Following the dead beyond the 'nation': a map for transnational Alevi funerary routes from Europe to Turkey

Zirh B. C.

ETHNIC AND RACIAL STUDIES, vol.35, no.10, pp.1758-1774, 2012 (SSCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 35 Issue: 10
  • Publication Date: 2012
  • Doi Number: 10.1080/01419870.2012.659274
  • Journal Indexes: Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.1758-1774
  • Keywords: Transnationalism, Alevis, methodological nationalism, multi-sited ethnography, mortuary focus, funeral, migration, MIGRATION
  • Middle East Technical University Affiliated: Yes


Life-cycle rituals such as weddings and funerals vigorously stimulate transnational engagements among immigrant communities. On the basis of a two-year multi-sited ethnographic research project among Alevi immigrant communities in Europe, this article approaches the process of 'revival', by which Alevism has evolved from a locally invisible to a transnationally visible belief community, through the lens of mortuary practices. The 'mortuary focus' draws attention to the significance of funeral rituals to the study of transnational engagements of contemporary immigrant communities beyond methodological nationalism. This analysis thus considers the act of transporting deceased community members back to their home-village as a ritualized and spatial practice of (transnational) community-making beyond national categories and cartographies.