Personal profile

Personal profile

Dr Mashuq Kurt (Mehmet) is a Lecturer in Sociology in the Department of Law and Criminology at Royal Holloway University of London. He is a scholar of Islam, the Middle East, and Muslim diasporas. His research lies at the intersection of political sociology and anthropology of religion, specifically focusing on Turkey and Kurds. He currently works on two research projects. His first project focuses on transnational Islamic movements and the governance of Muslim practices. His ethnographic research into transnational Turkish mosques and Muslim communities sheds light on the transnational governance of Muslim spaces and how Turkish and Kurdish communities experience and imagine Islam, ethnicity, identity, and citizenship in Europe and the USA. His second project is concerned with the decolonial current in Kurdish Studies. He has been co-organizing Decolonizing Kurdish Studies workshop series supported by the Middle East Centres of Yale and Brown Universities and working on the curation of a Kurdish oral literature and music archive hosted by the Council on Middle East Studies at Yale University.

His book, Kurdish Hizbullah in Turkey: Islamism, Violence and the State - published in English (Pluto Press, 2017) and Turkish (İletişim, 2021- third edition) – offers a textured and nuanced analysis of the political theology, inter-communal conflict, and the everyday manifestation of ethnic and religious identities among the Hizbullah members in Turkey. The book follows the trajectories of a once clandestine violent organization, its transformation into a social movement and a political party. It examines how this transformation has shaped the Kurdish public and political space in contemporary Turkey. In addition, Mashuq is the author of numerous articles and book chapters published and forthcoming in Current Anthropology, Journal of Middle East Women’s Studies, Social Research: An International Quarterly, HAU: Journal of Ethnographic Theory, and Journal of Balkan and Near Eastern Studies.

Mashuq’s research projects received funding from the British Academy Newton Advanced Fellowship (Queen Mary University of London, 2015-2017), EU Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Programme (University of Manchester, DARE Project, 2018), Marie Sklodowska-Curie Global Fellowship (London School of Economics and Political Science, Yale University and SciencesPo Paris, 2019-2022), the European Research Council’s Starting Grant (University College London, TAKHAYYUL Project) and a grant from Council on Middle East Studies at Yale University for the curation of a Kurdish oral literature and music archive (The Voice of Kurdistan Project).

In addition to his academic scholarship, Mashuq directed an ethnographic documentary film, the Seven Doors (2019),which tells the story of seven students searching for an alternative educational model in the provincial context of Kurdish Turkey. The Seven Doors has been screened in numerous film festivals and universities. It has received The Jean Rouch Award in 2020 from the American Anthropological Association Society for Visual Anthropology’s Film and Media Festival and Merit Award in Youth Issues in 2020 from Docs Without Borders Film Festival.

Research interests

Anthropology of religion; political sociology; ethnography and visual anthropology; the Middle East; Turkey; Kurds and Kurdistan; Kurdish oral literature and ethnomusicology; Islamism and transnational Islamic movements; Kurdish Hizbullah; political violence; youth; radicalization; civil society; Muslims in the west; decolonizing epistemologies and critical pedagogies


CR1014 Introduction to Sociology 

CR3009 Race and Ethnicity in Contemporary Societies 

CR3011 Dissertation (Crim & Soc.)

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

External positions

Research Associate, Yale University

1 Jan 2022 → …

Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

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