Ozgecan Korkmaz

Grant Type

Dissertation Fieldwork Grant

Institutional Affiliation

Michigan, Ann Arbor, U. of

Grant number

Gr. 9607

Approve Date

April 13, 2018

Project Title

Korkmaz, Ozgecan, U. of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI - To aid research on 'The Search For a Good Life: Change, Politics, and Ethics in Rural Kurdistan,' supervised by Dr., Webb Keane

OZGECAN KORKMAS, then a graduate student at University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan, received a grant in April 2018 to aid research on “The Search for a Good Life: Change, Politics, and Ethics in Rural Kurdistan,” supervised by Dr. Webb Keane. As the Turkish state becomes increasingly more authoritarian, the Kurdish dissent emerges as one of the major components of the socio-political scene of the country. Yet dissent is fraught with risks and uncertainties when governments assert all sorts of restrictions across domains of critical discourse. This project investigates how Kurds’ active engagement with ethics help them navigate the conditions of authoritarian rule. It understands dissent as a linguistic affair, proposing that the way dissent is organized cannot be detached from the available understandings of ethics- the moral principles that systematize and defend concepts of right and wrong. The project is built on extensive ethnographic research in Turkey’s Kurdish majority Southeast region (Kurdistan), focusing on towns and villages, into the manners in which Kurds communicate dissent, which culminate in answers to the following questions: 1) In what ways does dissent shape and reconstitute social relations in Turkey’s Kurdistan? 2) What can broader models of ethical conduct reveal about the rules of conduct that govern critical discourse? 3) How does authoritarian power affect individuals’ understandings of their own work within larger political contexts? Ultimately, it aims to provide a vocabulary for describing the organization and principles of political communication in Turkey’s Kurdistan.