Kurdish Studies Conference

Call for Papers

Buffett Institute for Global Studies invites paper proposals for its 2019 Serbest Kurdish Studies Conference. The Kurdish Studies Conference Series supports the production and dissemination of knowledge and to strengthen the network of scholars in Kurdish Studies.

June 7–8, 2019
Northwestern University

Inspired by postcolonial, indigenous, and critical race studies, there has been a growing interest among Kurdish Studies scholars on topics such as racialized citizenship, colonial state power, anti-colonial struggles, and the right to self-determination. However, Kurdish Studies as a field has not yet established a solid dialogue with these literatures. Nor has it fully benefitted from historical experiences around the world, which led to development of these literatures in the first place.

In an effort to foster such dialogue and open up the field of Kurdish Studies, the 2019 Serbest Kurdish Studies Conference aims to bring together scholars who are enthusiastic to contribute to a comparative discussion of Kurdish, South African, and Palestinian experiences. 

We solicit proposals from scholars who work on Palestine, South Africa or Kurdistan comparatively or scholars whose work focuses on one of these places, but has a contribution to make to the comparative debates on the topics listed below: 

  • Spatial enclosure, restriction of mobility, forced displacement
  • Political economy of occupation/segregation
  • Migrant labor and the securitization of labor practices
  • Colonial state, institutions, and subjectivities
  • Law
  • Citizenship (de facto or de jure hierarchization of citizenship)
  • Racialized access to resources and rights
  • Anti-colonial struggles, self-determination movements, and international activism
  • Women’s movements

Application details

We have limited funds to support air travel (up to $300 for domestic and up to $600 for overseas) and hotel accommodation (up to 3 nights). 

To apply, please send a detailed summary of your proposal (~ 750 words) and your current CV to Kurdishstudies@northwestern.edu. Please name your files NameSurname_Summary and NameSurname_CV.


The deadline for submissions is March 8, 2019.

Participants will be notified by the third week of March.


This conference is made possible by the generous support of Northwestern alumnus Metin Serbest, Esq. (Law'05).