AMEWS Association for Middle East Women's Studies

JMEWS awards Emine Rezzan Karaman the 2015 Graduate Student Paper Prize for “Performativity and Text: Motherhood as a Transforming Political Identity in Turkey.” The paper analyzes the construction of motherhood as a form of political agency in Turkey with particular references to the Saturday Mothers and the Peace Mothers, respectively, the mothers of the disappeared and the mothers of the PKK fighters. Interviews with the Mothers of Soldiers will also be part of the final analysis. Focusing on these three mother organizations, the article explores three questions: How has the conflict between the military/paramilitary forces and oppositional organizations transformed the lives of ordinary women across the country? How have some socio-politically marked and wounded women perceived the state and responded to its violence through the identity of motherhood? And, finally, to what extent can the power of motherhood-activism, which derives from the sharing of personal experiences in the public domain as an expression of collective traumas and silenced pasts, contribute to peace-building in Turkey?