In this lecture "Dengbejs in Turkey: the modernity of an oral tradition", Dr. Wendy Hamelink will speak about the art of the dengbêjs, which is the art of storytelling in sung verse . She will also discuss the discourses of political activists who understand and present the dengbêjs as cultural and historical heritage of the Kurdish nation.
Wendy Hamelink received her PhD from Leiden University. Her thesis "The Sung Home: Narrative, morality, and the Kurdish nation", is an analysis of the lives and works of Kurdish oral performers called dengbejs. In 2014 she conducted a postdoc research project funded by the Max Weber Foundation about cultural memories of Armenians from the Sassoun region in eastern Turkey, who now live in Beirut, Istanbul and Paris. Currently, she works on the revision of her dissertation that will be published by Brill publishers, and on writing an article about Sassoun Armenians. At the same time she is preparing a new larger research project that focuses on representation and experiences of Syrian Kurdish women. Finally, she is an associate editor of the Kurdish Studies Journal, an international academic peer-reviewed journal.