Serra M. Hakyemez F'15

Serra M. Hakyemez
Assistant Professor
University of Minnesota, Twin Cities

Mellon/ACLS Dissertation Completion Fellowships 2015
Doctoral Candidate
Johns Hopkins University
Kurds Before the Court: Law, Terrorism, and Sovereignty

Based on two years of ethnographic research in Diyarbakır, Turkey, this dissertation resituates the ongoing Kurdish political trials, which are generally conceived of as “extraordinary” for threatening state sovereignty, within the ordinary legal world. On the one hand, the project highlights the agentive power of surveillance and writing technologies through which certain forms of legal artifacts are produced and Kurdish political dissent is transfigured into an indictable terrorist subject. On the other hand, it explores the language games, corporeal performances, and courtroom protests that the defendants, both as a collective body and individual legal subjects, deploy to claim legitimacy for their political actions. By exploring both the technological and inter-discursive aspects of law, this dissertation establishes how terrorism trials are made a part of the ordinary legal world and, simultaneously, what forms of unmaking the defendants pursue.