Moscow, All-Russian State Library for Foreign Literature, 10-11 June 2019
The involvement of Kurdish forces during the Crimean War inaugurated the political and military encounter of Russians and Kurds between Eastern Europe and the Middle East. Since then, these relations have formed an important and disputed aspect of Russian, and later Soviet, policies in the Middle East. Most significantly, these policies have extended well beyond the clash of the Tsarist and Ottoman Empires at the turn of the 20th century.
While Russian and Soviet policies have included a sustained focus on the role of the Kurds, their political mobilization and activism in the 1920s-1930s and during the Cold War, the relationship has never been a simple one. It was deeply entangled in the nexus of regional politics and Russian/Soviet policies toward Turkey, Iran, Iraq and Syria, as well as in global dynamics. Conversely, mobilities and alliances with the ‘’East’’ have been important in shaping political identities, but remain a still understudied part of Kurdish political strategies on the international arena.
Monday 10 June
14.00 – Welcome and introduction
14.30-16.30 – Panel 1: Russia and the Kurds through War and Peace (18th-19th centuries)
Chair: Nodar Mossaki (Institute of Orientalism)
Anjelika POBEDONOSTSEVA KAYA (SPbGU), ‘’От первых российско-курдских контактов до организации куртинских полков’’ (From the First Russian-Kurdish Contacts to the Organization of Kurdish Battalions)
Metin ATMACA (Social Sciences University of Ankara), ‘’Origins of the ‘’Kurdish Question’’? Yezdanser Revolt (1854-1855) during the Ottoman Crimean War’’.
Piotr SOSNOWSKI (Warsaw University), ‘’Kurds, Russia and the Ottoman army reforms : some strategic remarks of the general Wojciech Chrzanowski’’.
Masha CEROVIC (EHESS-Humboldt), ‘’The Military Dimension in Russian-Kurdish Relations in the 19th-early 20th centuries’’.
Tuesday 11 June
9.30-12.00 – Panel 2: Kurdish Nationalism and Russian Imperial Projects
Chair: Kirilll Vertjaev (Institute of Orientalism)
Cevat DARGİN (Princeton University), ‘’Alîsêr: A Kurdish nationalist poet and warrior in the early 20th century’’.
Tibet ABAK, ‘’ I. Dünya Savaşı Öncesi Rus-Osmanlı Mücadelesinde Kürt Faktörü ve Petersburg’un Kürt Siyaseti’’. (The Kurdish Factor and Petersburg Kurdish Policy in the Russian-Ottoman Struggle on the Eve of World War I)
Alisa SHABLOVSKAIA (Sorbonne Nouvelle, ‘’From Unreliable Allies to Toublesome Friends: The Revolutionary Turn in the Russian-Kurdish Relations in Iran, 1911-1921’’.
14.00- 16.00 – Panel 3: From Kurdish-Russian to Kurdish-Soviet Relations
Chair: Andreas Hilger (Deutsches Historisches Institut – Moscow).
Otto POHL (American University of Iraq – Sulaimaniya), ‘’Soviet Nationality Policy and Kurds, 1917-1956’’.
Fırat SÖZERI (Ankara University), ‘’Mele Mustafa Barzani’nin Mektupları Bağlamında SSCB’nin Barzanilere Yönelik Tutumunun Siyasal ve Tarihsel değerlendirmesi’’. (A Political and Historical Assessment of Soviet Policy toward the Barzani in the Light of Molla Mustafa Barzani’s Letters)
Etienne PEYRAT (Sciences Po), ‘’Soviet Kurdish Activists and International Affairs (1930s-1980s)’’.
Conclusion: Russian-Kurdish Perceptions (19th-20th centuries)
Metin YÜKSEL (Hacettepe, Ankara), ‘’Russia and Its Kurdish Renderings: Sublime, Infidel and Socialist, 1881-1991’’.
The workshop will be hosted by the Library of Foreign Literature (Библиотека иностранной литературы), in partnership with the CEFR, Institute of Orientalism of the Russian Academy of Sciences, IFEA, and CERCEC (EHESS)
This workshop is part of the RUSKURD research project, funded by the French National Research Agency (ANR).
The poster of the workshop can be downloaded here.