
Serra Hakyemez, “Margins of the Archive: Torture, Heroism, and the Ordinary Prison No. 5 in Turkey,” Anthropological Quarterly 90 (2017): 107-38.
From an impressive pool of articles from multiple disciplines, the committee has unanimously awarded the first prize to Sacha Alsancakli’s “Matrimonial Alliances and the Transmission of Dynastic Power in Kurdistan: The Case of the Diyādīnids of Bidlīs in the Fifteenth to Seventieth Centuries.” Drawing on sources from Persian, Turkish, Kurdish, German, and French, as well as several Šarafnāma manuscripts, the author examines the centrality of matrimonial alliances to regional geopolitics in an important Kurdish principality of the early modern period. With an exhausting analysis of sources, Alsancakli provides a thorough and nuanced account of how the Kurdish aristocracy formed alliances with each other and imperial powers through marriages. While binding the Kurdish local dynasties to each other, the “matrimonial politics” strengthened the bonds of solidarity among them, facilitating the survival of such dynasties in times of crises and external threats. With his meticulous research on often referred but rarely studied Šarafnāma and the Diyādīnid dynasty, Alsancakli provides a model for future historical research in Kurdish Studies.
The committee awards honorable mention to Serra Hakyemez’s “Margins of the Archive: Torture, Heroism, and the Ordinary Prison No. 5 in Turkey.” Hakyemez develops an innovative tripartite perspective about the Diyarbakır prison in the 1980s, the paradigmatic case of gross rights violation in Turkey, on the basis of extensive research involving original documents from the prison and interviews with former prisoners, political activists, and lawyers. She offers an engaging discussion of how different forms of archival evidence from the prison sustain contemporary claims for restorative justice (i.e., transforming the prison into a memory museum), contribute to political resistance (i.e., generating mythical symbols of the Kurdish nationalist struggle), and reveal ordinary practices of prisoners under conditions of extraordinary violence (i.e., showing prisoner’s mundane subjectivity beyond the categories of victimhood and heroism).
The First Prize Winner
Kelda Jamison, “Hefty dictionaries in incomprehensible tongues: commensurating code and language community in Turkey,” Anthropological Quarterly 89 (2016): 31-62.
Erlend Paasche, “The role of corruption in reintegration: experiences of Iraqi Kurds upon return from Europe,” Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies 42 (2016): 1076-93.
Metin Yüksel, “On the borders of the Turkish and Iranian nation-States: The story of Ferzende and Besra,” Middle Eastern Studies 52 (2016): 656-76.
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.
Dr. Najmaldin Karim Fellowship in Kurdish Political Studies
The Kurdish Political Studies Program (KPSP) sponsors the Dr. Najmaldin Karim Fellowship for undergraduate students at UCF. The fellow is provided a research space conducive to educational and professional development and conduct a research project related to Kurdish politics, broadly defined, under the supervision of KPSP faculty in every spring semester. This research has the aim of producing a final paper that is worthy of publication. It aims to enrich the fellow’s academic credentials, providing a unique opportunity to gain in-depth insights about Kurdish politics through independent research. The fellow will receive $500 for the semester. All financial aid rules and regulations apply.
The applications for Spring 2019 are now accepted. Students should submit their application to Doreen Horschig. The application deadline is October 31, 2018. A committee of UCF faculty will select the fellow.
Margaret Morgan – Spring 2018
Kellan Ritter – Spring 2017