Evans-Pritchard Lectures 2021: Voices that Matter: Kurdish Women and the Dilemmas of Representation in Contemporary Turkey: Voicing Affect

Conveners: All Souls College

Speaker: Dr Marlene Schäfers (Newton International Fellow, University of Cambridge)

Kurdish women have captured unprecedented global attention as combatants deployed at frontlines in Syria, Iraq and Turkey. In much public discourse, these women are portrayed as unexpectedly yet courageously defying their own society’s putative attempts at silencing them. Kurdish women, it is alleged, are finally “raising their voices.” Rather than judging whether Kurdish women have finally acquired voice or are still being silenced, this series of lectures questions the commonplace association between silence and repression, voice and agency. Instead, focusing on the struggles of Kurdish female singers, poets and women’s activists to raise their voices in eastern Turkey, the lectures ask how the voice has become such a central site for determining Middle Eastern women’s empowerment and agency, and how this animates the voice as a powerful nexus of governmental control and intervention, subaltern desire and resistance.

Link to Teams event: Voicing Affect

Open to the public, all welcome.