Dr. Mediha Sorma Successfully Defends Dissertation

Submitted by Whitney Miller on

Please join us in celebrating Ph.D. student Mediha Sorma, who successfully defended her dissertation, "Militant Mothers of the Kurdish Resistance: Statelessness, Mothering, and Subaltern Politics in the Contemporary Turkish Nation-State." 

Dr. Sorma’s dissertation, based on fieldwork in the Turkish cities of Diyarbakir and Istanbul, is a stunning and original account of the politics of mothering among radical Kurdish women who formed the Peace Mothers group in 2016 when the Turkish state declared a de facto permanent war against Kurdish autonomy movements within its borders. In a time of unrelenting state siege and asymmetrical warfare against Kurdish modes of living, Dr. Sorma shows how mothering within what she terms “necrohabitats,”— social formations reproduced through state killability, racialized loss, and ‘maternal’ care practices that blur the distinction between dead and living progeny—is a form of anticolonial necropolitics that remains unaccounted for within both radical feminist and masculinist radical Kurdish theories and concepts of the political and radical struggle. 

Her entire committee—co-chairs Chandan Reddy and Alys Weinbaum, Resat Kasaba, Selim Kuru (GSR)—commend Dr. Sorma for her brave and innovative mode of critical thought and look forward to the ways her work will advance the project of Kurdish transnational feminism and diasporic critique. 

Please join us in congratulating Dr. Sorma and wishing her well as she starts the next phase of her work as a scholar, teacher, and colleague.