Revistes Catalanes amb Accés Obert (RACO)

Kurdish Language Class in New York: A Platform for Social, Political and (Inter)personal Engagement

Renata Archanjo, Demet Arpacik

Abstract


Every country that encompasses Kurdistan faces extermination efforts, meaning that the Kurdish language has found refuge mainly in exile and has been associated increasingly with the Kurdish identity and with the political struggle of the Kurdish people. The present study looks at a very special case; a voluntarily-initiated Kurdish language class that takes place in the middle of Manhattan, New York, at a prestigious public university. We conducted interviews with 3 students and the teacher of the class to understand the dynamics within and beyond the Kurdish language class, the interplay of their political ideologies, as well as the intricate process of identity negotiation through language practices. Results indicate that through the language class, people are exercising the right to a language, the right to a culture and the right of a people. Participants are challenging and resisting established relations of power and transforming the educational space into a space of freedom.


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Bellaterra Journal of Teaching & Learning Language & Literature (BJTLLL)

ISSN 2013-6196
Legal Deposit Number (Spain) B. 23873-2013
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