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Kurdish Studies Scholarship Programme

Kurdistan Regional Government

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Photo of Dr Clemence Scalbert-Yucel

Dr Clemence Scalbert-Yucel

Senior Lecturer in Ethnopolitics


01392 725254



I have studied geography at the University of Toulouse-Le Mirail, and political geography at the University of Marne-La-Vallée and Paris IV (France). I gained my PhD in Political Geography at the University of Paris IV- Sorbonne in 2005. My PhD thesis addressed the question of the development of a Kurdish field of literature in the context of language conflict in Turkey. I also graduated in Kurdish Language and Civilisation at the Institut National des Langues et Civilisations Orientales (INALCO) in Paris in 2003.

I taught geography at the INALCO from 2003 to 2007, when I joined the University of Exeter.

Between 2014 and 2016 I was in Istanbul, serving as the director of contemporary studies at the IFEA (French Institute for Anatolian Studies).  

My research interests include the following:

- ethnicity and field of cultural production

- cultural heritage, space, and identity

- Kurdish literatures and translation

- environment, ecological mobilisation, and rurality.

I mainly conduct research in Turkey, Kurdistan, and in the diaspora

For a list of publications please see 'Other'

For office hours and research leave go here.


Research group links

Research interests

My research interests include the following: cultural heritage, space, and identity; environment and rurality ; ethnicity and the fields of cultural production; kurdish literatures

I am currently working on the following research :
• Back to the countryside: reconsidering contemporary rurality in Turkey through migration, ecology, and belonging

• Kurdish women literatures in translation, supported by an outreach and research grant by the British Institute for the study of Iraq.


I am a member of the ANR Project led by Stephanie Latte-Abdallah "Alter-Citizens in the Middle East. Inventing Resistance in Times of Violence / IMAGIN-E" (2022-2025)

Research supervision

I am happy to supervise students working on the following areas:

- Field of cultural production, identity politics, and development in Turkey and Kurdistan

- Heritage policies, space and identity in Turkey and Kurdistan

- Sociological and geographical approaches to Kurdish literature and translation

- Rurality & Ecology in Turkey and Kurdistan

I am also happy to co-supervise similar researches on other parts of the Middle East, and comparative studies where appropriate.



Research students

I am currently supervising : 

The Roaring 70s: Cultural Renaissance in Iraqi Kurdistan (Saman Ihsan Abdalkarim)

The Feminisation of Kurdish Diaspora (London and Paris) (Elif Gun)

Representation of Anatolia in the Islamic Era in British Museums: A critical evaluation of the collections in the British Museum and the Victoria and Albert Museum (Nur Efeoglu)


I have recently supervised dissertations on the following topics: 

Affective Geographies: Borders, Home, Belonging and Futurity in Palestinian, Syrian and Iraqi Exile Literature (Roba Al-Salibi)

Representations of Diyarbakir in Kurdish and Turkish contemporary literatures, by Francesco Marilungo

Identity Discourses in Bahdinani Literature, by Yaser Hassan Ali

Re-Imag(in)ing Diyarbakir: Image, Archive and the production of place, by Kerrie Bramhall

Economic Restructuring in Iraqi Kurdistan and its effects on People's Everyday life (Schluwa Sama)

In Search for Architectural Identity in the Contemporary Gulf: Informal and Formal Appropriations of Traditional Architecture in the Gulf (Gizem Karaman Aksoy)







Other information

Publications List


2014 Le champ littéraire kurde en Turquie 1980-2010, Paris: Petra (monograph).

Forthcoming 2014 “Cultural diversity and ethnic hierarchy. The use of categories in the Kurdish conflict in Turkey” in Dorronsoro, Gilles; Grojean, Olivier (ed.) Identity, Conflict and Politics in Turkey, Iran and Pakistan, London: C. Hurst & Co Publishers Ltd.

2013 “La construction du patrimoine comme catégorie d’action publique dans la région du GAP en Turquie”, in Elise Massicard, Marc Aymes, Benjamin Gourisse (ed.) Ordonner et Transiger, Paris: Karthala (co-authored with Muriel Girard).

2013 Joyce l’éternelle chez les Kurdes, hommage à Joyce Blau, Paris: Institut Kurde de Paris (co-edited with Hamit Bozarslan).

2013 “La littérature kurmanci de Turquie comme une littérature de résistance” in Clémence Scalbert Yücel and Hamit Bozarslan (ed.) Joyce l’éternelle chez les Kurdes, hommage à Joyce Blau, Paris: l’Harmattan, pp. 255-271.

2013 “Muslim Nationalism and the New Turks, by Jenny White – Book review”, Times Higher Education, 2089, pp. 50-51.

2012 “Special section on the autonomy of minority literatures”, Nationalities Papers 40 (3)

2012 “Emergence and equivocal autonomization of a Kurdish literary field in Turkey”, Nationalities Papers 40 (3) 2012, pp. 357-372.

2012 “Languages, politics and field theory – the question of the autonomy of small literatures”, Nationalities Papers 40 (3) 2012, pp. 315-320.

2011 “Ruralité, urbanité et violence au Kurdistan”, Etudes Rurales 186 (co-edited with Jordi Tejel Gorgas) URL:

2011 “Introduction”, Etudes Rurales 186 (co-authored with Jordi Tejel), pp. 9-20.

2011 “Le monde rural dans la poésie kurmandji contemporaine en Turquie”, Etudes Rurales 186, pp. 181-196.

2011 “Language and the Definition of Literature. The Blurred borders of Kurdish literature in Contemporary Turkey”, Middle Eastern Literatures 4 (2), pp. 171-184.

2010 “‘Liberalisation’ of Turkish state policies toward Kurdish language: the weight of external actors”, in Stansfied, Gareth; Lowe, Robert (ed.) The Kurdish policy imperative, London: Royal Institute of International affairs, pp. 116-129.

2010 “Turquie”, Images Economiques du monde 2011, Paris, Armand Colin.

2009 “The Invention of a Tradition: Diyarbakır’s Dengbêj Project”, European Journal of Turkish Studies 10, URL:

2009 “Turquie”, Images Economiques du monde 2010, Paris, Armand Colin.

2008 “Turquie”, Images Economiques du monde 2009, Paris, Armand Colin.

2008 “Conference Report 'Kinship in Iran and Neighbouring Countries - 20-22 June 2008, Tehran, Iran”, Anthropology of the Middle East 3 (2) (co-authored with Mary Elaine Hegland).

2007 “Le peuplement du Kurdistan bouleversé et complexifié : de l’assimilation à la colonisation”, L’Information géographique 71 (1), pp. 63-85.

2006 “Knowledge, ideology and power. Deconstructing Kurdish Studies”, European Journal of Turkish Studies 5, (co-edited with Marie Leray).

2006 “Knowledge, ideology and power. Deconstructing Kurdish Studies”, European Journal of Turkish Studies 5, URL: (co-authored with Marie Le Ray).

2006 “La diaspora kurde en Suède. Conservation, production et diffusion d’un savoir linguistique”, European Journal of Turkish Studies 5, URL:

2006 “Les langues des Kurdes de Turquie: la nécessité de repenser l’expression « langue kurde”, Langage et Société 117, pp. 117-140.

2006 “L’élaboration de la langue kurde en Turquie (1898 – 1943) : d'un simple outil d'éveil national au pivot de la définition  identitaire”, in Carmen Alen Garabato (ed.),  L’éveil des nationalités et les revendications linguistiques en Europe (1830-1930), Paris: L’Harmattan, pp. 255-274

2006 “Esmer ou la voix « pop » de l’identité kurde”, La Vie des Idées 12, pp. 85-91

2005 “Le kurde à la télévision en Turquie”, Outre-terre 10, pp. 357-359.

2003 “Mémoire spontanée et travail de mémoire – Exil et diaspora: Le processus de création chez six peintres kurdes en Europe”, Etudes Kurdes 5, pp. 7-23.


External impact and engagement

  • Facilitator, Kurmanci to English Translation Workshop, Manchester in Translation/Comma Press, 22 February 2023.
  • Co-organiser of the session "Languages, Scripts, and the Politics of Translation" for the Translation! Festival, Exeter, May 2022 (with James Downs)
  • Coordination of the IAIS Programme at the Respect Festival, Exeter (June 2018 and 2019).
  • Coordination of the session "The poetics of Kurdish Resistance, at the Exeter Literary Festival (November 2019)
  • Coordination of the reading event of the Exeter Kurdish Translation Initiative at the Exeter Literary Festival: “Women Voices in Kurdish Poetry” (November 2018).
  • Participation in the Translation! Festival, Exeter: Organisation and chair of the panel “Discover Translation: the pleasures of Middle Eastern Translation” ;  Pop-up readings of Kurdish poetry in translation (September 2017). 
  • Member of the Jury of the BIFED Bozcaada International Festival of Ecological Documentary (October 2016).

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