SOAS University of London

London Middle East Institute

Mapping Kurdistan: Territory, Self-Determination and Nationalism

IMG - Zeynep Kaya Book
Zeynep Kaya (SOAS)

Date: 26 January 2021Time: 5:30 PM

Finishes: 26 January 2021Time: 7:00 PM

Venue: Virtual Event

Type of Event: Virtual Event



Since the early twentieth-century, Kurds have challenged the borders and national identities of the states they inhabit. Nowhere is this more evident than in their promotion of the 'Map of Greater Kurdistan', an ideal of a unified Kurdish homeland in an ethnically and geographically complex region. This powerful image is embedded in the consciousness of the Kurdish people, both within the region and, perhaps even more strongly, in the diaspora. There is a lack of rigorous research and analysis of Kurdish politics from an international perspective. In this talk, Zeynep Kaya builds on her book Mapping Kurdistan to show how a focus on self-determination, territorial identity and international norms help analyse how imaginations of homelands have been socially, politically and historically constructed (much like the state territories the Kurds inhabit), as opposed to their perception of being natural, perennial or intrinsic.


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Mapping Kurdistan: Territory, Self-Determination and Nationalism

About the speaker

Zeynep completed her PhD in International Relations at the LSE, where she conducted research on the transformation of Kurdish nationalism and territorial identity in an international context. She spent five years as a post-doctoral research fellow at the LSE and taught topics including international relations, nationalism, politics and gender there as well as the University of Cambridge. Her research interests include gender, violence and development in Iraq, gender and displacement in Iraq and the wider Middle East, Kurdish nationalism and territorial imaginations. She is interested in understanding how communities and political groups perceive, interact with and challenge international processes and dominant norms.

She is the author of Mapping Kurdistan Territory, Self-Determination and Nationalism (Cambridge University Press, 2020)


This webinar will take place online via Zoom. Click here to register

* The webinar will also be live-streamed on our Facebook page for those that are unable to participate via Zoom.

Chair: Dina Matar (SOAS) and Narguess Farzad (SOAS)

Organiser: SOAS Middle East Institute

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