Fighting over Corpses: Tracing Histories of Competing Necropolitics and Sovereignties in the Kurdish Conflict in Turkey


Mellon/ACLS Recent Doctoral Recipients Fellowships




Many Kurds have died in the rebellions against the Turkish state over the last century; yet biological death has not excluded these dead from the sphere of politics. Through a moral economy of national martyrdom, the Kurds reanimate and put into re-use their dead as affective political forces. In response, the state endeavors to eradicate this persistent power of the Kurds it has already murdered. Focusing on the Kurdish rebellions in the late Ottoman and early Turkish Republic history, this project examines these “ghostly” encounters over Kurdish corpses whereby relations of sovereignty and identity are constituted and exercised through competing Kurdish and state practices of necropolitics. “Necropolitics” denotes the production and processing of death and dead bodies into politics.