From the First Gulf War to the present upheaval in Syria, the Kurdish question has been a crucial issue within the Middle East region and in international politics. Spread across several countries, the Kurds constitute the largest stateless nation in the world. In this context, a striking question arises: how are Kurdish identity and the idea of the homeland - both as a symbol and as territorial space - constructed in writings from Turkish Kurdistan and its diaspora? Through a comparative analysis of Kurdish writing, Ozlem Galip here provides the first comprehensive look at modern Kurdish literature. Drawing on theories of space and collective memory and exploring the use of the historical past and personal memories in the literature of stateless nations, this book analyses the construction of the imaginary homeland and the concept of Kurdish identity.
Ozlem Galip is a Lecturer at the Institute of Oriental Studies, University of Oxford. She holds a PhD in Kurdish Studies from the University of Exeter. Her main research interests are Kurdish literature, novelistic discourse, migration and diaspora studies. She is also the UK correspondent of the Kurdish newspaper Yeni Ozgur Politika which is based in Germany.
Introduction Kurdistan and beyond Kurdistan: The Search for a Homeland Kurds as Descendants of the Medes: The Building of a Myth Kurdistan before the Nineteenth Century The Colonial Division of Kurdistan: First World War The Kurdish Diaspora: Formation of Diasporic Identity and Politics of Homeland II. An Overview of Kurdish Politics: Wars, Uprisings and Movements The Hamidiye: Kurdish Tribal Militias in the Ottoman Empire From Unrest to Uprising: Sheikh Said Uprising and Others The Emergence of Kurdish socialist movement and PKK's hegemony Since 1960s III. Kurdish Literary and Cultural Productions: From Oral Literature to Digital Media Rituals of Oral Story telling: Dengbej, Epics and Songs Writing in Exile: The Emergence and Development of Kurdish Novel Kurdish Imagined Community from Afar through TV Satellite and Internet IV. Imagining Kurdistan in Diasporic Novelistic Discourse: Realist and Critical Reflections The Experiences of Displacement: Diaspora as a 'Temporary Space' Ideological and Political Orientations of the Novelists within the Narratives. Diasporic Imagining of Kurdistan: Under the Lens of Realist and Critical Portrayal Diasporic Memory: From the Individual's Narratives to the Collective Past V. Kurdish Novelistic Discourse from Turkish Kurdistan: The Lands of Destruction and Struggle The Territorialisation of Kurdistan: Imagined 'Greater Kurdistan' Fictionalising Kurdistan in Different Time Zones The Meanings of Unattainable 'Home-land': Beloved Woman and A Land of Longing VI. Kurdish Novels From Turkish Kurdistan to its Diaspora: Factual or Symbolic? The Impact of Diverse Political Ideologies On the Portrayal of Kurdistan The Perception of 'Home-land': the Constant Sense of 'Outsideness' and Yearning VII. Conclusion