Gendered Derivatives of Identity Formation in Ottoman Kurdistan in the Late Nineteenth and Early Twentieth Centuries
- Author(s): Karaman, Emine Rezzan
- Advisor(s): GELVIN, JAMES
- et al.
This dissertation focuses on the gendered constructions of Osmanlılık [Ottoman imperial identity] and Kurdiyati [Kurdish national identity] in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries in majority Kurdish regions near the Persian border. Thus, the dissertation promises a gendered reading of two dynamic processes: 1- The attempts made by Ottoman authorities to bring Kurds from a “state of savagery and nomadism” into the fold of civilization. 2- The formulation of rhetorical, institutional and political strategies of Kurdish elites to construct a Kurdish nation. While doing so, the dissertation pays particular attention to a third parameter-- the socio-political structure of Ottoman Kurdistan-- to discuss its role in the above-mentioned overlapping processes. I argue that the organization of nomadic, semi-nomadic and sedentary tribal life, family structures, existing gender codes and religious systems of Kurdistan not only shaped (and were shaped by) the state’s policies, but that they also had constructive and constitutive roles in the formation of Kurdish national discourses. The dissertation, in this way, aims to discuss the convoluted relationships between these three parameters mainly through the use of gender-based micro-cases from various parts of Ottoman Kurdistan.