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Self-Composed: The Narration of Nationality and Identity among Anatolian Kurds, 1908-1938

Wood, Anna

This study is an exploration of the written conceptualizations of individual and national identity of Anatolian Kurds in the first few decades of the twentieth century. Focusing on the narratives of self and nation constructed in the letters, memoirs, journals and academic texts of four Anatolian Kurdish men, this work engages with the issues they found pertinent in the articulation of new national identities. These issues include the struggle to define and legitimize the nation-space, the experience of exile and its effects on self-definition, and the mutual engagement between Kurdish, Turkish and Armenian nationalisms in these decades. Through this process of seeking out the personal in the political, common historiographical renderings of nationalist developments in Anatolia in general, as well as the figure of Ziya Gökalp in particular, are challenged, and an innovative reading of the era and some of its many actors/authors is presented.

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B.A., Columbia University
Published Here
May 14, 2010

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Senior thesis.

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