MESA - Middle East Studies Association










March 2014

7 March 2104 - National Summit to Reassess the U.S.-Israel "Special Relationship" (Washington, DC). America's first National Summit to Reassess the U.S.-Israel "Special Relationship" will be held in the ballroom of the National Press Club on March 7 in Washington, DC. U.S. financial, military, and diplomatic support for Israel has grown significantly and steadily throughout the past 60 years and now dwarfs annual American foreign assistance to all other nations. Research indicates the U.S.-Israel "special relationship" is a major factor in foreign hostility towards Americans. Some experts suggest that Israel has been central to U.S. wars in theMiddle East. However, the huge public backlash against Israel lobby-generated momentum for U.S. attacks on Syria and Iran indicates that Americans are concerned about the direction of U.S. foreign policy, how it is made, and those trying to make it. This historic summit will provide an in-depth, multifaceted inquiry into this critical subject matter. Panelists will include former military and diplomatic personnel, intelligence officers, scholars, economists, researchers and a variety of other subject-matter experts and authors often shut out of key discussions in public forums and news media outlets. Members of the public will be allowed to ask the key questions and network with other attendees. Interested members of the public may now register for an early-bird discount online at EventsNow (link).  Members of the press may request credentials and currently enrolled university or college students may apply for one of the limited number of donor-funded free student tickets by completing and submitting this registration form (PDF link).  A complimentary lunch will be provided during mid-day keynotes and panels.

National Summit organizers are:

CNIF advocates for Middle East policies that serve the national interest; that represent the highest values of our founders and our citizens; and that work to sustain a nation of honor, decency, security and prosperity.

IAK is an independent research and information-dissemination institute with particular focus on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, U.S. foreign policy regarding the Middle East, and media coverage of this issue.

IRmep is a Washington-DC based nonprofit researching U.S. Middle East policy formulation and how warranted law enforcement and civil action can improve outcomes.

WRMEA is a magazine published by the American Educational Trust focusing on news and analysis from and about the Middle East and U.S. policy in that region.

Follow and @NATSummit on Twitter for future official updates.

14-15 March 2014 - "New Visions for Refugee Education in the Middle East" (Beirut, Lebanon). This conference seeks to highlight the current debates around the education of refugees and present examples of different approaches and propositions to integration and access to quality education, with a comparative perspective from some relevant cases worldwide. The aim of the conference is to exchange research findings and expertise in order to better understand the complex and multifaceted
experiences of forcibly displaced persons from the perspective of the researchers,
communities, government, and NGOs to develop a more integrated, collaborative durable solutions as far as education is concerned. For further information:

14-16 March 2014 - "International Conference on Visual Activism," Third Biennial Conference of the International Association of Visual Culture (IAVC) (San Francisco, CA). The International Association of Visual Culture (IAVC) invites proposals for its third biennial conference in San Francisco, March 14-16, 2014. The conference is centered on the concept of Visual Activism. How can we better understand the relationships between visual culture and activist practices? There are ways in which art can take the form of political/social activism and there are also ways in which activism takes specific, and sometimes surprising, visual forms that are not always aligned with or recognizable by art-world frameworks. How can we engage in conversations about abstract or oblique visual activism, for instance as is demanded in conditions of extreme censorship? How can we approach the complexity of governmental or commercial "visual activism" to better address hegemonies of visual culture (for example, in advertising and the mass media)? What becomes of the temporal lag that attends such images, when the politics of visual production are only made legible in retrospect, with historical distance? How does the past become a form of "visual activism" in the present? To what degree do forms of visual activism travel, and in what ways are they necessarily grounded in locally specific knowledge and geographically specific spaces? Presentations should respond to these questions or related topics and may take the form of scholarly papers (20 minutes), artist talks (20 minutes), short performances (5 to 30 minutes), or lighting-round interventions (5 minutes). Proposals should include a 400-word abstract, links to websites with additional publications or relevant images and information, and a CV. Please send proposals to (with "visual activism" as the subject line) no later than October 1, 2013. The conference is convened by Julia Bryan-Wilson (Associate Professor, Modern and Contemporary Art, UC Berkeley), Jennifer A. Gonzalez (Associate Professor, History of Art and Visual Culture, Contemporary Art, Race and Representation, UC Santa Cruz) and Dominic Willsdon (Leanne and George Roberts Curator of Education and Public Programs, SFMOMA) and will take place at the Brava Theater Center and Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco, CA. Please email to be added to the mailing list to receive updates about the conference such as registration, the calendar of events and participants.

20-22 March 2014 "Identity and Conflict in the Middle East and Its Diasporic Cultures" (University of Balamand, Al-Kurah, North Lebanon, Lebanon). Throughout the long twentieth century and more than a decade into the twenty-first, localized and large-scale conflicts have contributed to the redrawing of the Middle East's geopolitical, ethnic, and religio-sectarian boundaries. The abstraction of West Asia and its reinvention as the Middle East in the wake of the Ottoman Empire's dissolution and recurring foreign interventions are striking cases of such reconfiguration. More recently, the Arab uprisings have shifted the political paradigm, and have opened a space for yet another reconfiguration. Representations of Middle Eastern conflict — in fiction and nonfiction, oral stories and historical accounts, political and religious discourse, music, film, and old and new forms of media — have sought to engage and reshape its contours within the national and regional as well as the global imaginary. Although widely divergent accounts of these conflicts exist, textual, auditory , and visual "war stories" have sometimes helped to consolidate hegemonic representations of the Middle East as both a single geographic and cultural reality, and, perhaps paradoxically, a group of disparate regions riven by violent political, religious, and tribal differences. These models seem to require that deep historical ties and shared cultures within and across Middle Eastern regions be occulted or suppressed. This conference will consider the ways that representations of conflict through word, sound, and image have reconceptualized histories, geographies, religions, cultures, and political and economic systems, and affected peoples' identities and lived experiences, across the Middle East and Middle Eastern diasporas. We encourage work that pressures received understandings of identity and conflict as categories, that accounts for forms of structural violence, that considers nonviolence and acts of resistance to war, and/or traces confluences and lines of connection among seemingly independent events and the means of depicting and narrativizing them. In so doing, we hope to further dynamic, interdisciplinary and transnational scholarship that is committed equally to the historiography and sociology of conflict, the analysis of its representations, and the remapping of regional interrelations. We invite scholars of literature, film, media, and music, as well as historians, anthropologists, sociologists, psychoanalysts, linguists, translators and political scientists to contribute work that examines conflict and identity across any region in the Middle East and /or Middle Eastern diasporas. The conference will be conducted in English. Consequently, all abstracts, papers, and presentations should be in English. Deadline for abstracts (300 words): October 1, 2013. Please upload abstracts to our website under "Abstract Submission Form." Presentations and Panels: Each paper presentation will be 15 minutes in length. Presentations will be grouped into panels by the organizers. For more information and full CFP please visit our website: For questions and inquiries, please contact Dr. Mazen Naous, Chair of the Scientific Committee, at or Aline Jabbour, Administrative Assistant, at +961-6-930250 Ext. 1456 or +961-3-093880.

28-29 March 2014 - "The Democratic Transition in Tunisia: Accomplishments & Challenges" - CSID-Tunisia's 3rd Annual Conference (Tunis, Tunisia). CSID-Tunisia is pleased to announce that it will be holding its Third Annual Conference in Tunis, Tunisia on Friday and Saturday, March 28-29, 2014.  The main theme of this conference will be"The Democratic Transition in Tunisia: Accomplishments & Challenges." Over 200-300 international experts, scholars, politicians, and democracy activists are expected to attend this international conference, from Tunisia and from outside Tunisia, to shed light on the main issues and challenges facing Tunisia and the rest of the post-revolutionary Arab Spring countries, and to discuss lessons learned from democratic transitions in other countries.  The conference will last two days, and registration is required.  Keynote invited speakers, and a more detailed program will be announced by the end of January.

Late March or Early April 2014 - 11th Annual Southeast Coastal Conference on Languages & Literatures (SECCLL), sponsored by the Department of Foreign Languages and the College of Liberal Arts & Social Sciences at Georgia Southern University. SECCLL is a scholarly conference gathering either the last week in March or the first week in April attracting scholars from the region and beyond. SECCLL is oriented toward the participation of scholars from both public and private institutions of higher education. It is a collegiate, informal and respectful environment marked by a rigorous and productive exchange among academics. Some of the topics include scholarship in Arabic, French, German, Spanish, Hispanic Linguistics, Classics, Comparative Literature, East Asian, and Special Topics in language, literature, culture, pedagogy and film. SECCLL encourages the participation of Graduate Students. Information about the conference, including the to-be-announced dates, may be obtained at

April 2014

3 April 2014 "Transnational Feminisms and the New Middle East Insurrections," 2014 10th Anniversary Celebration - Distinguished Lecture and Research Workshop (New Haven, CT). Sponsored by JMEWS, Council on Middle East Studies and the Whitney and Betty MacMillan Center for International and Area Studies at Yale University. Featuring a distinguished lecture by Sondra Hale, UCLA (Emerita). Submit 200-word abstract to by January 1, 2014 to present at the workshop. For additional information, please go here.

4-5 April "Nationalism, Religion and Tradition in the Muslim World," the 31st Annual Conference of the American Council for the Study of Islamic Societies (Augusta, GA at Georgia Regents University). Suggestions for proposals include all of the following:

  • The role of religion in the foundation of states (Israel, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia).
  • The role of religion in legitimating governance in Muslim majority countries.
  • The relationship between religious and national identities in specific Muslim communities majority and minority).
  • Notions of citizenship in Islam.
  • Political, economic and social relations within and between the Muslim world and other communities.
  • Political, economic, social and philosophical movements within the Muslim world.
  • The impact of globalization on the Muslim world.
  • The interplay of the religion of Islam with commerce, finance, technology and education.
  • Religious minorities in the Muslim world and Muslims as minority groups.
  • The press, social networks and communication within the Muslim world.
  • Other topics not specifically mentioned.

Please note that Muslim world includes any place where Muslims reside. Scholars from all disciplines of the humanities and social sciences are encouraged to submit proposals. Please include full name, title, and institutional affiliation with your proposal. Please email your proposal (max. 250 words) to Robert Hazan at (Professor of Political Science and Chair, Metro State University of Denver). Deadline for submission of proposal: January 15, 2014. Notification of acceptance of papers: February 10, 2014. Participants must submit e-copies of their paper to Michael B. Bishku (Professor of History, Georgia Regents University) by March 15, 2014. Participants must register for the conference at by March 15, 2014.

4-6 April 2014-"(Un)Civil Society: Past and Present", the 4th Annual UCSB Islamic Studies Graduate Student Conference (University of California, Santa Barbara). Islamic societies are witnessing an unprecedented wave of protests and revolt that have provoked renewed discussions over the character of civil society. From the 2009 Iranian “Green Movement” to the ongoing “Arab Spring” movements across the Middle East, there continues to be an intense political contest between various reform movements, ideologies, and the state. This conference aims to explore the complex and varied social and political forces that have comprised civil society and its relationship to the state in both historical and contemporary contexts/societies.
Professor Gilbert Achcar of the School of Oriental and African Studies at the University of London will be this year’s keynote speaker. Professor Achcar is a leading scholar on politics and developmental economics in the Middle East and North Africa and he has written extensively on the Arab Spring movements.
We invite paper proposals that treat a variety of topics concerning civil society, including, but not limited to:
1. To what extent did pre-modern forms of civil society exist in Islamic societies?
2. How have competing notions of 'civil society' coexisted in the public imagination?
3. The state as a site of civil disobedience and the state's regulation of civil protests.
4. The role of technology as a facilitator and/or inhibitor of civil discourse.
5. How do Islamic discourses situate the Sharia with respect to civil society?
6. The place of gender in the construction of civil discourses.
7. Artistic representations, public spaces and visions of (un)civil society.
Submission Guidelines: To apply, please submit proposals/abstracts (maximum 300 words) and a two page CV by January 31st, 2014 to

10 April 2014 "Relocation, Continuity and Transformation in Middle East-Asia Relations" (Nottingham Trent University, UK). Deadline for Abstracts: 10.02.2014
This conference invites PhD candidates and early-career researchers to share and develop their current research interests as they contribute to discussions of continuities and transformations in MENA-Asia relations. The purpose of this one day conference is to promote work that has potential to enhance our understanding of contemporary dynamics in Middle East-Asia relations at the bi-lateral, regional and international levels. Both empirical and theoretical papers are welcome and suggested topics, which are intended to be indicative rather than limiting, are as follows:

  • IR Theory and Middle East-Asia Relations
  • Forms of cooperation and competition between Middle East-Asia states
  • The role of ideas, norms and institutions in Middle East-Asia relations
  • Middle East-Asia relations post-2008 financial crisis
  • Civil conflicts, intervention and conflict resolution/crisis management
  • Diplomacy and observing international law
  • Hydrocarbons in Middle East-Asia relations
  • Renewable and nuclear energy dynamics in Middle East-Asia relations
  • Middle East-Asia relations and international organisations
  • Economic integration and the 'New Silk Road'
  • Hegemony, power and sovereignty

If you wish to present a paper, please submit an abstract of up to 250 words to Dr Imad El-Anis ( with the subject heading "Re: CATIMAR Conference Abstract" by 6pm on February 10th 2014. You will be notified of the decision on your abstract via email by 25th February 2014. For any questions please feel free to contact Sahra Joharchi ( or Alex Baxter ( 

11 April 2014 "Arab Documentaries - Recording Whose Reality?" (University of Westminster, London)- Conference organised by the Arab Media Centre. This one-day conference is organised by the Arab Media Centre, Communication and Media Research Institute (CAMRI), University of Westminster. We welcome papers from scholars and film-makers that will engage critically with particular aspects of Arab documentaries. The deadline for abstracts has been extended to Monday 13th January, 2014. For more information:

14-16 April 2014 "Mapping Arabic Hertiage: Language, Literature and Culture, Past and Present" A joint AUS-BRISMES conference (American University of Sharjah, UAE). The Department of Arabic and Translation Studies (ATS) at the American University of Sharjah, with the support of the Center of Gulf Studies (CGS), and the British Society for Middle Eastern Studies (BRISMES) invite submissions for paper presentations for this event which covers all areas related to Arabic heritage, including Arabic language and linguistics, literature, culture, translation and Islamic studies. Abstracts of original research in the following fields are welcomed:

  1. Theoretical and applied issues in Arabic language and linguistics, including linguistic analysis, Arabic language teaching, Arabic dialectology, and the history of Arabic and its contact with other languages.
  2. Arabic literature studies covering any period from pre-Islamic era to the present.
  3. Islamic studies and studies on the history and culture of Arab society in any time period.
  4. Theoretical and applied issues in Arabic translation and interpretation. 

These topics should only be considered as general guidelines and are not exhaustive. Any paper dealing with Arabic in its linguistic, cultural, literary or translation context will be considered. Anonymous abstracts, not exceeding 300 words, should be sent by email before 31st December 2013 to, with the name and affiliation written in the body of the email. Notification of paper acceptance will be sent via email by end of January 2014. Each presentation will be allowed 15 minutes followed by 5 minutes for questions and discussion.

Beyond the Colloquium
Participants will be asked to develop their papers further for inclusion in a peer-reviewed conference proceeding. It is intended that selected high-quality papers are to be published by BRISMES in a special issue under the title of the conference. The papers accepted can be presented in English or Arabic.

This conference will be hosted by the American University of Sharjah. Participants must register in order to take part in the conference. Early bird registration fee is $100, starting on 15th February 2014. Registration on the first day of the conference is $125. This includes refreshments and lunch throughout the conference days and cultural trips in Sharjah, in addition to the conference dinner on April 14th.

Please direct any inquiries to Dr. Imed Nsiri at or Dr. Mai Zaki at

18-19 April - "Possibilities with Jane Guyer" Graduate Student Conference in Anthropology at Johns Hopkins University (Baltimore, MD). The graduate students at the Department of Anthropology have dedicated this year's conference as a celebration of and tribute to Professor Jane Guyer, who has been a dynamic force in the intellectual life at Johns Hopkins University and beyond. Though Professor Guyer is not set to retire until Summer 2015, this year's conference will be the last of which she will participate as a full-time faculty member. Please join us, along with our guest speaker, Professor Janet Roitman of the Department of Anthropology at the New School for Social Research, in celebrating her work and showing our gratitude for the crucial role she has played in the academic and professional vibrancy of our scholarly community. While much attention has been dedicated to charting out disciplinary shifts and turns within anthropology, the notion of possibility, as Jane Guyer suggests, remains a recurring yet largely unexplored center in the history of the field. For Guyer, whose distinguished career has been spent studying local strategies for managing market volatilities in post-colonial Africa, a robust anthropological engagement with possibility entails "an ethical stance, demanding courage; it is an aesthetic of coexistence, demanding discernment; it is a vision of politics, demanding study and steadfastness" (2009: 363). Alongside Guyer, David Graeber takes possibility as a lens to the otherwise encountered in the field. Graeber finds anthropology's persistent return to possibility to be a "constant reminder that most of what we assume as immutable has been, in other times and places, arranged quite differently, and therefore, that human possibilities are in almost every way greater than we imagine" (2007:1, see also Guyer 2009). The question of possibility is central to Janet Roitman's recent work, which instigates an engagement with what the term "crisis" is productive of and the possibilities its mobilization creates, but also forecloses (2014; see also Mbembe and Roitman 1995). Whereas Roitman compels us to render visible the work that seemingly given concepts are doing, Guyer and Graeber see possibilities as enjoining disciplinary ethics and innovations to a concrete politics of futurity, threads that we hope to elaborate upon in our discussions at the conference. To that end, the students of the Department of Anthropology at Johns Hopkins invite colleagues across the social sciences and humanities to reflect on possibilities in their own (field)work, whether as concept, method, or mode of analysis. Moreover, this graduate conference hopes to explore how we, as a new generation of scholars, might articulate the notion of possibility through our work. Submission Guidelines: The conference will take place on Friday and Saturday, April 18 - 19, 2014 at the Johns Hopkins University. We encourage submissions from graduate students across disciplines.To apply, please submit an abstract (max. 500 words) to by March 15, 2014. Submissions should include either a curriculum vitae or a listing of the following information: presenter's name, program, year of study, research focus, and contact information. Additional details, including the full call for papers, can be found at

19-20 April 2014 - "Writing Women's Lives: Auto/Biography, Life Narratives, Myths and Historiography (Istanbul, Turkey). International symposium celebrating the 25th anniversary of the Women's Library and Information Center Foundation of Istanbul, whose mission is to acquire, protect and preserve the women-centered intellectual legacy of our world and to make this legacy accessible to researchers. For information on program, registration, accommodation, excursions, location, etc., please visit

22-24 April 2014 - "Challenges and Ambitions" The 2nd Saudi Economy Conference (Jeddah, Saudi Arabia). The national economy of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has achieved unprecedented accomplishments not only in the Middle East Region, but also on a global level, especially in recent years, after the Kingdom earned the twentieth richest countries in the world membership, and for the growth, strength and high flexibility achieved by the Saudi economy. This has enabled the Kingdom to overcome the global financial crisis that hit the global economy since 2008, and still the consequences of subsequent economic aftershocks are affecting most of the global economies. This proves the strength of the Saudi economy and its ability to grow and is confirmed by the figures of the State Budget and the surplus achieved over the past years. 

Proceeding from the mission of the Faculty of Economics and Administration in promoting scientific academic research, and serving the community, especially after the great success achieved by the Conference at its first edition held during the period of 7- 9 May 2012, the College launches the second edition of this Conference (National Economy: Challenges and ambitions) during the period of 22- 24 April, 2014. This Conference will discuss several key issues related to the reality and the future of the national economy and its impact on citizens and values, especially with regard to the economic sectors related to service or the direct impact on the citizen. All this will take place within the framework of discussing the challenges and how to achieve the ambitions in this area. For additional information, please visit:

24-25 April 2014 - James A Baker Institute's Women and Human Rights in the Middle East Program international conference. The Middle East is undergoing a process of major transformation, not only on the political level, but also-and most importantly-on the societal and ideological levels. Despite the surge in research on different agents of change in the region since the onset of the Arab Spring, scholarship focusing on women's issues has been few and far between. In order to bridge this gap, the Women and Human Rights Program at the Baker Institute will be organizing an international conference on April 24-25, 2014, to produce and promote cutting edge research in the field of women and human rights in the Middle East. This important conference also seeks to produce substantive, fact-based policy recommendations that inform wider policy debates about the advancement of women's rights, both on the political and socioâ?economic levels. To achieve these goals, this cross-disciplinary conference will employ a comprehensive framework to the study of gender and human rights in the Middle East. The conference will feature three main topics: 1) Women's socio-economic development in the region, 2) Political representation and the advancement of women's rights in the Middle East, and 3) Islamic law and women's rights in the Arab world. Advanced graduate students are invited to present their research pertaining to gender and human rights in the region during the second day of the conference. The conference welcomes papers employing multiple methods and approaches for the study of gender in the region. Select graduate students will be invited to present their current project/dissertation, and to discuss their work with the participating scholars and benefit from their expertise. Priority will be given to students in the ABD phase of their graduate career. The Baker Institute will invite up to three graduate students to present their work and will provide a stipend for each student. There is no fee to participate in the event and meals will be provided for participants. Graduate students interested in participating in the conference are asked to email a one-page summary of the research to be presented, and an updated C.V. to no later than December 15th, 2013. Successful candidates will be notified by February 1st.

MAY 2014

2-3 May 2014-"Immediate History of the Arab Revolutions," MEHAT Conference (University of Chicago). This prearranged panel for the MEHAT conference aims to asses how relevant "immediate history" is in explaining the present events causing the Arab turmoils. The main epistemological requirement of "immediate" history approach is that the historian directly experiences the event, thus not being removed from it by time. Therefore, this method imposes the classical historical expectation in terms of collecting and criticizing documents, plus the constraints of the current change. The pannelist may consider the event for itself and not as a teleological consequence of expectations. Moreover, the presentations may depart from common theoretical frameworks that predict what the event may signify. We are looking for papers which draw chronological approaches and sequences on the current events, mostly in North Africa and the Middle East. Deadline for proposals 5 February 2014 to and Information on the conference

7-10 May 2014 - "Continuity and Change in the Middle East" International Middle East Symposium (Kırıkkale University, Turkey). The history of the Middle East, which has been home to many civilizations for thousands of years, and the cultural heritage of this geography, can be traced back to ancient times. Against the problems experienced by the Middle Eastern countries due to the recent developments,
it is necessary to create a cultural and intellectual common sense, with a historical perspective based on the history of civilizations and comparative history of civilizations. Our university organizes a symposium with the theme "Continuity and Change in the Middle East”, which intends to bring together intellectuals and scholars from different countries and experiences. Due Date for Summaries: March 07, 2014
Due Date for the Full Text Papers: April 15, 2014

  • Civilization, Culture, and Society in the Middle East
  • Language and Literature
  • History
  • Religion
  • Politics
  • Social Structure
  • Democracy
  • Economy

Symposium Languages: Turkish, Arabic, Persian, English
WEBSITE:; E-mail:

9-11 May 2014-"Persianate Studies: A Conceptual Inquiry (New Haven, CT, Yale University). The Iranian Studies Initiative at Yale is organizing a workshop in May 2014 to explore the dimensions of Persianate Studies as an academic field. The workshop asks whether the term "Persianate" works as a conceptual framework beyond language and literature to such areas as habitat, economy and trade routes, and political and material cultures. Are there tangible historical ties in the pre-modern and early modern eras among such diverse regions as Anatolia, the Iranian plateau and the greater Khorasan region, the Caucasus, the southern rim of Central Asia, Western Xingjian, and the Indian subcontinent? Can these ties create a viable field of study beyond Middle Eastern, Central Asian, South Asian and East Asian studies to underscore subtle interregional connections and longue duree commonalities? What circumstances, on the other hand, reoriented these regions and helped break up the Persianate oecumene in modern times? Papers may explore novel conceptual and theoretical approaches as well as case studies with broader historical implications. Please send proposals (synopsis and a resume) by October 15th via email to Ms. Lora LeMosy (, Council on Middle East Studies, MacMillan Center, Yale University.

18-19 May 2014-"Writing Back Language, Identity, Culture, and Difference" (Qatar University, Doha, Qatar). The Department of English Literature and Linguistics at Qatar University invites you to submit a proposal for our 2014 international conference, “Writing Back,” taking place on 2-3 April 2014. While the term “writing back” invokes traditional post-colonial discourse -- empire writing back to the imperial center -- this conference aims to expand the field of inquiry to address all literature that is, in one way or another, writing back to traditional practices or dominant discourses in literature, culture, and the arts. It aims to explore the construction of historical narratives and to examine history and culture from previously marginalized or overlooked perspectives. We encourage the widest possible interpretations of the subject, and hope to redefine the term ‘writing back’ to address the complexity of contemporary literature in a global context. Literature written in English by Arabs, Africans, and Indians are of special interest to this conference. The topics to be considered can include, but are not limited to, the following categories: a. Writing and Language … Writing in Another language; b. Writing and Identity … National / Ethnic / Individual; identity; c. Writing and Culture … Writing sub-cultures/Race/Gender; d. Writing and Difference … Theory/Experimentation/New writing. Abstracts should be no more than 300 words and should be sent to Dr. Erin Holliday-Karre ( by 30 December 2013. Email submissions should be sent in Word format only. Successful proposals should present a compelling case for the paper and its relation to the conference topic. We ask that all participants stick to a strict twenty minute time period to allow time for discussion. Please do not send your entire paper and do not include your personal details on the abstract but rather in a separate cover letter. All papers will be peer-reviewed and evaluated anonymously. Although the organizer of the conference, the Department of English Literature and Linguistics, Qatar University, does not require any conference registration fees, and will provide participants with food and transportation while in Qatar during the conference, it expects participants to pay for their travel and accommodation. For any further information please contact: Erin Holliday-Karre, Assistant Professor of Literature, Department of English Literature & Linguistics, Email:; Phone: (00974) 4403-4909.

19-24 May 2014-International Training Forum in Sustainable Development (Tacoma, Washington). More than 20 innovative and informative workshops sessions, interactive discussions and impactful networking prospects will comprise the Environment, Culture, Economy and Society international Forum themed Building Capacity in Sustainable Development, presented by Terra Viva Institute. Participants will be exposed to a variety of innovative solutions to common problems faced in the sustainable development sector and beyond, and gained tools for finding new ways to approach and solve their organization's challenges. The Terra Viva Institute is conducting Capacity Building Training Forum designed for people who plan to work or volunteer in community development, or who already work in this field and want to advance their careers. The Terra Viva Institute uses as its basis, a framework of rights-based development and the Terra Viva Institute Approach. This multi-sectoral, participatory approach focuses on the empowerment of people as both the ends and means of a genuine sustainable development process. We are training and consulting with organizations from around the world. This program uses a multi-sector, participatory approach that focuses on empowerment of people as both the ends and means of a sustainable development process. Rather than teaching prescriptive solutions to community problems, we provide you with the tools to use the community's input and vision to create options and solutions that truly meet community needs. The program helps you learn through case studies, exercises, and group discussions, providing a complete learning environment. You will learn from, and share experiences with, practitioners working in the field around the world. This program gives experienced practitioners a fresh perspective and provides novices and volunteers the training they need to be successful working in the field of development. This year, we are keen on further increasing the number of participants by proposing an even more attractive, innovative and focused program that handles all the aspects of sustainable development and capacity building. More than 20 courses will be offered during the training  Forum event including: Microfinance and the Role of Women, Local Communities and Climate Change Mitigation Strategies, Social Entrepreneurship and Enterprise Development, Financial Management, Fundraising Techniques etc. The complete courses list and description can be found on the program webpage at: expect participants from: Governments and International Organizations, Civil Society, the Business Public and Private Sectors, Academics Institutions and Leaders and Private Individuals amongst others. Availability of attendance sponsorship:
We are informing you of the availability of attendance sponsorship intended to cover the participation of delegates from middle and low income countries. The sponsorship is to encourage quality research, mobility and networking among participants. For more information and availability, please contact the Registration Desk. To register for the event, please contact the Registration Office: Mr. Jonas Hoodrow, Registration Office, Capacity Building Forum on Sustainability, Tel. +1-253-785-0493
Email. Due to time constraints, interested participants are strongly advised to confirm attendance beforehand. While we anticipate your response at your earliest convenience, please do not hesitate to contact us for further information. We are looking forward to your effective participation in the forthcoming events.

22-25 May 2014-Berkshire Conference on Women's History Histories on the Edge/Histoires sur la brèche (Toronto, Canada) 16th Berkshire Conference on Women’s History. University of Toronto will host the first Canadian “Big Berks” in collaboration with co-sponsoring units and universities in Toronto and across Canada.

Our major theme of Histories on the Edge/Histoires sur la brèche reflects the growing internationalization of the Berkshire conference. It recognizes the precariousness of a world in which the edged-out millions demand transformation, as well as the intellectual edges scholars have crossed and worked to bridge in the academy and outside of it. The conference in Canada prompts engagement with critical edges sharpening, de-centering, decolonizing histories. Edges are spatial: impenetrable borders, stifling or protective boundaries, and spaces of smooth entry. Edges are temporal; they also evoke the creative and the avant-garde. Entangled in the idea of edges are rough encounters, jagged conflicts as well as intimate exchanges. It speaks to the alternative spaces the ³edged-out² have carved for themselves and to efforts made to create a common ground, or commons, on which to make oppositional histories.

As a nation-state shaped by imperialist histories and its own colonial dynamics, Canada itself sits on the edge of a powerful if, perhaps, waning American empire. Like other white settler societies, it is a colonial state that has operated through dispossessing First Nations peoples, guarding the edges of white citizenship, and endorsing patriarchal models of assimilation; yet, this history unfolds and is resisted in myriad ways. Its historical trajectory, on the edges of empire, includes colonization first by the French with the resulting ongoing Francophone presence, and later the British. Its distinctive features include socialized medicine, same-sex marriage, and official but contested multiculturalism. On Anishinabe land, Toronto, a creative, cosmopolitan, and contested city, is both ³home² and ³elsewhere² for many of its diasporic residents. What better place to consider edges as sites of hope, excitement, and possibility but also of danger, displacement, struggle, and exile?

Because change so often emerges from edges, however slowly, painfully or partially, we invite ³on the edge² histories of all locales and time periods. We invite in particular histories of the Caribbean and Latin America, Asia and the Pacific, Africa and the Middle East, and Indigenous, francophone and diasporic cultures around the world. We welcome papers that focus on bodies and objects on edges of all kinds. The theme also invites work that queers gender and sexual binaries. How can we historicize emergent, residual, and ongoing gender constructs such as 'masculine' and 'feminine' as well as gender performances, sexual practices, and social identifications that challenge binary modes of gender and sexuality?

Our theme encourages critical reflection on how gender works. Gender has its many ragged edges: where private and public spheres, and masculinity and femininity, have been defined and redefined; where class, gender, race, ethnicity, nation, kinship, sexuality, and ability/disability have interacted. So, too, is gender on the edge of debate: a term in need of scrutiny to expose its uses, contradictions, strengths, and weaknesses.

The theme respects feminist theory and praxis as a critical stance in need of constant interrogation. We invite work on western and non-western feminisms and scrutiny of feminisms within the context of historically shifting power relations and international alignments. The conference provocatively asks if mainstream feminism can reinvigorate its critical edge. Should we, as scholars, however we are positioned, seek to destabilize the centre and authorize the margin? Or sharpen our critique in a world that, now, as so often in the past, stands seemingly on the brink?

We encourage comparative or transnational panels organized along thematic lines, even in the case of the more regionally-based subthemes. We especially invite conversations across centuries, cultures, locales, and generations. Proposals will be vetted by transnational subcommittees of scholars with expertise in particular thematic fields. All proposals must be directed to ONE of the subthemes and be submitted electronically. In formulating your proposal for one of the subcommittees, you are NOT required to address every topic in the thematic thread. Please list a second choice of subtheme, but do not submit to more than one subcommittee. Instructions for submission will be posted on the Berkshire Conference website Preference will be given to discussions of any topic across national boundaries, including for the regional subthemes, with special consideration for pre-modern (ancient, medieval, early modern) periods. However, single papers and proposals that fall within any single nation/region will also be given full consideration. As a forum dedicated to encouraging innovative, cross-disciplinary scholarship, and transnational conversation, we invite submissions from graduate students, international scholars, independent scholars, filmmakers, educators, curators, artists, activists, and welcome a variety of perspectives.

Paper abstracts should be no longer than 250 words; panel (2-3 papers and a comment), roundtable (3-5 short papers), and workshop (6-9 pre-circulated papers) proposals should also include a summary abstract of no more than 500 words. Each submission must include the cover form and a short cv for each presenter. If you have questions about the most appropriate subcommittee for your proposal or problems with electronic submission, please contact: Proposals due January 15, 2013.

29-31 May 2014. "Ethno-photography of/in Iran: Past, Present, and Future" The Royal Anthropological Institute Conference, British Museum, London. Call for panel presentations for sub panel: Iran-Iraq War Photography and Visual Anthropological Approaches. Sub-panel organiser: Dr. P.Khosronejad, Department of Social Anthropology, University of St Andrews, Scotland

Questions about authenticity, the use of photography as evidence, the transference of events into memory, and the passage of history into postmemory constitute some of the most salient problems that underline the representation of history.

When we think of war photography, it is usually reportage which comes to mind. We are surrounded by imagery of war, in the press, on television and in films which constantly reinterpret and represent past conflicts. Through these media, the war photojournalist has become a recognised and sometimes legendary figure. Indeed, so much has been written about war reporters and their photographs, that at times the work begins to parody itself.

From photoreportage, war itself becomes a construct, a compilation of visual information which must answer the expectations of a waiting public. When we see a photo-story about war, we subliminally anticipate a number of visual elements - a dead body, an anguished family, a destroyed building, a distraught child. Without these indicators of what a photograph is, and what it means, we might be disappointed, unable to feel guilt or compassion, and deprived of catharsis.

The study of the photography of the Iran-Iraq war (1980-88) is an unknown topic in the West. In this panel for the first time we try to present and study the basic and important elements of this school of photography of post-revolutionary Iran.
Topics of interest will include but not be limited to:

-       War photography and ethical issues
-       War photography and public engagement during and after war
-       War photography as reconstruction of memory and trauma
-       Mockery, joking and fun in war photography

All submissions should be made online on the official website of the conference:

For further information and enquiries, please contact Dr.P. Khosronejad (

2. Ethno-photography of/in Iran: Past, Present, and Future

June 2014

7 June 2014-"Middle Eastern Bodies in Motion" (University of Cambridge, UK). The body -- at rest and in movement, marked by the disciplines of society and scored with the traces of culture, performing or performed upon -- is now a well-worn scholarly theme. In particular, scholars of migration have focused upon the transformations wrought by movement. They have examined the ways migration redraws the notions of gender that men and women act out in new settings, and revises ideas of bodily comportment, but also the attempts of states and other governing authorities to keep the bodies of moving people in check, to enumerate, encamp, channel and turn back migrants, refugees and other figures of movement. The organizers of this one-day workshop, to be held at the University of Cambridge on June 7, 2014 under the joint auspices of the Khayrallah Program for Lebanese-American Studies and the Cambridge Middle East History Group, invite scholars of the Middle East to reflect upon these bodies of work, and upon the ways in which careful consideration of the lived experiences of the men and women who have migrated through, to, and from the region over the past two centuries might enable us to enrich and revise scholarly narratives of movement. We welcome proposals from scholars in history, literary and cultural studies, anthropology, sociology, geography, politics, geography, critical legal studies and associated disciplines addressing the following questions: 1. How might diasporic bodies differ from the lives of those who stay behind? 2. How might the study of migrants and their changing bodily dispositions help us to understand Middle Eastern discourses, and practices, of gender, sociability, society and culture? 3. How might theoretical and historiographical explorations of the body in transit and in check -- of bodies held back and scrutinized at the border or secluded in camps, of thwarted migrants and illicit movers, or of refugees stripped of the trappings of statehood and reduced to bare life -- look when examined from the vantage point of the Middle East? 4. And what contribution might scholars of the Middle East make to these broader debates? Please send abstracts in MS Word or PDF format to the organizers at the following address: Abstracts should be no more than 300 words, and should include a title, correspondence address, and institutional affiliation. Deadline for receipt of abstracts is 7 March 2014. Accommodation and meals will be provided. Andrew Arsan (University of Cambridge) John Tofik Karam (DePaul University) Akram Fouad Khater (North Carolina State University).

13-14 June 2014 "The Clash of Empires: World War I and the Middle East (University of Cambridge, UK). The Clash of Empires: World War I and the Middle East Conference organized by the University of Cambridge Centre for the Study of the International Relations of the Middle East and North Africa (CIRMENA), the University of Utah and the Turkish Historical Society, June 13-14, 2014. To mark this hundredth anniversary of WWI, a two-day conference to be held at the University of Cambridge, will examine the clash between Great Britain and the Ottoman Empire, and its related impact on the social and political causes of the Ottoman collapse. The conference will examine the immediate and long-term implications of the processes of imperial dissolution through a set of theoretically guided and empirically based questions. The conference will address questions on the following themes: * To what extent were the political tensions between the British and Ottoman empires inevitable? How did Orientalism and Islamophobia play a role in shaping British public opinion throughout the nineteenth century and on the eve of WWI? How did ethno-religious identities shape the perceptions of policies and institutions? * How did domestic politics affect foreign policy considerations in Great Britain? What was the balance between national economic interests and personal ideological leanings among British decision makers? How did Great Britain's evolving national identity in the Victorian, and later, Edwardian, periods affect its imperial aspirations? * How did the Ottoman government perceive the growing animosity in Great Britain leading up to WWI? What diplomatic measures were taken to avoid the clash between the two empires? How did the Ottomans view Great Britain in comparison to the other major powers of the time? * What patterns of imperial disintegration, if any, might explain the collapse of the Ottoman Empire? How can one define the interplay between foreign power, nationalist rebellion, and weakened state in the last days of the Ottoman Empire? How does this triangle relate to modern-day cases of failing states? * How did WWI impact the Middle East? How did the war transform the region's social, political, and economic life? What considerations and options were disregarded or underestimated following the War? * What were the perspectives of popular nationalisms and confessional identities in the progression of WWI? How did the war transform Islamic, Arab and sub-national identities? How did the local press convey these processes of identity formation? * How did WWI change British policy toward the region? What characterizes the alliances that were formed between the major powers and local forces? * To what extent did the War bring about the exploitation of ethnic, confessional, and tribal identities? * How is the legacy of the Ottoman Empire remembered and utilized in today's Middle East? How has the collapse affected perceptions of Islamic rule? How have perceptions of the Ottoman Empire changed over the years? * What is the role of nationalist teleological approaches in writing the histories of the late imperial settings? How is the writing of history affected by the vantage point of modern nation-states that emerged after the collapse of imperial ordersâ?"that is, in anticipation of the birth of nation-state structures? How has post-colonialism affected the study of WWI history? Abstracts should be sent to by January 31, 2014. For further details:

14-16 June 2014 "The Middle East in Global Perspective: Interactions Across Time and Space" BRISMES 2014 Conference (Sussex University, UK). The British Society for Middle Eastern Studies calls for submissions for its 2014 annual conference,
which will be held at the University of Sussex on 14-16 June 2014. The deadline for submitting paper and panel proposals is 5 December 2013. Proposals must be no
longer than 250 words and submitted electronically via the conference website, Proposals for complete panel sessions are particularly welcome. There will be a number of dedicated professional development and policy-relevant sessions. Please feel free to communicate ideas for these sessions via the conference website.

16-21 June 2014 - International Institute of Islamic Thought (IIIT) 7th Summer Institute for Scholars (Herndon, VA).The International Institute of Islamic Thought (IIIT) invites abstract submissions for its 7th Summer Institute for Scholars, which will be held between June 16 and June 21, 2014, at its headquarters in Herndon, Virginia, USA. The Summer Institute is an annual meeting dedicated to the study of contemporary approaches to Islamic thought, that brings together senior and young scholars in order to present papers and participate in panels and informal discussions focused on topics related to a particular theme. The theme of this year’s program is “Islamic Law and Ethics”. While the scope of Islamic Jurisprudence (fiqh) covers, broadly speaking, two areas of human-God (‘ibadat) and human-human (mu’amalat) relations, ethics (akhlaq) undergirds the entire value system of the shari’ah.  Throughout its history Islamic jurisprudence has been guided by the Shar’i normative system that has enabled jurists at different times to provide fresh rulings by engaging the ethical foundation of these norms and apply them to the changed circumstances of everyday life of Muslim societies.  The growing fatawa literature bears testimony to the ever expanding horizons of human needs to be guided by the spiritual and moral values embedded in Islamic revelation.  With the development of secular ethics that generally denies a role to religious ethics to guide moral life of the people today, scholars need to reexamine the fundamental aspects of Islamic ethics – both in theory and in application, and the ways in which Muslim jurists in the past have incorporated essentially ethical dimension of Islamic jurisprudence in their legal methodology.  Whether the jurists promote ijtihad al-’aqli (reason based investigation) or ijtihad al-shar’i (revealed text based investigation); or whether they support maqasid-based (objectives-based) ijtihad, they have, explicitly or implicitly, attended to the ethical values that are enshrined in the Qur’an and the Sunnah. This year’s theme, then, invites abstracts that investigate this critical relationship between legal and ethical dimensions of Islamic jurisprudence, by exploring the legal-ethical rationale (‘illa) and the objective circumstantial evidence (mawdu’), to establish the framework of Islamic moral thought and practice in the Shari’ah.  The academic objective of the program is to show with evidence scriptural ethics in Islamic religious thought that is operative in the new fields of problem resolution, touching the innovative fields of education in humanities and social sciences, as well as in applied sciences in the fields of medicine, engineering, business, environmental studies, and technology in general.     

Topics for submissions for this Summer Institute may include:

  • Relationship between legal and ethical in the Islamic revelation;
  • The contours of legal-ethical methodology  (usul al-fiqh) in Islamic jurisprudence;
  • Moral/universal discourse of Maqasid methodology in Islamic jurisprudence;
  • Religious-Scriptural Ethics in Muslim Religious Thought;
  • Rational-Religious Ethics in Muslim Religious Thought;
  • Ethics of jurisprudence of Muslim minorities (fiqh al-aqalliyyat)
  • Applied ethics in Islamic Juridical Thought;
  • Social Justice and Islamic Legal/Ethical Order;
  • Case Studies of Applied Ethics in Various Fields (political and social ethics; biomedical ethics, environmental ethics, business ethics, ethics of technology, banking and finance).

Deadline for abstracts is March 15, 2014. Decisions will be made by late March. Final papers are due on May 15, 2014. Funding is contingent on full paper submission. Abstracts should not be longer than 500 words. Final paper should be at least 6,000 words, and not exceed 10,000 words. The Institute will convene on June 16, and will conclude on June 21, 2014. Participants should expect to arrive to Herndon, VA, on June 15 and depart on June 22. IIIT will publish selected papers in an edited volume, within one year after the Seminar. IIIT will cover travel cost (from continental US and Canada), will provide hotel accommodation for scholars with accepted papers, and will pay each scholar a per diem of $100 for participation. Inquiries and abstracts should be addressed to Ermin Sinanović, Director of Research and Academic Programs, via email at

29 June 2014 "The Role and Limitations of Social Media as an Information Resource in the Middle East" at the American Library Association Annual Conference (Las Vegas, NV). Presenters are asked to submit a 250 word abstract of their presentation.  Possible topics include:

· Social media as a tool to inform and educate
· Use and misuse of social media
· Case studies for various countries and regions
· Social media's audience: who is in and who is not
· Shaping public opinion outside the region
· Other relevant topics are welcome.

Submissions must be accompanied by a letter of financial support from the presenter's institution on institutional letterhead.  ALA does not provide funding for travel or accommodations.  Some registration waivers may be available for international librarians. There is a possibility that one of the panel presentations may be given via Skype; please indicate your facility with Skype when submitting your abstract. All submissions should be sent to by March 21, 2014.  Papers will be selected based on their originality, clarity, and relevance to the topic.

30 June-2 July 2014-"The Role of Europe in the Arab Revolutions," workshop organized at the School of Humanities and Social Sciences, Al Akhawayn University (Ifrane, Morocco). The project aims to examine the role of Europe in the Arab Revolutions.  Drawing from theories of democratization and revolution and the particular role of international actors in these processes, the workshop aims to examine the role of Europe (in its supranational, national and subnational dimensions) (independent variable) in contributing to the 2011 democratization and revolutionary processes (dependent variable) of the Arab Spring. Europe’s influence in the Arab Spring is examined by taking into account (or ‘controlling’ in methodological terms) the various agential and structural factors (intervening variables) at both the domestic and international level.  At the international level, such agential factors may include the role of other superpowers and international organizations such as the US, Russia and China, the UN, NATO, the ICC, the GCC and the Arab League, while structural factors may include globalization processes (including the global financial environment and the diffusion of values and norms through social media) and the domino/contagion/ wave effect.  At the domestic (Arab Countries) level, such agential factors may include the role of ruling elites (political, economic, military and religious elites) and social movements and civil society, while structural factors may include the effect of geo-political (e.g. location; oil, gas, other raw material resources; foreign aid receipts), politico-institutional (e.g. types and system of governance such monarchical, personalized or military regimes; levels of democracy and human rights, including corruption levels), legal (e.g. constitutions and customary laws), socio-economic (e.g. GDP per capita, urbanization, industrialization, education, size of middle class/levels of inequality, internet connectivity/technological advancement, poverty, unemployment, age of population, food and energy prices, hunger levels), cultural (e.g. degree of ethnic homogeneity, religion/sects of Islam, political culture, values and norms) and historical (e.g. shared memories including experiences of colonialism, dynasties and civil wars) conditions.  Given our current understanding on how democratization and revolutionary processes may come about in authoritarian states (i.e. modernization theory, social movement theory, transition theory), particular emphasis will be given on the means (i.e. political, economic, military, ideological), forms (i.e. coercion, agenda-setting, attraction – ‘socialization’, ‘encouragement’, ‘persuasion’ and ‘imitation’ are invariably included in the first three terms) and methods (regional/bilateral; positive/negative conditionality; top-down/bottom-up; unitary/differentiated) in which Europe (in its supranational, national and subnational levels), directly and indirectly: a) contributed to socio-economic development in the Arab region; b) empowered social movements; and c) induced reluctant elites to reform or remove them from power altogether, in light, and taking into account (‘controlling’) the aforementioned domestic and international agential and structural factors.  The time frame of the analysis covers the period before, during and after the revolutionary events of 2011 and focuses on eight countries of the Arab Spring, i.e. Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, Morocco, Algeria, Syria, Bahrain and Saudi Arabia, diverse countries which have experienced differing degrees of democratization and revolution. Ultimately, this project aims to enhance our understanding on the role of international actors in contributing to democratization and revolutionary events and more broadly in our understanding of the origins, processes and outcomes of such events. Papers are invited to  address both the theoretical and empirical (country studies) dimensions of the project.
Please send your proposed abstract (200-300 words) to Dr. Angelos Sepos by the 24th of March .

July 2014

9-11 July 2014 "Ethnographies of Gender and the Body," The Netherlands Association for Gender Studies and Feminist Anthropology (LOVA) International Conference 2014 (Amsterdam). Lova is proud to announce its third international conference. This year’s theme will be on the body and embodiment theory. Corporeal theory deals with affects, emotions, experiences, embodied discourses, physical contact, communication, movements, the control over bodies, bodies as never ending projects, embodied representations, subjectivity and agency, etc., etc. This conference will put the body at the centre stage of feminist anthropology.  We invite scholars to present their ethnographic research and case studies and contribute to the empirical, methodological and theoretical development of this exciting field of study. Ever since Gayle Rubin introduced the sex gender system in 1975, the body has been heavily debated in feminist studies. The sex/gender system suggests a distinction between biology and culture.  As it enabled scholars to perceive femininity and masculinity as cultural and social constructs, separated from biology, it meant an important leap in the development of gender studies. But is the body indeed as pre-cultural, pre-social and un-gendered as the distinction suggests? Is the body an unproblematic factual base on which gender is being inscribed? And if we answer the latter question with yes, can the female body then be the argument to somehow reclaim the universality of the category of women? Or are bodies themselves gendered and is the distinction between biology and culture a false one? Rosi Braidotti, Elisabeth Grosz, Judith Butler, Henrietta Moore, Kathy Davis, Anna Aalten and Anne Fausto-Sterling are all feminist scholars who deal with these questions from different disciplinary angels. Within mainstream humanities, social sciences and anthropology, one can also notice an increasing attention for the body and embodiment theory. The linguistic approaches of discourse and representation that have been so very influential in social theory from the 1970s onwards show a tendency to reduce the body and experience to language, discourse and representation. Sayings such as  the “the body as text” and “the inscription of culture on the body” are exemplary. In response to the representation paradigm, critical scholars show a renewed interest in bodily theory. This conference intends to bring together an international group of feminist scholars and gender experts who share an ethnographic approach and who are inspired by what can be called the corporeal turn in feminist and other social theory.  Questions will be discussed such as: What are the newest insights within feminist anthropology on the body? What can feminist ethnography offer to embodied theory? What is the  social significance of the female and the male body? What are their implications for human action and society? How are bodies controlled, ordered and  lived? In what way do men and women socially and culturally experience their bodies? How is subjectivity embodied. Can we speak from our bodies? And if so, do women speak differently than men? How are bodies’ fleshy materiality and the realm of the symbolic interconnected? Is the sex/gender distinction indeed troubling? Can we sever the body from the biological? And, last but not least, can and should we embody gender? Participation and registration: Lova invites scholars to participate in this international conference by presenting their research in a panel or as an individual paper. We encourage participants to submit audio-visuals and other alternative ways of presenting their research too. We also encourage students (under-graduate and graduate) to present their research. Participants may register by sending panel proposals and individual paper abstracts to before February 15st, 2014. Participants will be informed in due time after having submitted their abstracts whether or not their panels and/or papers have been accepted. Panel proposals include a short panel abstract (about 200 words), several paper abstracts, and names of organizers/chairs, presenters and a possible discussant. Please also mention the affiliation, address, email-address and discipline of each participant.Preferred panel format:  Panels last 1 hour and 45 minutes. Panel organizers have a certain freedom in the number of papers they wish to present and the length of the presentations. Nevertheless, we encourage 15 to 20 minute paper presentations with 3 - 4 speakers in one session, so that there is time for discussion after the presentations. Individual paper proposals should not exceed 200 words. Please also mention affiliation, address, email-address and discipline. Registration fee: to complete their registration, all participants should pay the registration fee before April 15st, 2014. In general the registration fee is € 110. Members of Lova, researchers from developing countries and students (graduate and under-graduate) pay € 50. Language: the conference will be held in English. Programme: will be made available in May 2014. Location: Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam. The address of the conference rooms will be announced in the programme. Please visit our website regularly to keep up-to-date. Accommodation: hotel accommodation can be arranged through internet. We kindly refer you to: Lova is the Netherlands Association for Gender Studies and Feminist Anthropology and provides a professional network for its members since 1979.

13-15 July 2014-ARAM Society for Syro-Mesopotamian Studies, 41st annual conference on the River Jordan (Oriental Institute, University of Oxford, UK). ARAM Society for Syro-Mesopotamian Studies is organizing its Forty First International Conference aims to study the River Jordan, to be held at the Oriental Institute, the University of Oxford, 13-15 July 2015. The conference aims to focus its attention on the three northern sources of the river Jordan (the Dan, Baniyas, and Hasbani streams) and the area of the Sea of Galilee (the sea itself not a topic of the conference) and the Jordan river’s southern course up to where it enters the Dead Sea (the sea itself not a topic of the conference). Essentially, the conference would cover in its study both banks of the river Jordan (not the hinterland of the riparian countries). The conference will start on Monday 13th July at 9am, finishing on Wednesday 15th July at 6pm. Each speaker’s paper is limited to 45 minutes, with an additional 15 minutes for discussion. All papers given at the conference will be considered for publication in a future edition of the ARAM Periodical, subject to editorial review. If you wish to participate in the conference, please contact our Oxford address: ARAM, the Oriental Institute, Oxford University, Pusey Lane, Oxford OX1 2LE, England. Tel.  01865-514041 Fax. 01865-516824. Email:

14-16 July 2014 "Hatra, Palmyra, Edessa: Contacts and Cultural Exchange between Cities in the Fertile Crescent before Islam" Forty-First International Conference of ARAM Society for Syro-Mesopotamian Studies (University of Oxford, UK). ARAM Society for Syro-Mesopotamian Studies is organizing its Forty-First International Conference on the theme of "Hatra, Palmyra, Edessa: Contacts and Cultural Exchange between Cities in the Fertile Crescent before Islam", to be held at the Oriental Institute, the University of Oxford, 14-16 July, 2014. The conference will start on Monday 14th July at 9am, finishing on Wednesday 16th July at 6pm. Each speaker’s paper is limited to 45 minutes, with an additional 15 minutes for discussion. All papers given at the conference will be considered for publication in a future edition of the ARAM Periodical, subject to editorial review. If you wish to participate in the conference, please contact our Oxford address before next October 2013: ARAM, the Oriental Institute, Oxford University, Pusey Lane, Oxford OX1 2LE, England. Tel.  01865-514041 Fax. 01865-516824. Email: Yours faithfully, Shafiq Abouzayd (Dr.)

21-23 July 2014 "Forty-Second Annual International Conference on Muslim and Jewish Contributions to the Arab Renaissance during the First and Second Millenniums" (Oxford, England, UK).The ARAM Society for Syro-Mesopotamian Studies is organizing its Forty Second International Conference on Muslim and Jewish Contribution to the Arab Renaissance during the Abbasid and the Ottoman periods, to be held at the Oriental Institute, the University of Oxford, 21-23 July 2014.
The conference will start on Monday 21st July at 9am, finishing on Wednesday 23rd July at 6pm. Each speaker’s paper is limited to 35 minutes, with an additional 10 minutes for discussion. All papers given at the conference will be considered for publication in a future edition of the ARAM Periodical, subject to editorial review.
If you wish to participate in the conference, please contact the Aram Society, the Oriental Institute, Oxford University, Pusey Lane, Oxford OX1 2LE, England. Tel.  01865-514041 Fax. 01865-516824. Email:

31July-3 August 2014 - EASA 2014, the 13th Biennial Conference of the European Association of Social Anthropologists (Tallinn, Estonia). The 2014 EASA conference is organized by the Department of Social and Cultural Anthropology at the Estonian Institute of Humanities, Tallinn University in conjunction with the EASA.
The theme of the conference is Collaboration, Intimacy & Revolution: innovation and continuity in an interconnected world (please read more about the theme here: ). In order to propose a paper, please visit the website to read the instructions and to view the list of accepted panels .

All proposals must be made to specific panels via the 'Propose a paper' link found beneath the panel abstract on that panel's webpage.
Proposals should consist of:
•             a paper title
•             authors/co-authors
•             a short abstract of fewer than 300 characters
•             a long abstract of fewer than 250 words.
The deadline for the CFP is February 27th, 2014.

31 July-3 August 2014, "The First Ethnographic Film and Media Program of the Middle East and Central Eurasia (Tallinn University, Estonia). We are pleased to announce the first Ethnographic Film and Media Program of the Middle East and Central Eurasia, which will be held annually in conjunction with the Anthropology of the Middle East and Central Eurasia Network of the European Association of Social Anthropologists (EASA). The goal of our program is to promote original ethnographic films and visual media not only in the area of anthropology but also in sociology, folklore, religion, material culture and related topics. Our program encompasses all areas of the contemporary Middle East and Central Eurasia (Russia, the Caucasus, Central Asia, China), including topics on minority groups and religious themes. Our first program will be held during the 13th EASA Biennial Conference, at Tallinn University, Estonia, between 31 July and 3 August 2014. We invite and encourage all students, anthropologists, documentary filmmakers and media artists to participate in our program by submitting ethnographic videos, films (including online and cell phone styles, short and feature-length films) as well as interactive media (websites, hyperlinked documents, etc.). Deadline: Films and other materials submitted for the program should be sent online or as DVD preview copies, accompanied by a synopsis, a 10-line description and technical data no later than 30 April 2014. Delivery and return policies: All entries submitted must have received their first public screening on or after 1 January 2013; All participants must cover all costs related to the delivery of preview and screening copies; We will not return the preview and screening copies; All entries should be sent to: Dr. P. Khosronejad, Visiting Overseas Associated Professor, National Museum of Ethnology, 10-1 Senri Expo Park, Suita, Osaka 565-8511, Japan. Email:

August 2014

Calls for Papers for panels at WOCMES Conference, 18-22 August 2014:

1. "Tombs, Mausoleums, Shrines and Memorials of Religious/Political Leaders of the Contemporary Middle East (1980-2011)
Mohammad Reza Pahlavi (1919-1980), Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeyni (1902-1989), Ahmad Shah Massoud (1953-2001), Yasser Arafat (1929-2004), Saddam Hussein (1937-2006), Muammar al-Gaddafi (1942-2011) and Osama Bin Ladan (1957-2011) were all political, religious or pious leaders of important countries and movements of the contemporary Middle East during the last two decades of the 20th and the first decade of the 21st centuries. Their deaths and funeral ceremonies, their burial places, and their tombs and mausoleums are the main topics of our panel(s). We are interested in receiving proposals which present new and unpublished researches on topics such as (but not limited to):

- Death and funeral ceremonies as national and state formation;
- Funeral architecture and national identity;
- Memorials and mausoleums as a mechanism of symbolic legitimation;
- Significance of memorials and mausoleums in urban topography and the creation of sacred public space;
- The role of memorials and mausoleums in collective memory and constructing the narrative of the past;
- The role of memorials and mausoleums in innovation and the creation of new rituals and performances;
- The death of political and religious leaders and the creation of new saints and sanctity;
- Creation of new sites of worship and political-religious pilgrimage;
- Formation of religious-political tourism.

We are primarily interested in receiving proposals which focus on case or comparative studies related to the above mentioned leaders. All branches of disciplines are welcome. Please send the title of your proposal, your discipline, a 500-word abstract and your full academic affiliation including your e-mail address as an attached file (Office Word) by 30th Nov. 2013 to:

Dr. P. Khosronejad
Department of Social Anthropology
University of St. Andrews

2. Popular Religious Rituals and Folkloric Beliefs among Pastoral Nomads of the Middle East and Central Eurasia
This is a call for papers for a panel on “Popular Religious Rituals and Folkloric Beliefs among Pastoral Nomads of the Middle East and Central Eurasia” which will be held during the Fourth World Congress for Middle East Studies (WOCMES), 18th-22nd August 2014 in Ankara (Turkey).

Among the anthropological studies of Pastoral Nomads of the Middle East and Central Eurasia, popular religious rituals and folkloric beliefs are the most neglected topics (Peters 2008). As Tapper (2008) states: “In the ethnography of Middle Eastern societies, settled or nomadic, tribal or peasant, perhaps the most neglected area of life is the whole realm of religion, ritual, symbolism and ideology, particularly at the level of local community. Many ethnographers of nomads, for example Cunnison (1966); Asad (1970); Bates (1973); Ahmad (1973); Irons (1975); Glatzer (1977), pursuing their main interest in economics, kinship, social structure and politics are content to record that their subjects are Muslims and to note ways in which their customs differ from Islamic prescriptions.”

In this regard we are interested in receiving proposals which present new and unpublished researches on any topics related to the anthropological studies of popular religious rituals and folkloric beliefs among Pastoral Nomads of the Middle East and Central Eurasia.

Please send the title of your proposal, your discipline, a 500-word abstract and your full academic affiliation including your e-mail address as an attached file (Office Word) by 15th Jan. 2014 to:

Dr.P. Khosronejad
Department of Social Anthropology
University of St. Andrews

This panel is organised on behalf of the Network “Anthropology of the Middle East and Central Eurasia (Russia, the Caucasus, Central Asia, China)” which is part of “European Association of Social Anthropologists, EASA.”

25-28 August 2014 - 5th Annual Gulf Research Meeting (GRM) (University of Cambridge, UK). The Gulf Research Center will hold its 5th Annual Gulf Research Meeting (GRM) at the University of Cambridge, from August 25th to 28th 2014.The objective of the Gulf Research Meeting is to provide an academic environment to foster Gulf studies and to encourage scholarly and academic exchange among those working on or interested in the developments taking place that are defining the Gulf region and their constituent societies. All interested persons are invited to apply online on GRM website ( where they also will find more information about the event. Deadline for applications is February 15, 2014. Accepted paper presenters will be eligible for a travel allowance.

For its 5th edition, the Gulf Research Meeting will be hosting 14 workshops on the following topics:
-  Social Media and the Changing Context of Politics in the Gulf
-  The United States and the Gulf: Towards a Reassessment of Gulf Commitments and Alignments?
-  Representing the Nation – the use of heritage and museums to create national narratives and identity in the GCC
- The Future of Yemen
- Employed, yet underemployed and underestimated: Leadership, ownership and work motivation in the Gulf
- Green Economy in the Gulf Region
- Enhancing the Learning Ecosystem in the GCC: Learning Outside the Classroom (LOtC)
- The GCC State’s Foreign and Security Policies after the Arab Spring
- Science and Technology Education, Research and Innovation in GCC Countries
- Determinants of Future Migration in the Gulf - Gulf Labor Market and Migration program
- The Changing Energy Landscape in the Gulf: Strategic Implications
- Iran and the GCC: Prospects for Change?
- Doctoral Symposium: Addressing the Sustainability Agenda in the Gulf Region
- Gulf-Africa Relations: Past and Present Trends (sponsored by SFS-Q)

September 2014

25-27 September 2014-21st International DAVO Congress of Contemporary Research on the Middle East (Cologne, Germany). The German Middle East Studies Association for Contemporary Research and Documentation (DAVO) is calling for papers and panels on all fields of contemporary Middle East studies and the impact of this region on other parts of the world. Middle East studies are understood to include disciplines relevant to the study of an area comprising all members of the League of Arab States, Afghanistan, Iran, Pakistan, Turkey, Israel and the Muslim states of the former USSR. If you are interested in organizing a panel for this Congress and look for paper presenters, you are kindly requested to send the title and summary (up to 100 words) to the General Secretary of the Congress, Amke Dietert (email: before 7 April 2014. The call for contributions to the pre-organized panels will then be forwarded to more than 5000 recipients of the EURAMES Info Service who should send their paper proposals directly to the organizer of the specific panel before 2 June 2014. Deadline for the registration of papers including abstract of 300 words and panels (abstract of up to 100 words) before 16 June 2014. Information:

25-28 September 2014 "Muslims Negotiating Modernities" (Nashville, TN). Part of the "Being Muslim: How Local Islam Overturns Narratives of Exceptionalism" series of workshops being convened by the Department of Religious Studies at Vanderbilt University. Proposals due 07 April 2014. Additional information:

October 2014

3-5 October 2014 - 2014 Midwest Popular Culture Association Conference (Indianapolis, IN). Call for papers for panel on "American Representations of the Middle East and North Africa." Topics can include--but are certainly not limited to--any historical or contemporary representation of the Middle East in American popular culture, including sermons, songs, plays, paintings, travel accounts, memoirs, novels, movies, and the media. Please upload a 250 word abstract on any aspect of culture treating American Representations of the Middle East and North Africa to the Middle Eastern Culture area,
Any questions? Please email Stacy E. Holden at
More information about the conference can be found at Please note the availability of graduate student travel grants: Please include name, affiliation, and e-mail address with the 250 word abstract. Also, please indicate in your submission whether your presentation will require an LCD Projector.

23-26 October - Fifteenth Annual Central Eurasian Studies Society (CESS) Conference (New York City). The Central Eurasian Studies Society (CESS) invites panel and paper proposals for the Fifteenth Annual CESS Conference, October 23-26, 2014, in New York City. The event will be held at Columbia University, hosted by the Harriman Institute. Registration starts Thursday evening, October 23.  Panels begin Friday morning, October 24, and continue through mid-day on Sunday, October 26. Panel and paper topics relating to all aspects of humanities and social science scholarship on Central Eurasia are welcome. The geographic domain of Central Eurasia extends from the Black Sea and Iranian Plateau to Mongolia and Siberia, including the Caucasus, Crimea, Middle Volga, Afghanistan, Tibet, Xinjiang, and Centra! l and Inner Asia. Practitioners and scholars in all humanities and social science disciplines with an interest in Central Eurasia are encouraged to participate.
The program will feature approximately 70 panels. There will also be supplementary events and a keynote speaker. To submit a pre-organized panel or individual paper proposal, please login to the CESS Website at

Deadline for submission of panel/paper proposals: 31 March 2014. Notification of Acceptance: 1-10 May 2014. Preliminary Program Available: July 2014. Deadline for Pre-Registration: 18 August 2014. Conference Dates: 23-26 October 2014 OTHER DATES: Deadline for notification of audio-visual requests: 18 August 2014. Travel Arrangements & Visa in place by: 18 August 2014. Deadline for Last Cancellations: 18 August 2014 (No Fee Refund). Deadline for Paper Submission to Chairs & Discussants: 11 October 2014.

Travel & Accommodations
Information about Columbia University and the New York City, transportation options, maps, and lodging information will be available at the conference website. Please be sure to visit for detailed information.

All conference participants are responsible for making their own arrangements for travel and accommodations. CESS does not subsidize travel and accommodations for conference participants. Conference participants are urged to make local hotel reservations well in advance of the August 18th pre-registration deadline.

Further Information
The Chair of the Conference Committee is Dr. Ali İğmen (California State University, Long Beach Communications regarding local arrangements, including invitation letters, should be addressed to:

CESS 2014 Annual Conference
Harriman Institute
Columbia University
420 West 118th Street, 12th Floor
New York, NY 10027
Phone: +1/212-854-4623
Fax: +1/212-666-3481 (attention: CESS conference)

Communications about proposal submission, program matters, registration matters, the mailing list, and data updates should be sent to the CESS Secretariat.

Central Eurasian Studies Society
1011 E. 3rd St.
Goodbody Hall 101
Bloomington, In 47405 U.S.A.
Tel: +1/812-855-0959
Fax: +1/812-855-8667 (attention: CESS)

November 2014

20-21 November 2014 - "Social Policy in the Middle East and North Africa: Challenges and Opportunities," Second Annual Conference of the Middle East and North Africa Social Policy (MENA) Network (Bath Royal Literary and Scientific Institute, Bath). The aim of this conference is to contribute to the emerging academic and policy debates around issues of social welfare and social justice in the MENA region. In addition, we will be launching the findings of an ESRC funded project on the social welfare systems of this region.
Confirmed Keynote Speakers
 Dr. Zafiris Tzannatos - Independent Consultant, SILATECH, Qatar
 Ms Ghada Waly - Minister of Social Affairs, Egypt

Abstract Submission
Individual and panel abstracts (up to 3 papers per panel) are welcome. For individual papers, please send a title and 250 word abstract to with your full contact details and indicating the stream from the list above. For panel submissions, please submit a 500 word abstract describing the panel theme along with contributor details and titles for the 3 papers to (the individual paper abstracts will be requested if the submission is accepted). Independent papers are also accepted provided they are of social policy interest. Please include the word “Independent” at the top of the abstract.

Deadline for Abstracts
12 May 2014 (successful presenters will be notified by 30 May 2014). PhD-level applicants are welcome. There will be a small number of bursaries for PhD-level presenters and non-presenters. Please contact Rana Jawad for further advice.
Expressions of interest for non-presenters Interested participants who do not want to present papers may register their interest in attending by emailing Priority will be given to delegates who are involved in the social policy field. Conference registration will be open at the end of May 2014. Queries regarding the conference may be sent directly to Dr. Rana Jawad at

December 2014

6-7 December 2014 - "The First World War and Its Aftermath: The Shaping of the Middle East," Inaugural Conference convened by HRH Prince El Hassan of Jordan and Dr. Barbara Schwepcke of the Ginko Library (SOAS, University of London). The Gingko conference series brings together scholars from the East and the West. The Gingko conferences are designed to complement the Gingko Library, a project to publish one hundred books over the next ten years, presenting the latest work in both Arabic and English across the full range of humanities, social sciences and sciences relating to the Middle East and North Africa. The first Gingko conference, to be held in London on 6–7 December 2014, focuses on the effects of the First World War on the Middle East. Our guest speakers include
Professor Khaled Fahmy of the American University in Cairo and Dr Eugene Rogan of the University of Oxford. Other confirmed attendees include Professor Charles Tripp (SOAS), Professor Ahmad Karimi-Hakkak (University of Maryland), Professor Yousef Meri (LMU Munich) and Professor Mustafa Aksakal (Georgetown University). The course of the First World War, as it played out in the Middle East and the political and cultural changes around it, shaped the modern Middle East: The Ottoman and the Russian Empires fought each other for supremacy in the
region – neither succeeded nor survived the fight. Both sides tried to use notions of Islamic unity and Pan-Arabism to their own advantage: Sultan Mehmed V called for a global Muslim jihad against the Entente Powers, while Britain stirred Pan-Arabism with little intention of honouring promises made in the process. At the end of the First World War four multi-ethnic empires lay in ruins. In the Middle East lines were drawn in the sand, dividing communities which had lived together for centuries. Wilson’s ideals were as powerful an inspiration as Lenin’s communist utopia on nationalist leaders such as ‘Abd al-‘Aziz al-Tha‘alibi and Saad Zaghloul, but what constituted a nation in the Middle East and North Africa in the aftermath of the First World War? In the end, neither the Tunisian Destour nor the Egyptian Wafd party were allowed to present their case for national self-determination at the Paris Peace Conference. And the only Middle Eastern delegation to attend was the Hejaz, lead by Emir Feisal, who had been promised a united Arabia – a promise betrayed at the end of the First World War. Abstracts for papers should be submitted by Monday 2 June 2014 to Aran Byrne; proposals for sessions must be submitted by Monday 7 July 2014. Proposals should be no more than 300 words long. For further details please contact:
Aran Byrne
The Gingko Library
70 Cadogan Place
London SW1X 9AH
Tel: +44 (0)20 7838 9055 Fax: +44 (0)20 7584 9501

February 2015

12-15 February 2015 "Transnational and Local Networks of Pilgrimage" (Nashville, TN). Part of the "Being Muslim: How Local Islam Overturns Narratives of Exceptionalism" series of workshops being convened by the Department of Religious Studies at Vanderbilt University. Proposals due 06 October 2014. Additional information:

March 2015

21-22 March 2015 - "Copernicus in Islam" (Berkeley, CA). This conference will investigate the reception of heliocentricism in Islamic rationalist disciplines (maʿqūlāt) as a means of uncovering the internal workings of the Islamic scholarly tradition during the pre-modern and early modern periods.  It is a well-known fact that Muslim intellectuals overwhelmingly rejected heliocentricism, but the principles and arguments underlying this attitude remain almost entirely unexplored.  For what reasons did developments in early modern European astronomy—especially in a context of the colonial encounter—fail to shape the Islamic astronomical and cosmological traditions?  Or did such developments somehow inflect Muslim texts and scholarly worldviews in ways that have gone unnoticed?  Recent investigations of the Islamic rationalist (maʿqūlī) legacy of the post-classical period (ca. 1200-1900 CE) have made it abundantly clear that, at this stage of scholarship, the first task before us is a deep dive into the arguments of the technical texts of diverse disciplines.  It is only by means of a fuller understanding of the arguments of these texts that a clearer picture of the development of the tradition will emerge.  The technical details will then be used to formulate the more general theoretical frameworks for global narratives and they will also make apparent what kinds of social and political histories of ideas are relevant for rewriting the history of rationalism in Islam.  Therefore, priority will be given to those papers that show how the Islamic rationalist tradition (i.e., the various disciplines of ʿilm al-hayʾa, ṭabīʿiyyāt, manṭiq, kalām, etc.) handled post-Copernican heliocentricism.  However, papers dealing with relevant aspects of the cultural, social, and political history of ideas and those pertaining to the transmitted sciences (manqūlāt) that hinge upon the rationalist legacy are also welcome.  Please send a title and 500-word abstract to by September 1, 2014.  The conference will be hosted by the Department of Near Eastern Studies and the Center for Middle Eastern Studies at the University of California, Berkeley.  The date is tentatively set for March 21-22, 2015.  Participants will be partially or fully funded, depending on total costs.

24-26 March 2015 - Conference on the George W. Bush Presidency (Hofstra University, Hempstead, NY). Hofstra University is pleased to announce that its Conference on the George W. Bush Presidency will take place March 24-26, 2015. Hofstra has a long and distinguished tradition of hosting conferences on the administrations of all the Presidents of the United States who have served during the University's lifetime, from Franklin Delano Roosevelt forward. During each conference, Hofstra brings together scholars, policy makers, and journalists for a series of panels and roundtables to discuss a president's campaign, political leadership, policy agenda, and legacy. The University has published volumes of selected articles and commentary from every conference, which have become standard scholarly volumes and early oral histories of each presidency. For more conference details and the Call for Papers, see the link below. Paper proposals are due January 8, 2014, and the program committee will make selections in Spring 2014. We welcome your submissions.


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