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Christine Allison

Ibrahim Ahmed Professor of Kurdish Studies, University of Exeter

My main areas of interest are orality, literacy and popular culture across the Middle East and especially amongst the Kurds. Much of my written work has focused on the Yezidis, a Kurdish religious minority. I am currently preparing a book on discourses of memory in Kurdish communities. I also have a strong interest in the literary and cultural history of the Kurds of the former Soviet Union.
My core areas of PhD supervision are Kurmanji language and literature and popular culture and folklore in Kurdistan. I am also happy to co-supervise work on orality, folklore and popular cultures in other parts of the Middle East, and comparative studies where appropriate.
At MA level, I teach 'Critical Kurdish Studies' and lead 'Kurdish History and Politics' which are core modules for the MA in Kurdish studies. I also lead modules in Kurmanji language and a wider module on 'Studying the Middle East.' and convene a module on research methods for MA and PhD students.
At BA level, I teach not only Kurmanji language and 'Introduction to Kurdish Society and Culture' but also two wider Middle Eastern modules, 'Ethnography of the Middle East' and 'Folklore and Identity in the Middle East.'
I also lead the research project "The Worlds of Mandaean Priests," supported by the Arcadia Fund, with the Universities of Exeter and Leiden.
I regularly participate in The Middle East Humanities Cluster.


  • –present
    Ibrahim Ahmed Professor of Kurdish Studies, University of Exeter