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Independence Movements: From Catalans to Kurds

Catalan Kurd Event

October 11, 2017

The recent independence referendums in Spain and Iraq have sparked violent clashes between protesters and central governments. What led to these referendums, and how is the world likely to react? The Middle East Center, Center for West European Studies, and EU Center at the Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies recently sponsored a panel discussion entitled “Independence Movements: From Catalans to Kurds” on October 10th, 2017, addressing the potential impacts and futures of these two very different, and yet, very similar, movements.

Speakers included:

Reşat Kasaba, Director, Jackson School of International Studies and Stanley D. Golub Chair in International Studies, University of Washington. Dr. Kasaba is an expert in the history and politics of the Middle East, has taught undergraduate and graduate students at the School for over 30 years and is the recipient of a UW Distinguished Teaching Award.

Nicole F. Watts, Professor and Department Chair, Department of Political Science, San Francisco State University. Professor Watts teaches on comparative politics, the politics of the Middle East and North Africa, and social movements. Her research interests include ethnopolitical and national movements, state-society relations, protest and dissent, and Kurdish politics and  mobilization, particularly in Iraq and Turkey.

Anthony Geist, Professor, Spanish and Comparative Literature, University of Washington. Professor Geist received his Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley, in 1978, and taught at Princeton University, the University of Texas, San Antonio, and Dartmouth College before coming to the University of Washington in 1987. One of his main areas of research concerns the art and literature of the Spanish Civil War.

Leigh K. Mercer, Associate Professor, Spanish, University of Washington. Leigh Mercer is currently at work on a new book project titled An Incoherent Voyage: Spanish Cinema Pioneers, Between Technophilia and Technophobia. In addition, she has several other ongoing areas of research: urban studies and conduct in the Spanish novel of contemporary customs; the Gothic tradition; the serialized novel’s impact on highbrow literary production; travel writing and early tourist guidebooks to Spain; culinary culture in 19th-Century Spain; and humor in contemporary Spanish film.