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CANCELLED: 4th International Conference on Kurdish Studies 18-20 June 2020

Hosted by the Centre for Kurdish Studies

We regret to advise that this conference has been cancelled. It will be rescheduled to autumn 2020.

Event details


The ability of the Kurds to control their own destinies autonomously in the states in which they reside remains questionable at best and, for some, still impossible to imagine. As the most established autonomous region is that of the Kurdistan Region of Iraq, yet the events of 2017, following the referendum on independence in September, saw the Iraqi state forcibly quash Kurdish aspirations and in so doing nearly collapsed the KRI itself. In Rojava, the Syrian Kurds witnessed the terrible reality of being the proxy of state powers, namely the US and other European powers, that ultimately saw their alliance with the Kurds as opportunistic and transactional, rather than built upon more durable strategic and even ethical concerns. The catastrophe of Rojava is now set to unfold in ever more tragic ways in the months ahead. And in Turkey and Iran, countries in which the Kurds do not have autonomy, the authority of the state is being brought to bear upon their Kurdish populations with alarming rapidity and severity.

Perhaps this picture of instability and flux is one that is familiar to Kurds, and to observers of Kurdish history, alike. Yet it seems that the scale of the instabilities that are affecting the Kurds and Kurdistan, along with the depth and qualities of these instabilities, stands out as particularly marked. In short, the present period seems to be one in which there is (Another) Kurdish Crisis in the Middle East. It is the nature of this crisis, its causes, patterns and processes, manifestations and resolutions that will be considered in this conference, including in political, economic, social, and cultural domains.

Thematic Areas of the Conference

Thematic areas covered by the conference include (but are not restricted to) Kurdish literature, women’s participation in politics, cultural production, history, political international relations, governance, civil society, civil rights, diplomacy, conflict and democratization, forced displacement, internal and external interference (Syria, Iraq, Turkey, Iran), internal colonialization and rewriting Kurdish history. Original research based on empirical data and/or new theoretical approaches are prioritised.


For any enquiries please email

Organising committee:

Dr Allan Hassaniyan, University of Exeter
Dr Farangis Ghaderi, University of Exeter
Dr Samer Bakkour, University of Exeter


IAIS Building/LT1