David LeupoldJan 18, 2022
The Politics of Contesting Armenian, Kurdish and Turkish Memory
Embattled Dreamlands: The Politics of Contesting Armenian, Kurdish and Turkish Memory (Routledge, 2020) explores the complex relationship between competing national myths, imagined boundaries and local memories in the threefold-contested geography referred to as Eastern Turkey, Western Armenia or Northern Kurdistan.
Spatially rooted in the shatter zone of the post-Ottoman and post-Soviet space, it sheds light on the multi-layered memory landscape of the Lake Van region in Southeastern Turkey, where collective violence stretches back from the Armenian Genocide to the Kurdish conflict of today. Based on his fieldwork in Turkey and Armenia, the author examines how states work to construct and monopolize collective memory by narrating, silencing, mapping and performing the past, and how these narratives might help to contribute and resolve present-day conflicts.
By looking at how national discourses are constructed and asking hard questions about why nations are imagined as exclusive and hostile to others, Embattled Dreamlands provides a unique insight into the development of national identity which will provide a great resource to students and researchers in sociology and history alike.
Ronay Bakan is a Ph.D. student at the Department of Political Science at Johns Hopkins University.