Photo of Dr Clemence Scalbert-Yucel

Dr Clemence Scalbert-Yucel

Senior Lecturer in Ethnopolitics


01392 725254


Member of the Centre for Kurdish Studies at IAIS

I have studied geography at the University of Toulouse-Le Mirail, and geopolitics at the University of Marne-La-Vallée and Paris IV (France). I gained my PhD in Geopolitics at the University of Paris IV- Sorbonne in 2005. My PhD thesis addressed the question of the development of a Kurdish field of literature in the context of language conflict in Turkey. I also graduated in Kurdish Language and Civilisation at the Institut National des Langues et Civilisations Orientales (INALCO) in Paris in 2003. I taught geography at the INALCO from 2003 to 2007, when I joined the University of Exeter as a researcher for EXCEPS, the Exeter Centre for Ethno-Political Studies.

I am member of the editorial board of the European Journal for Turkish Studies.

My research interests include the following :

- ethnicity and the fields of cultural production. 


- cultural heritage, space, and identity

- Kurdish literatures

- environment, ecological mobilisation, and rurality.

I mainly conduct research in Turkey, Kurdistan and the diasporas. 

For a list of publications please see 'Other'

For office hours and research leave go here.

Research interests

My research interests include the following: environment, ecological mobilisations, and rurality ;  cultural heritage, space, and identity; ethnicity and the fields of cultural production.

Currently, I am working on the following research :

  • Back to the countryside: reconsidering contemporary rurality in Turkey through migration, ecology, and belonging  
  • I am completing an edited book on Cultural Policies in Turkey (with Muriel Girard and Jean-Francois Polo)


I have previously been a member of the following funded research projects.

  • ANR Conflits-TIP - "From cultural Friction to armed struggle. Thresholds, scales and modalities of conflicts (Turkey, Iran, Pakistan), coordinated by Gilles Dorronsoro, University Paris 1 - Sorbonne (2007-2010)
  • RAMSES Project "Reconciliation and Memory in the Greek-Turkish Conflict: non-state actors and dynamics", coordinates by Alexandre Toumarkine, Institut Francais d'Etudes Anatoliennes (Istanbul) (2007-2008)
  • ANR Transtur 
  • ANR Transfaire 


My doctoral and post-doctoral research dealt with the Kurdish literary field, and the interplay of literatures and politics. I have organised a comparative workshop on the Field of minority literature at the University of Exeter in 2008. The workshop was followed by the publication of  a special issue of Nationalities Papers (2012) on the question of the autonomy of small literature.

Research supervision

I am happy to supervise students working on the following areas:

- Field of cultural production, identity politics, and development in Turkey and Kurdistan

- Heritage policies, space and identity in Turkey and Kurdistan

- Sociological and geographical approaches to Kurdish literature

- Rurality & Ecology in Turkey and Kurdistan

I am also happy to co-supervise similar researches on other parts of the Middle East, and comparative studies where appropriate.


Research students

Currently I am supervising:

Francesco Marilungo (Representations of Diyarbakir in Kurdish and Turkish contemporary literature)

Kerrie Bramhall (PhD student researching the Memory of migration among internally displaced Kurdish youth)

Christian Sinclair (TRT6 and its audiences)

Yaser Ali (Identity Discourses in Bahdinani Literature)

Gizem Kahraman (In Search for Architectural Identity in the Contemporary Gulf: Informal and Formal Appropriations of

Traditional Architecture in the Gulf)

Schluwa Sama ('Economic Restructuring in Iraqi Kurdistan and its Effects on People's Everyday Life')





Other information

Publications List


2014 Le champ littéraire kurde en Turquie 1980-2010, Paris: Petra (monograph).

Forthcoming 2014 “Cultural diversity and ethnic hierarchy. The use of categories in the Kurdish conflict in Turkey” in Dorronsoro, Gilles; Grojean, Olivier (ed.) Identity, Conflict and Politics in Turkey, Iran and Pakistan, London: C. Hurst & Co Publishers Ltd.

2013 “La construction du patrimoine comme catégorie d’action publique dans la région du GAP en Turquie”, in Elise Massicard, Marc Aymes, Benjamin Gourisse (ed.) Ordonner et Transiger, Paris: Karthala (co-authored with Muriel Girard).

2013 Joyce l’éternelle chez les Kurdes, hommage à Joyce Blau, Paris: Institut Kurde de Paris (co-edited with Hamit Bozarslan).

2013 “La littérature kurmanci de Turquie comme une littérature de résistance” in Clémence Scalbert Yücel and Hamit Bozarslan (ed.) Joyce l’éternelle chez les Kurdes, hommage à Joyce Blau, Paris: l’Harmattan, pp. 255-271.

2013 “Muslim Nationalism and the New Turks, by Jenny White – Book review”, Times Higher Education, 2089, pp. 50-51.

2012 “Special section on the autonomy of minority literatures”, Nationalities Papers 40 (3)

2012 “Emergence and equivocal autonomization of a Kurdish literary field in Turkey”, Nationalities Papers 40 (3) 2012, pp. 357-372.

2012 “Languages, politics and field theory – the question of the autonomy of small literatures”, Nationalities Papers 40 (3) 2012, pp. 315-320.

2011 “Ruralité, urbanité et violence au Kurdistan”, Etudes Rurales 186 (co-edited with Jordi Tejel Gorgas) URL:

2011 “Introduction”, Etudes Rurales 186 (co-authored with Jordi Tejel), pp. 9-20.

2011 “Le monde rural dans la poésie kurmandji contemporaine en Turquie”, Etudes Rurales 186, pp. 181-196.

2011 “Language and the Definition of Literature. The Blurred borders of Kurdish literature in Contemporary Turkey”, Middle Eastern Literatures 4 (2), pp. 171-184.

2010 “‘Liberalisation’ of Turkish state policies toward Kurdish language: the weight of external actors”, in Stansfied, Gareth; Lowe, Robert (ed.) The Kurdish policy imperative, London: Royal Institute of International affairs, pp. 116-129.

2010 “Turquie”, Images Economiques du monde 2011, Paris, Armand Colin.

2009 “The Invention of a Tradition: Diyarbakır’s Dengbêj Project”, European Journal of Turkish Studies 10, URL:

2009 “Turquie”, Images Economiques du monde 2010, Paris, Armand Colin.

2008 “Turquie”, Images Economiques du monde 2009, Paris, Armand Colin.

2008 “Conference Report 'Kinship in Iran and Neighbouring Countries - 20-22 June 2008, Tehran, Iran”, Anthropology of the Middle East 3 (2) (co-authored with Mary Elaine Hegland).

2007 “Le peuplement du Kurdistan bouleversé et complexifié : de l’assimilation à la colonisation”, L’Information géographique 71 (1), pp. 63-85.

2006 “Knowledge, ideology and power. Deconstructing Kurdish Studies”, European Journal of Turkish Studies 5, (co-edited with Marie Leray).

2006 “Knowledge, ideology and power. Deconstructing Kurdish Studies”, European Journal of Turkish Studies 5, URL: (co-authored with Marie Le Ray).

2006 “La diaspora kurde en Suède. Conservation, production et diffusion d’un savoir linguistique”, European Journal of Turkish Studies 5, URL:

2006 “Les langues des Kurdes de Turquie: la nécessité de repenser l’expression « langue kurde”, Langage et Société 117, pp. 117-140.

2006 “L’élaboration de la langue kurde en Turquie (1898 – 1943) : d'un simple outil d'éveil national au pivot de la définition  identitaire”, in Carmen Alen Garabato (ed.),  L’éveil des nationalités et les revendications linguistiques en Europe (1830-1930), Paris: L’Harmattan, pp. 255-274

2006 “Esmer ou la voix « pop » de l’identité kurde”, La Vie des Idées 12, pp. 85-91

2005 “Le kurde à la télévision en Turquie”, Outre-terre 10, pp. 357-359.

2003 “Mémoire spontanée et travail de mémoire – Exil et diaspora: Le processus de création chez six peintres kurdes en Europe”, Etudes Kurdes 5, pp. 7-23.