Racializing Skill: Kurdish Farmworkers and Syrian Refugees in Turkey


A guest lecture by Professor Deniz Duruiz of Northwestern University.

Abstract:  This talk analyzes an embodied knowledge of class, racialization, and political violence through two local categories of workers on Turkish farms: 1) amele, which refers to large groups of workers that come from “outside”, who do the larger part of the work, and 2) “local workers” who are hired “to fill supplemental labor needs” (Atasoy 2017). The role of these categories in the organization of labor processes shows us that the history and the present of political violence in Kurdistan and in Syria factor into the making of a cheap and mobile labor force not only by dispossessing and displacing people and thus proletarianizing them, but also by concocting seemingly neutral categories of skill and experience that justify racialized schemes of labor and remuneration.

Co-sponsored by the Refugee Research Group.

Live on Zoom:  https://mcgill.zoom.us/j/83111058124

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