Review of Joanna Bocheńska (ed.), Rediscovering Kurdistan’s Cultures and Identities: The Call of the Cricket

Francesco Marilungo


The academic field of Kurdish studies has experienced considerable growth in recent years. Compared to the later decades of the 20th century that were characterized by the scarcity and scattering of resources and researches on Kurdish subjects, today one can find an ever-growing variety of studies in international languages to satisfy his/her own curiosity on this matter. Recent political developments in the region (i.e. the involvement of Kurdish groups in the resistance against the ISIS, the relative self-determination of the Kurds in Syria, the resurgence of armed conflict in Turkey since 2015 after the failure of the so-called “peace process”, and the referendum on the independence of Iraqi Kurdistan in 2017) have raised academic interest and increasingly put the Kurds on the world agenda. By itself, this can be heralded as a positive development in Middle Eastern studies at large; however – and this is the main argument and the foundational stance the of the book here reviewed – this recent attention has been predominantly structured along narratives of “conflict and resistance” that often prevent us from seeing other aspects of Kurdish culture and society. Indeed, the amount of academic production related to the Kurdish culture at large is significantly, and perhaps disproportionately, lower than that regarding geopolitical, political and military aspects. Nevertheless, now – in the nick of the time – the volume entitled Rediscovering Kurdistan’s Cultures and Identities: The Call of the Cricket has emerged with the aim of counterbalancing the above disproportion.


Kurdish studies; Kurdistan; Culture; Othering; Chaldo-Assyrians and Yezidis

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