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Essays on Kurds

Historiography, Orality, and Nationalism


Amir Hassanpour

The essays in this collection offer robust theoretical analysis of language and cultural rights, class and gender, policy and politics, history and historiography, nation and nationalism, and Marxism. They continue to remain original to a vast array of debates and contestations in these areas. The book includes unpublished pieces and some key contributions that are most relevant to the contemporary debates on theory and method of nation/nationalism, and the struggle of national minorities for sovereignty, cultural and political rights. Each chapter provides original data and are written over a span of decades, but significantly, they offer a radical break with the colonial, orientalist, and nationalist traditions of knowledge production. This book is an exemplary exploration of nation and nationalism in a Marxist dialectical, historical materialism.

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Foreword: The Renewal of Kurdish Studies


The new book series, Kurds: Politics, History and People, is initiated at an auspicious time. Today, there are unprecedented levels of Kurdish scholarly activity including book publishing, journal articles, handbooks, conferences, course offerings, and doctoral and master level theses. Social media-based productions such as podcasts, weblogs, websites, and TV and radio programs have populated digital highways. Artists have been equally prolific in film, theatre, and musical productions as well as in the realm of literature and creative arts. As such, one can argue that there currently is a transnational knowledge explosion in Kurdish studies in comparison to two decades ago. Despite the recentness of this increase in knowledge, its impact is already palpable in the range of debates that it has provoked. Kurdish studies seeks to reconfigure itself so as to overcome the theoretical and political limitations of Orientalist, masculinist, or colonialist approaches in which Kurdish people, history, and politics are often tribalized, primordialized, and homogenized and social differences such as gender and class are erased in order to congeal the unity of the nation. Scholars of Kurdish and non-Kurdish origin are vigorously involved in this remaking of Kurdish studies.

This book series also commences during a globally volatile period in which the Middle East region is densely implicated. Globally, conservative forces are on the rise and religious and secular authoritarianism is increasingly becoming ←xi | xii→the dominant mode of governance. The capitalist economy is fueling wars and is dispossessing and displacing people across the region and throughout...

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