Middle East Studies

Salih Can Aciksoz – Sacrificial Limbs: Masculinity, Disability, and Political Violence in Turkey

Thursday, April 9, 2020

5:00 – 6:30 p.m.

True North (101), 280 Brook St.

Kurdish Studies have historically been side-lined within Middle East studies or reduced to the study of Kurdish nationalism. While there has been a proliferation of Kurdish studies across the US and Europe in recent years, there has been only limited engagement with Kurdish society in its complexity. The aim of this initiative is to support and contribute to critical and original Kurdish Studies that combine theoretically cutting edge and empirically grounded work as well as highlight creative approaches (films, art, literature) to the study of Kurds and Kurdish societies. 


Chronicling the everyday lives and political activism of disabled veterans of Turkey’s counterinsurgency war against Kurdish guerrillas, Sacrificial Limbs: Masculinity, Disability, and Political Violence in Turkey, is an ethnographic study of gender, embodiment, and nationalism in a war-torn nation. Bringing the reader into military hospitals, commemorations, political demonstrations, and veterans’ everyday spaces of care, intimacy, and activism, the book provides a historically grounded analysis of the multiple and sometimes contradictory forces that fashion veterans’ bodies, political subjectivities, and communities. Examining how veterans’ experiences of war and disability are closely linked to class, gender, and ultimately the embrace of ultranationalist right-wing politics, the work contributes to our understanding of the global rise of right-wing nationalisms and militarisms from an anthropological viewpoint.

Kurdish Project
Turkey
Lectures


Salih Can Aciksoz is an assistant professor of anthropology at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). He received his Ph.D. in anthropology from the University of Texas at Austin in 2011. He served as Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow in Asian and Middle Eastern Studies at the College of William and Mary and assistant professor of Middle Eastern and North African studies at the University of Arizona. His first book, Sacrificial Limbs: Masculinity, Disability, and Political Violence in Turkey (University of California Press, 2019), chronicles the everyday lives and political activism of disabled veterans of Turkey’s Kurdish conflict. His work has appeared in journals including the Journal of the Ottoman and Turkish Studies Association, the Journal of Middle East Women’s Studies, Current Anthropology, Medical Anthropology Quarterly, and Culture, Medicine, and Psychiatry. His new book project, provisionally entitled “Humanitarian Borderlands: Medicine, Care, and Terror along Turkey’s Syrian Border,” examines the politics and political economy of humanitarian healthcare.