The First International Conference on Kurdish Studies, held in Erbil in 2006 brought together a great number of European, American and Kurdish scholars working on Kurdish history, language and literature.
The Second International Conference on Kurdish Studies, which will take place in Duhok from May 1st to May 3rd 2O11, has a double aim.
Its first goal is to present a state of the art of the Kurdish studies in the different Western countries, namely France, Germany, Great Britain, the Netherlands, the Scandinavian countries and the United-States. In the recent decades, Kurdish Studies have undergone considerable development in these countries, where many PhD theses have been successfully defended either on Kurdish problems or on different topics related to the Kurdish history and society. Many new research subjects, going from the forced displacement to the new trends in gender relations, from the dynamics of urbanization to the formation of municipal authorities, have attracted scholars' interest. They have managed to conduct long-term research, both archival or in the field.
While it would not be possible to give a full account of all these new research activities, it seems however important that different speakers lay out general trends observed in their respective countries.
The second goal of our conference will be to analyze the outcome of recently renewed and popularized high level programmes on Kurdish language and literature in Europe, but also in Turkey. During the past decade, in fact, while some institutions, such as the Centre of Kurdish Studies at Exeter University (in Great-Britain), Göttingen University (in Germany) and l'Institut National des Langues et Civilisations Orientales (in France) have continued and intensified their teaching programmes, three universities in Turkey: Mardin, Mush and Hakkari have initiated the process of opening Kurdish language and literature departments, for the first time in the history of the Turkish Republic.
Our aim is to allow an exchange between different specialists on the educational methods needed to consolidate these initiatives, reinforce their academic quality. We hope that our debates will also lead to the creation of common areas: such as doctoral collegia and seminars. Similarly, we would like greatly to encourage the establishment of institutional relations and programme exchanges between European Universities and Kurdish Departments of Universities in Turkey, as well as with Universities in Iraqi Kurdistan's.