New International Studies Unit launched at University of Leicester

Posted by ap507 at Mar 10, 2017 09:45 AM |
The Kurdistan International Studies Unit inaugurates its opening on 16 March with its first Annual Symposium dedicated to the Victims of Halabja, part of the Anfal Genocide

Issued by University of Leicester Press Office on 10 March 2017                    

A new Kurdistan International Studies Unit is being launched at the University of Leicester.

The University of Leicester, School of History, Politics and International Relations, has announced the establishment of the Kurdistan International Studies Unit (KISU) with the aim of bridging the gap in institutionalised research in the field of Kurdish Studies, politics and International Relations in the United Kingdom.

The launch of the Unit on 16 March 2017 will be held in the Peter Williams Theatre (09:00 – 10:00), as the first session of the Unit’s inaugural Annual Symposium on the Role of the Kurds in the Middle East and Beyond: Regional and International Interactions followed by a series of focused workshops in the morning and afternoon on a large selection of topical issues.

Dedicated to the victims of Halabja, part of the Anfal Genocide (16.03.1988), this event is the first of a series of annual symposia, seeking to bring together scholars to share and highlight research on Kurdish and Middle Eastern Affairs.

Professor Iain Gillespie, Pro-Vice Chancellor Research and Enterprise, said: “The rapid pace of change in the Middle East has favoured the Kurds to become increasingly important players in regional politics, and engage further with the international community in Middle Eastern affairs. The Kurdistan region’s enduring safety, commitment to democracy, rising economy, and on-going engagement with the international community means that Kurdistan will likely have an increasingly prominent role in the region. The consideration of the Kurdish factor in the context of transformational change in the region is critical for international research, and the establishment of an International Studies Unit in this area appears imperative.”

Dr Marianna Charountaki, Director of KISU, Lecturer in Kurdish politics & International Relations, added: “The Kurdistan International Studies Unit, in the School of History, Politics and IR, complements the need for a holistic approach towards the international relations of the Middle East as it raises the importance of the Kurdish role, covering all parts of the broader Kurdistan region and related issues of regional concern, in the analysis of regional and international politics. The underpinning objective is to increase understanding of the Middle Eastern reality and in particular the role of the Kurds and their interactions within the sphere of Middle Eastern Studies.”

Dr George Lewis, Head of the School of History, Politics and International Relations, said: “The presence of the Kurdistan International Studies Unit in our School reflects a significant engagement with a prominent force in Middle East politics, and builds an added dimension to the important international relations work that is underway in our academic community here. Our ability to conduct cutting-edge research into the Kurdish role in Middle Eastern affairs, and to teach our students and the wider community from that research, is a core part of KISU’s mission.”

Ends 

Notes to editors:

For more information - please contact KISU@leicester.ac.uk

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