Bahriye Kemal is passionate about and actively supports moves towards a differential world. She was born in London; her parents are migrants from the villages of Köfünye and Pile in Cyprus. She completed her BA at Eastern Mediterranean University, her MA at Goldsmiths, and her PhD in postcolonial studies at the University of Kent. She has taught at various schools, colleges and universities around the world, including: Cyprus, Japan, Peru and the UK. These moves and moments have inspired her research interest and impact projects, which are in border/broader crossing geographical and disciplinary boundaries, with focus on postcolonial and world literature as related to partition studies, East Mediterranean/ Middle East studies, island studies, spatial studies, migration and refugees, arts and activism. She works with English and translated texts.
Bahriye’s first research monograph entitled Writing Cyprus: Postcolonial and Parition Literatures of Place and Space explores English, Greek and Turkish writing about Cyprus in the context of the island’s political and cultural history of colonisation, partition and conflicting identities. The book explores literatures by cypriotgreek, cypriotturkish, cypriotarmenian and cypriotmaronite authors, as well as English, Greek and Turkish authors, within and through an interdisciplinary spatial model, at once theoretical and empirical, which interrogates the powerful truth of place and space in postcolonial and partition discourse. Here showing the usefulness and usability of Yi-Fu Tuan’s humanistic-geography and Henri Lefebvre’s Marxist philosophy to postcolonial partition cases, like Cyprus. Using this spatial model, the book exposes the ways postcolonial partition territories are always in the process of spatial production, which determines identity so that it is understood as identification. In this way Writing Cyprus blurs the dominant binary legacy of historical-political deadlock discourse, and captures a new Cypriot solidarity for the actual and active production of a differential colonial, postcolonial and partitioned Cyprus. Writing Cyprus set the foundation for the publication of various chapters, articles and collections on postcolonial partition, nationalism, education, migration, and the diaspora. It also triggered various impact projects, including Literary Agency Cyprus (LAC), a women’s movement that organises literary, artistic and academic events towards a different Cyprus, with the most recent project entitled Nicosia…Beyond Barriers based on walking–writing through the world’s last divided capital.
Bahriye is currently working on a new research project entitled Postcolonial Eastern Mediterranean Literary and Artistic Trails, which traces the movement of displaced people dating from 1908-2018 that have been largely marginalized, yet central to understanding the ‘truth’ of the making and breaking of the region. The focus is on works by Arabs and Cypriots alongside Turks, Greeks, Brits and beyond, with emphasis on their arrivals into and departures out of Cyprus, whilst journeying to and from Palestine, Lebanon, Syria, Egypt and Jordan.
Bahriye is an active member and supporter of various grassroots organisations and movements, including Women Now, Literary Agency Cyprus, Seenaryo, and Kent Refugee Help, where literary, artistic and impact projects are ongoing. She also writes poetry and prose.
Bahriye’s research interests are in border/broader crossing geographic and disciplinary boundaries, with focus on:
Whilst at the School of English Bahriye has taught Readings in Twentieth Century, Empire New Nation Migration, Places and Journeys, Mapping Identities, Graphic Novel, Writing and Reading the Everyday, the Contemporary, Contemporary Struggle, Thinking through Theory.
Bahirye is interested in supervising students on the following topics:
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