Between gift and taboo : death and the negotiation of national identity and sovereignty in the Kurdish conflict in Turkey

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Between gift and taboo : death and the negotiation of national identity and sovereignty in the Kurdish conflict in Turkey

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dc.contributor.advisor Hale, Charles R., 1957-
dc.contributor.advisor Ali, Kamran Asdar, 1961-
dc.creator Ozsoy, Hisyar
dc.date.accessioned 2012-06-25T18:10:57Z
dc.date.available 2012-06-25T18:10:57Z
dc.date.created 2010-05
dc.date.issued 2012-06-25
dc.date.submitted May 2010
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/2152/ETD-UT-2010-05-854
dc.description.abstract This dissertation explores politico-symbolic deployments of death in figurations of national identity and sovereignty in the Kurdish conflict in Turkey. Many Kurds have died in their successive rebellions over the last century. However, biological death has not necessarily excluded them from Kurdish culture and politics. Rather, through a symbolic economy of “gift” the Kurds resurrect their dead as martyrs – affective forces that powerfully shape public, political and daily life and promote Kurdish national identity as a sacred communion of the dead and the living. For its own part, the Turkish state has been endeavoring to eradicate this persistent power of the Kurdish dead by obstructing their appropriation and assimilation into the regenerative realms of Kurdish national-symbolic. While these struggles are still in effect, with the shift in Kurdish politics away from the original goal of national independence in 1999, the Kurdish dead emerged as a site of contention also among the Kurds. At least until 2005 the place of the dead in Kurdish politics also shifted with a new politics of memory that the leadership of Kurdish movement initiated to buttress the “peace process”. Based on two-year fieldwork in Diyarbakır, the informal capital of Kurds in Turkey, this study explores the Kurdish political imaginaries and subjectivities that are generated in and through these multiple struggles and contentions over the Kurdish dead, situating death as a central symbolic and semantic field constitutive to national identity and sovereignty. This study contributes to the ethnography of the Kurds, Turkey and the Middle East as well as theories of death, the body, nationalism, sovereignty and political subjectivity.
dc.format.mimetype application/pdf
dc.language.iso eng
dc.subject Death
dc.subject The body
dc.subject Martyrdom
dc.subject Nationalism
dc.subject Sovereignty
dc.subject Political subjectivity
dc.subject Kurds
dc.subject Turkey
dc.subject Middle East
dc.title Between gift and taboo : death and the negotiation of national identity and sovereignty in the Kurdish conflict in Turkey
dc.date.updated 2012-06-25T18:11:10Z
dc.identifier.slug 2152/ETD-UT-2010-05-854
dc.contributor.committeeMember Visweswaran, Kamala
dc.contributor.committeeMember Strong, Pauline T.
dc.contributor.committeeMember Rudrappa, Sharmila
dc.description.department Anthropology
dc.type.genre thesis
dc.type.material text
thesis.degree.department Anthropology
thesis.degree.discipline Anthropology
thesis.degree.grantor University of Texas at Austin
thesis.degree.level Doctoral
thesis.degree.name Doctor of Philosophy

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