Dr Ipek Demir

Associate Professor

School of Media, Communication and Sociology

Tel: +44 (0)116 252-2752
Email: id34@le.ac.uk

Personal details

ESRC Postdoctoral Fellowship (HPS, Cambridge)
MA, PhD (Sussex)
BA (Ankara)

My research is focused on the fields of Ethnic and Radical Studies, Migration and Diaspora.

I have contributed to the field of diaspora studies, transnationalism and Kurdish and Turkish studies by using the conceptual tools and insight on translation.

My current work sits at the intersections of the fields of diaspora studies, ethno-politics, race and identity, nationalism, indigeneity, global politics as well as social and critical thought. During my AHRC fellowship, for example, I developed a new and innovative perspective on diaspora by employing the insights of translation studies, and examined the movement of ideas, practices and ethno-political identities across space and time. I am especially interested in how diasporic groups like the Kurds in Europe revive ethno-political identity ‘at a distance’, and how they translate, foreignise and cosmopolitanise Europe and also shape homeland politics. The content of my work has been critical, interdisciplinary and with global orientation and transnational ethos.

My previous research has also examined the relationship between translation, interdisciplinarity, trust, knowledge and data-sharing. In particular, I have investigated the theoretical and philosophical dimensions of border-making, conflict, and translation and interaction across the boundaries of knowledge communities.

Areas of interest: Diaspora, migration, transnationalism, ethnic identity, ethno-politics, race, nationalism, Global South, indigeneity, decoloniality, Orientalism, risk, politics and epistemology

Research Funding:

  • ESRC Postdoctoral Fellowship (PI) HPS, University of Cambridge
  • AHRC Fellowship (PI) 'Diasporic Brokers: Reviving and Translating Kurdish Culture in London'
  • Senior Research Fellow on an EU FP7 project 'BioSHaRE-EU: Biobank Standardisation and Harmonisation for Research Excellence in the European Union'


Current Administrative Duties:

  • School REF Impact Lead
  • College REF Impact Strategy Group



I am a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (HEA)

I was voted Academic of the Year for the College of Social Sciences in recognition of my engaging, innovative and supportive teaching. The award was based on nominations received from students during the 'I Love My Academic' campaign run by the Student Union.

I was awarded funding as part of the Teaching Enhancement Project Stream B: Supporting New Learning, Teaching and Assessment Activities. The project was entitled 'Reaching Decisions Together: Participating in a Citizen Jury'.



  • Supervision of Masters theses

Summer Schools

1. Leicester Summer School: 'Kurdish Politics and Society: Contemporary and Historical Perspectives'

This three-day intensive summer school focused on Kurdish politics and society. It was the first-ever Kurdish Studies Summer School and brought together scholars, postgraduate students and community advocates (June 2016). A review of the school has been published in the journal of Kurdish Studies.

2. Kurdish Studies Summer School, Paris

The second Kurdish Studies Summer School was organised at the Kurdish Institute, Paris in July 2017.

3. Kurdish Studies Summer School, Paris

The third Kurdish Studies Summer School will be organised at the Kurdish Institute, Paris in September 2018



  • Demir, Ipek ( 2016) ‘Kurdish and Turkish Communities in London: From ‘Economic Immigrants’ to ‘Political Diasporas’?’ in Turkish Area Studies Review, 28, pp. 28-32.

Book chapters

Edited book


  • Demir, Ipek "Diáspora en contienda: Cómo los kurdos de Turquía reviven, construyen y traducen la lucha kurda en Londres" ISTOR. Revista de historia Internacional. Kurdistán”. CIDE, México, Año XVIII, número 70, otoño de 2017.   ISSN 1665-1715.

Recent other



  • ESRC Postdoctoral Fellowship (PI) HPS, University of Cambridge (2006)
  • AHRC Fellowship (PI) 'Diasporic Brokers: Reviving and Translating Kurdish Culture in London'  (2012 and 2013)
  • Senior Research Fellow on an EU FP7 project 'BioSHaRE-EU: Biobank Standardisation and Harmonisation for Research Excellence in the European Union' (2012)

External research profile

  • Member of the UK Research Council - AHRC's Peer Review College

Keynotes and invited talks and workshops (since 2013)

Keynotes and Plenaries
  • December 2017 'Cosmopolitanism, Multiculturalism, Brexit' at the Symposium on Cosmopolitanism, University of Sheffield.
  • September 2017 Opening Keynote 'Researching the Middle East: Homogeneity, Diversity, Interdisciplinarity and Decoloniality’ at IMEIS conference, University of Durham.
  • August 2017 'The Upsurge of the Politics of Resentment in Europe' Semi-Plenary at the European Sociological Assocation, Athens, Greece
  • June 2017 'The Contemporary Politics of Resentment: Multiculturalism, Loss of Privilege and Brexit'  New Directions in Media, Communication and Sociology (NDIMS) Conference 2017.
  • June 2016 Closing Keynote Lecture Futures of Multiculturalism and Cosmopolitanism’ at Institute of Historical Research Annual Conference: '950th Anniversary of 1066: A Millenium(ish) of Immigration, Integration, and Invasion'
  • February 2016 'Translation and the Policing the Borders of Cultures and Disciplines' University of Hull
Invited talks and seminars
  • June 2018 'Brexit, the Left-Behind and the Middle Classes: the Untold Story' Public Talk at Leicester Secular Hall.
  • June 2018 ‘The Global South in the Global North: Kurdish Diaspora in Europe as Transnational Indigeneous Resistance’ Buffett Institute, Northwestern University, Chicago, USA
  • April 2018 'Kurdistan: Ayer y Hoy' UNAM, Mexico City, Mexico.
  • April 2018 'Los Kurdos de Meido Oriente y su Diaspora', Mexico City, Mexico.
  • February 2018 - 'Brexit, Identity and the Popular Politics of Resentment', Cafe Politque, Newcastle
  • November 2018 ‘Rojava Kurds and the Global South’ in MESA Invited Panel, Washington DC
  • March 2017 ‘Global Sociology and Decoloniality’, CRASSH, University of Cambridge
  • February 2017 ‘Diasporic Cosmopolitanism and Translation’ Translation Studies Unit, University of Leicester
  • October 2016 ‘Rethinking Cosmopolitanism, Multiculturalism and Brexit’, University of Gothenburg, Sweden
  • October 2016 ‘“I want my country back”: Cosmopolitanism, Multiculturalism and Brexit?’ Ustinov College, Global Citizenship Programme, University of Durham
  • June 2016 'A View from the Global South in Europe: Diasporic Kurds', Global South Studies Centre, Univesity of Cologne
  • April 2016 ‘Kurdish and Turkish communities from Turkey: From ‘economic immigrants’ to ‘political diasporas’?’ BATAS Spring Symposium, Emmanuel College, University of Cambridge
  • April 2016 'Diaspora and Translation: Conceptual Borrowings', BSA Postgraduate Forum, Aston University, Birmingham
  • December 2015 'Diasporic Cosmopolitanism of Europe's Kurds' University of Cologne, Germany
  • November 2015 ‘Shedding an Ethnic Identity in Diaspora: De-Turkification and the Kurdish Diaspora in London’ University of Essex Departmental Seminar
  • January 2015 ‘Translating Kurdish Diaspora’ at the University of Central Florida, USA
  • April 2014 ‘Kurdish and Turkish communities in the UK’ University of Bilgi, Istanbul
  • October 2013 ‘Translating and transforming Kurdishness in Diaspora’ Panel on ‘'Othering' and Kurds: Exploring Displacement, Belonging, and Resistance’, MESA Panel, New Orleans, USA
  • November 2013 'Salvaging and Translating Ethno-Political Identity in Diaspora', Cultural Communities, Cosmopolitanism and Citizenship Research Group at the University of Loughborough
  • November 2013 'Diasporic Cosmopolitanism' at Connexions Cosmopolites, University of Barcelona
Invited/funded workshops
  • June 2018  - 'The Global South in the Global North: Kurdish Diaspora in Europe as Transnational Indigenous Resistance', Buffett Institute for Global Studies Kurdish Conference, Northwestern University, Evanston, Chicago, USA
  • February 2017 ‘Diasporic Brokers’ in Conceptualising Brokerage: Mediating Diversity, Migration and Development, Autonomous University of Barcelona
  • November 2016 Roundtable on ‘The Practice of Public Sociology’ Manchester Digital Library
  • September 2016 ‘From self-identified "Turkish migrants" to a "Kurdish diaspora". Workshop on the journey in London', ‘Counting our losses: the politics of loss and social transformation in the context of migration and displacement in Turkey’, London
  • June 2016 ‘A View from the Global South in Europe: Diasporic Cosmopolitanism of European Kurds’, Workshop on the Conceptual (Re-) Locations of the Global South, University of Cologne
  • November 2015 Roundtable on ‘Race and Superdiversity: What are the Links?’ Institute for Research into Superdiversity, University of Birmingham
  • February 2016 Workshop on ‘Postcolonial Studies: Interdisciplinarity and Knowledge Claims Roundtable’, University of Warwick
  • June 2014 ‘Middle Eastern Stateless Diasporas’ Workshop, University of Oxford
  • January 2014 ‘Diasporas and International Politics’ workshop (ERC funded), University of Warwick
  • December 2013 Session organiser for ‘Diasporas, Multiculturalism and European Identity’ at the ESF funded workshop on ‘The Crisis of European Cosmopolitanism in the Age of Austerity’


PhD Supervision

I am keen to supervise doctoral students on issues concerning the Kurdish and Turkish diasporas as well as on topics encompassing diaspora, migration, ethnic identity, ethno-politics, race, nationalism, Global South, indigeneity, decoloniality, Orientalism, risk and politics and epistemology.


Current PhD students:

1. Pam Wilson

2. Asmali Sulaiman


Completed PhD Students:

1. Taghreed El-Hajj - Research Assoicate at Liverpool School for Tropical Medicine, Department of International Public Health

2. David Straw- Book: Human Rights Violation in Turkey

3. Gemma Mitchell - Postdoctoral Researcher at the Universit of York




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Contact Details

School of Media, Communication and Sociology

Campus based courses
E: mcs-enquiries@le.ac.uk
T: +44(0)116 252 3863

Distance Learning Courses
E: css-dl@le.ac.uk
T: 0116 252 3755

Research degrees (campus-based and distance learning courses)
T: +44(0)116 252 2785
E: MCS-Research@le.ac.uk

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