Grant TypeHunt Postdoctoral Fellowship
Institutional AffiliationMinnesota, Minneapolis-St.Paul, U. of
Grant numberGr. 10050
Approve DateOctober 2, 2020
Project TitleHakyemez, Serra (Minnesota, Minneapolis-St.Paul, U. of) "The Law's Enemy: Anti-Terrorism Trials in Turkey"
My book, The Law’s Enemy, is an archival and ethnographic study of the counterinsurgency war in the Kurdish region of Turkey with a special focus on anti-terrorism trials. The protracted armed conflict between the Turkish military and the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) inaugurated a special legal regime that perpetuates counterinsurgent violence by law. In violation of the rule of law, this special regime collects total information on the Kurdish population, detects and detains revolutionary insurgents and their civilian supporters, and creates an atmosphere of fear and terror. Drawing on feminist and anthropological literature on affect, emotions, and solidarity, my book examines subtle and tactile relations forged among detained ‘dangerous’ individuals. It argues that such intimate ties cultivated under duress signal the possibility of what I call an “insurgent justice” to push against the encroachment of counterinsurgency. Insurgent justice refers to the formation of a community which acknowledges the shared feelings of fear and pain, but proceeds with the refusal to surrender to either of them by extending one’s self to the other. Although insurgent justice is not the dominant orientation towards conducting dissident politics, my ethnography takes the task to bring out its flickering presence in places as diverse as prison memoirs, court documents, monotonous court hearings, and scripted defense testimonies to re-present that which counterinsurgency strives to eliminate.