MESA - Middle East Studies Association











March 2015

7-8 March 2015 - "Social Movements and Contentious Politics: Theories and Methods of Local Protest and Global Activism." (Multifaith Centre, University of Toronto). Since the turn of the 21st century, the rise of violent and non-violent protests, increases in popular mobilization, and the proliferation of social movements has led to an increasing understanding of the shared strategies and symbols of dissent. As calls for social justice, human rights, and democracy proliferate traditional and social media, shared strategies and symbols of dissent signify ever-greater connections between local protest and global activism. The increasing awareness of local protest and global activist movements calls for a (re)evaluation of new and existing theories and methods that academics employ to examine contemporary social movements and contentious politics. The Comparative Politics Student Group (CPSG) of the University of Toronto is organizing a morning of workshops, and an afternoon of panel presentations, that address social movement and contentious politics from multi-disciplinary perspectives. We invite participants and presenters to attend the workshops and deliver papers on the following themes:

· Protest movements and the interconnections between different local, regional, and international symbols and strategies of resistance;
· The moral and legal implications of political action and dissent in democratic and authoritarian contexts;
· Social movement theories and methodologies, as well as lessons “from the field;”
· Comparisons between varieties of contentious episodes.

Other topics that address the broad theme of social movements and contentious politics are most welcome.  

Papers and panel submissions are due at 4:30pm on February 10, 2015.
Submissions should be sent to and should be approximately 500 words in length and include a CV and 200-word biography. Notifications will be sent out on February 15th, 2015. Papers are expected to be 15 - 25 papers in length, and submitted in full on March 5, 2015.  Additional info:

8-10 March 2015 - "Photography's Shifting Terrain: Emerging Histories & New Practices." (New York University Abu Dhabi, Abu Dhabi, UAE). Our understanding of the histories and practices of photography is changing as more and more critical attention is being paid to photographic cultures from outside of Europe and North America, and to new forms and functions emergent in a variety of contemporary social and political contexts and digital formats. This conference will bring together up to forty scholars, photographers, curators and archivists from around the world in order to undertake new explorations of photography's past and its present. Models for global, regional and local histories of photography are being rethought as a growing number of case studies develop our knowledge of previously unexamined or little known traditions as well as individual photographers. New visual vocabularies and practices are being constructed in vernacular, documentary and fine art forms; the same vocabularies and practices can also challenge these very categories and are often characterized by a turn to local histories and mythologies and personal experiences and needs. Emergent nations and cultural groups are using photography to construct their own histories and a sense of shared cultural heritage. At the same time, both photographers and photographs increasingly move between cultures, and the space between the local and the global has become a space of situatedness in its own right. Documentary photography has been the object of critique but photography committed to human rights or "peace photography" is thriving - not just in new forms but also through new strategies of intervention. The concern with aesthetics has similarly been out of favor in some quarters but there is also a renewed interest in the relationship of aesthetics and ethics. In such contexts, the work of archives, galleries, photo agencies, festivals and other cultural organizations committed to the photographic image is more important than ever, as is the role of visual education. Where there is little state support for photography, such institutions often carry the responsibility for creating, preserving and disseminating photographic culture. These are some of the areas and issues the conference aims to examine. The conference will focus in particular on the Middle East, North Africa and Asia. However, work about and from other regions is also welcomed, as are suggestions for other topics. We invite both scholarly papers as well as presentations by those working with photography outside the academy. The organizers plan to publish a volume of selected papers and presentations. In addition, we would like to gather together important and previously un-translated writings on photography from the non-English-speaking world with a view of publishing an anthology in English. We would very much welcome suggestions and contributions in this area. ***** Funding & Organization: All travel, accommodation and subsistence expenses will be covered for all participants presenting at the conference. The conference is funded and hosted by the New York University Abu Dhabi Institute. It is organized in collaboration with the Arab Image Foundation. Principal organizers: Shamoon Zamir Associate Professor of Literature & Visual Studies, NYUAD, and Director of Akkasah: Center for Photography at NYUAD. Issam Nassar Professor of Middle East History and Member, Arab Image Foundation ***** Suggested topics: Possible topics for proposals include, but are not limited to: 1. New visual vocabularies in photography 2. Archives & archival practices 3. Alternative histories of photography 4. Photography & human rights/"Peace Photography" 5. Photography and history 6. Photography and aesthetics 7. Cross-cultural encounters & movements 8. Photographic genres, modes and audiences 9. Image & text / the photobook ***** Proposal guidelines, submission process & schedule: Proposals for papers or presentations, or for panels should provide as much detail as possible but should not exceed 500 words. Proposals will be reviewed by the principal organizers and an advisory committee. All papers and presentations will be 20 minutes. Submit a 500 word abstract and a 150 word biographical note to: Ozge Calafato Proposals should be submitted in the following format: Name of the author(s); Telephone and e-mail address; Affiliation; Title of proposal; Body of proposal. DEADLINE FOR SUBMISSION: October 3, 2014 You will be notified by November 7, 2014 regarding the status of your proposal. ***** Contact & Link: For further information on the conference, please contact: Shamoon Zamir Arts and Humanities, New York University Abu Dhabi, Abu Dhabi, UAE Details of the conference and the call for papers & presentations are also available at:

13-15 March 2015 - "Islamism and Post-Islamism: Religious and Political Transformations in Muslim Societies" International Conference (Queen's University, School of Religion, Kingston, Canada). Keynote Speakers: Prof. Asef BAYAT and Abdolkarim SOROUSH. At the end of the Cold War period, Olivier Roy in his The Failure of Political Islam (1994, original French 1992) argued that Islamists’ strategy to advance their agenda through capturing state power had failed. Since then, Asef Bayat has tried to explain and conceptualize a new emerging political, religious and social trend in Muslim societies after Islamists’ failure to establish an Islamic state based on Shari’a law. In his Post-Islamism: The Changing Faces of Political Islam, Bayat discusses the emergence of this new trend, which he calls “post-Islamism” and shows how the “post-Islamist turn” can be observed within a considerable number of Muslim societies in which Islamism no longer seems appealing, even to its original supporters. 

Within this framework, the “Islamism and Post-Islamism” conference examines the evolution and the changing faces of what is commonly called political Islam. It will particularly examine the Islamist understanding of politics, Islamist political parties and movements, the debate on Islam and liberal democracy, Islamists and human rights, social movements and protests in Muslim societies, Islamists and political economy, the concept of post-Islamism and the emerging notion of neo-Islamism in the wake of Arab Spring and ISIS. Therefore, papers may address, but are not limited to, one or more of the following topics:

-Islamism and the Question of the Religious and the Political
-Nation-State Formation, Sovereignty and Islamists
-The Evolution of Islamism as a Political Strategy 
-Cold-War and Islamic Socialism & Marxism
-Radical & Militant Islamism and the Uses of Jihad
-Islamic States and Top-Down Islamization
-Political Economy of Islamism and Islamic Banks
-Arab Spring, Muslim Brotherhood and Democratization
-Temptations of Power: Islamists and Illiberal Democracies 
-Islamists and the Question of Women & Sexuality
-The Green Movement in Iran and the Hizmet Movement of Gulen in Turkey
-Alternative Islamist Socio-Political Projects: Anti-Capitalist Muslims
-Social Movements and Protests in Muslim Societies
-Civil Religion, Official Religion and Folk Religion
-Emergence of Post-Islamism
-Neo-Islamism in the Post-Arab Spring

PAPER PROPOSALS that clearly adhere to the conference topics should be e-mailed to Professor Mehmet Karabela ( no later than January 25, 2015. Please keep your proposal under 300 words and send it either as an attachment or in the e-mail body. Include the title of your paper, an abstract, your name and affiliation. Both English and French-language proposals are acceptable. Notification of selected proposals will be sent out by January 31, 2015. Please note: there is no registration fee and the conference is open to everyone. For further info:

17-18 March 2015 - "International Conference on Social Sciences and Humanities" (Colombo, Sri Lanka). On behalf of the organizing committee, we would like to invite you to participate in the ICRPN 2015, in Colombo, Sri Lanka, which will bring together many distinguished researchers from all over the world. Participants will find opportunities for presenting new research, exchanging information, and discussing current issues. Research papers related to all areas of Anthropology, History & heritage, Arts & Music, Literature & Language, Interdisciplinary & Multidisciplinary Studies, Women's Sciences, Popular Culture, Religious studies, Philosophy, Politics, Psychology and Sociology (but are not limited to) are invited for the above international conference which is expected to be attended by the authors from all countries. In addition, all the submitted full papers will be included in the conference proceedings CD and proceeding book. The conference will bring together academics, leading researchers, professionals, engineers, practitioners, scholars, and scientists or anyone in the domain of interest from around the world. Registration and Abstract submission deadline January 20, 2015. Information: index.php/main/loadSocialSciencesAndHumanities.

19-22 March 2015 - "Transnational and Local Networks of Pilgrimage," Fourth Workshop in the series entitled "Being Muslim: How Local Islam Overturns Narratives of Exceptionalism" (Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN). We are now accepting proposals for the fourth workshop in our series titled "Being Muslim: How Local Islam Overturns Narratives of Exceptionalism." The theme of the fourth workshop is "Transnational and Local Networks of Pilgrimage" and will be held on 19-22 March 2015 on the campus of Vanderbilt University in Nashville. We invite proposals to be submitted by 01 November 2014. Please include a CV and brief precis of the project, up to one page in length. Papers chosen may be up to 75 pages in length, circulated in advance. In case you missed it, the lineup of our third workshop can be found here: IslamProjectWorkshopIII.php If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us

20-22 March 2015 - "Bodies in Motion: Middle East Migrantions" (North Carolina State University, Raleigh NC). Call for Papers The Moise A. Khayrallah Center for Lebanese Diaspora Studies will host an international conference--titled Bodies in Motion--at North Carolina State University (Raleigh, North Carolina, USA) on March 20-22, 2015. This conference seeks to enrich scholarly narratives of migration by reflecting upon bodies in movement and the lived experiences of men and women who have migrated from, to, and in what came to be called the Middle East. The Khayrallah Center welcomes paper proposals that address the ways migration redraws notions of gender and bodily comportment that men and women act out in new settings, the attempts of states and other powers to discipline and control the bodies of moving people, and the impact of migration on bodies and mind. We welcome proposals addressing these and the following questions: 1. In what ways might diasporic bodies mark the lives of those who stay behind? 2. How do Middle East migrations relate to public health, ideas of disease, hygiene, and the body? 3. How can the study of Middle East migrants help us understand discourses, and practices, of gender, sociability, society and culture? 4. How do Middle East migrations influence the representation of the body in clothes, public performances, literary productions, etc.? 5. How might the vantage point of the Middle East animate 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? Please send paper proposals in MS Word or PDF format via email to the organizers at the following address: Proposals should have a title and abstract of no more than 300 words, and should include contact information and institutional affiliation. The Moise A. Khayrallah Center for Lebanese Diaspora Studies will provide financial support to help fund travel. In addition, the Center will provide housing, as well as meals for the participants. Some of the papers will be selected for subsequent publication in Mashriq & Mahjar: Journal of Middle East Migration Studies. The deadline for receipt of paper proposals is November 30, 2014 Andrew Arsan (Cambridge University); John Karam (DePaul University); Akram Khater (NC State).

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.

24-25 March 2015 - "Intertwined Elements in Arabic Literature: Classical, Modern and Popular" (Tel Aviv University). The Department of Arabic and Islamic Studies in Tel Aviv University invites paper proposals for its international conference on Arabic literature, to be held on March 24-25, 2015 at Tel Aviv University, Israel: Intertwined Elements in Arabic Literature: Classical, Modern and Popular This year's conference will deal with the variety of narrative and linguistic elements of Arabic literature in its evolution from classical to contemporary forms. The official conference languages are English and Arabic. Abstracts in English or Arabic (not exceeding 300 words) are to be submitted by Monday, December 1st, 2014 to Dr. Jeries Khoury - Dr. Amir Lerner - The Department of Arabic and Islamic Studies Tel Aviv University Tel Aviv 6997801, Israel For more details please visit the conference page at the Department website index.php/conference.

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.

26-27 March 2015 - "Charity in Jewish, Christian, and Islamic Traditions" (Saint Louis University, St. Louis, MO). One of the challenges to intercultural understanding is the lack of common categories that can be used in identifying and interpreting cultural commonalities and differences. The Center for Intercultural Studies at Saint Louis University seeks to encourage reflection on such categories by focusing on the ideas and practices of charity in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam in the modern era. For more information, see
Proposals should include a one-page abstract of the paper, the author's brief CV, email address, and phone number. Proposals should be emailed as attachments in MS Word to Ms. Mary Bokern at by December 10, 2014.

April 2015

8-9 April 2015 - "Symposia Iranica, Second Biennial Iranian Studies Conference" (University of Cambridge, UK). Established in 2012, Symposia Iranica inaugurated at the University of St Andrews with 99 speakers in 2013 as the first early career scholar-focused forum in the field. Our objectives are both to bring together students and early career scholars to celebrate, encourage and stimulate their interest and engagement with Iranian studies, and to deliver a rounded, academically and professionally enriching experience that will have a real impact on the thinking, output and career progression of our participants.

For details on the conference, see our website:  
To get updates directly to your newsfeed, follow us on:
For a virtual tour of Downing College, see:
Last year’s brochure can be found here:

9 April 2015 - "Regional Integration vs. National Disintegration in the Post-Arab Spring Middle East and North Africa" (Nottingham Trent University, UK). The national and transnational challenges that have emerged since the uprisings in 2011 that are commonly referred to as ‘the Arab Spring’ – in particular the increase in extremism, and the emergence and intensification of civil wars – have garnered significant attention in both media coverage and academic research. However, simultaneous (and far older) processes of regional integration – in varying forms from free trade agreements like the Greater Arab Free Trade Area, to economic and political union like the Gulf Cooperation Council – have also been influenced by the changes of the past four years. This one day interdisciplinary conference is aimed at a broad audience of academics, practitioners and students interested in the contemporary MENA. The conference will explore the processes of change currently shaping the MENA. This conference aims to draw together research from different fields (including International Relations, International Political Economy, Middle Eastern Studies, History, Business and Law) in order to explore how far the changes shaping the MENA are leading to the region’s polarisation between states that are integrating politically and economically with each other on the one hand, and states that are disintegrating internally on the other. Both empirical and theoretical papers are welcome and suggested topics are as follows: IR Theory and the MENA; Radicalisation, extremism and civil war in Syria, Iraq, Libya & the MENA; Revolutions and counter-revolutions; Sectarianism and the internationalisation of domestic disputes; Theoretical reflections on the Arab Spring; Civil conflicts, intervention and conflict resolution/crisis management in Iraq, Syria and Libya; Revisionism and conservatism in the MENA; Diplomacy and international law; Ideas, norms and institutions contemporary MENA politics;   The Arab League and regional conflicts/disputes; Economic, political and military integration in the Gulf Cooperation Council; Regional economic integration; The political and economic impacts of the Arab Spring; Trade liberalisation in the MENA; Economic development and political cooperation in the MENA; Energy security, hydrocarbons and nuclear energy in the MENA; 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 “MENA NTU Research Conference 2015 Abstract” by February 1st 2015. You will be notified of the decision on your abstract via email by 15th February 2015. For more details on the conference please visit the MENA Research Cluster website at: 156381/overview/middle_east_and_north_africa, All queries should be directed to Dr Imad El-Anis ( or Dr Natasha Underhill (  

10 April 2015 - "The Israel Lobby: Is It Good for the US? Is it Good for Israel?" (National Press Club, Washington, DC). Americans and Israelis are beginning to question whether Washington’s unconditional support for Israel perpetuates the decades-long failure to achieve peace and stability in the region. The United States has provided Israel with at least $115 billion in economic and military aid—$239 billion adjusted for inflation—through 2014. The US protects Israel diplomatically, often casting almost the lone dissenting vote against Palestinian UN initiatives while pressuring other states to do the same. America has looked the other way as nuclear material, technology and know-how vital to building and maintaining a nuclear arsenal have flowed to Israel. But how beneficial to Israel is such largesse and unconditional support?
Questions to be addressed by expert speakers include:
1. Does its US lobby make it possible for Israel to avoid achieving peace with its neighbors, including Palestinians?
2. Is Israel’s lack of regional economic integration sustainable over coming decades?
3. Is the Iranian nuclear program the existential threat for Israel and the West it is portrayed to be in the US?
4. Do American Israel lobby donors who fund Israeli and US political campaigns and media outlets promote extremism?
5. Why does the lobby constantly conflate Judaism and Israel?
6. Why is criticism of Israeli policies acceptable in Israel but shut down on American college campuses and in the mainstream media and arts?
Speakers include:
Amani Alkhatahtbeh is the founding editor-in-chief of, a blog aimed at eliminating stereotypes surrounding Islam and promoting the place of Muslim women in Western societies.
Jeffrey Blankfort  hosts a twice-monthly international affairs program for public radio station KZYX in Northern California’s Mendocino County, where he now lives. Blankfort was a founding member of the November 29th Committee on Palestine, a co-founder of the Labor Committee on the Middle East and editor of its publication, The Middle East Labor Bulletin (1988-95).
Richard Falk is professor emeritus of international law at Princeton University. In 2008, the United Nations Human Rights Council appointed Falk to a six-year term as a United Nations Special Rapporteur on “the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories occupied since 1967.”
Former Congressman Paul Findley  is the author of the groundbreaking book They Dare to Speak Out: People and Institutions Confront Israel’s Lobby.
Dima Khalidi is the founder and director of Palestine Solidarity Legal Support (PSLS), and cooperating counsel with the Center for Constitutional Rights.
Gideon Levy is a columnist for the Israeli daily Haaretz  and a member of its editorial board. He is the author of the weekly Twilight Zone feature, which covers the Israeli occupation in the West Bank and Gaza over the last 25 years, as well as the writer of political editorials for the newspaper.
Seth Morrison chaired the Washington, DC Metro Chapter of J Street in 2013 before becoming active in the BDS movement.
Miko Peled is an Israeli writer and activist living in the U.S. He was born and raised in Jerusalem.
Paul Pillar retired in 2005 from a 28-year career in the U.S. intelligence community, his last position being National Intelligence Officer for the Near East and South Asia.
Gareth Porter is an investigative journalist and historian who specializes in U.S. foreign and military policy. His most recent book is Manufactured Crisis: The Untold Story of the Iran Nuclear Scare.
Former Congressman Nick Joe Rahall II, a grandson of Lebanese immigrants, represented West Virginia in the U.S. Congress from 1977 to 2015.
M.J. Rosenberg previously worked on Capitol Hill for 15 years for various Democratic members of the House and Senate, and was a Clinton political appointee at USAID. In the early 1980s, he was editor of AIPAC’s weekly newsletter, Near East Report.
Alice Rothchild is a Boston-based physician, author and filmmaker who since 1997 has focused on human rights and social justice in the Israel-Palestine conflict.
Ahmad Saadaldin is a filmmaker/producer, creative writer, actor, and grassroots organizer. Saadaldin organized the largest grassroots campaign in University of South Florida history,
Jack Shaheen is an acclaimed author and media critic. Dr. Shaheen’s lectures and writings illustrate that damaging racial and ethnic stereotypes of Arabs, blacks, and others injure innocent people.
Grant F. Smith is the director of the Washington, DC-based Institute for Research: Middle Eastern Policy (IRmep). He is the author of two unofficial histories of AIPAC.

13-15 April 2015 - Second Annual Conference of British Association for Islamic Studies (London, England). For full details on how to submit papers or panels please visit our website: (if the link does not work please copy-paste it into your browser address bar). Completed forms must be submitted via e-mail attachment to by 5pm (UK time) on Monday 1st December.

15-17 April 2015 - "The Thousand and One Nights: Sources, Transformations, and Relationship with Literature, the Arts and the Sciences" (Cambridge, Boston, MA). Call for Papers and Announcement: The Center for Middle Eastern Studies’ Working Group on Middle Eastern Literatures, The Department of Comparative Literature, The Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations, Harvard University, in conjunction
with Centre de Recherche Moyen-Orient Méditérranée de l'INALCO (ANR
MSFIMA : Les Mille et une nuits : Sources et Fonctions dans l’Islam Médiéval
Arabe), welcomes proposals for papers that fall within one of the four panel
topics outlined at Abstracts should be no more than 300 words and should be sent to Professor Aboubakr Chraïbi at: by October 15, 2014. Papers maybe presented in Arabic, English or French. 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[s]. 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. The Center for Middle Eastern Studies, Harvard University, does not require any conference registration fees, and will provide participants with food and accommodation while in Cambridge (Boston) USA during the conference. However, it expects participants to arrange and pay for their own travel to and from Boston. For any further information please contact Elizabeth Flanagan: or visit:

24 April 2015 - "Crisis Upon Crisis in the Middle East: Is Change Possible? St. Ambrose Middle East Institute Spring 2015 Conference (St. Ambrose University, Davenport, IA). April 24, 2015, 11:30am-6:00pm St. Ambrose University 518 W. Locust Street Davenport, IA 52803 Rogalski Center, Gottlieb Conference Room. Free and open to the public Featuring: Hamideh Sedghi, Middle East Institute Visiting Scholar, St. Ambrose University, "Social Media, Politics and Democracy Movements in Iran and the Middle East" Joshua Landis, Director, Center for Middle East Studies, Department of International and Area Studies, University of Oklahoma, "The US, ISIS and Nation-building in the Middle East" Susanne Dahlgren, Visiting Research Associate Professor, National University of Singapore, "The War on Terror and the Silenced Revolution in South Yemen" Juan Cole, Richard P. Mitchell Collegiate Professor of History, University of Michigan-Ann Arbor, "Youth, Revolution and Democracy in the Middle East and Tunisia" Inquiries: Contact Dr. Ryan D. Dye at or 563-333-6210

24-25 April 2015 - "Unsettling Colonial Modernity: Islamicate Contexts in Focus" (University of Alberta, Canada). The late-19th century acceleration of European colonialism in the Middle East and North Africa gave rise to a range of cultural, sociopolitical, and socioeconomic projects seeking to restructure Islamicate societies after modern Europe. Such Eurocentric projects were predominantly advanced through subordinating Islamicate traditions, cultures, and identities. This traumatic historical experience evokes the image of a Muslim other laid on the Procrustean bed of European modernity; Islamicate traditions, cultures, and identities were either stretched out of shape or sawed off so that they would fit the hegemonic conception of modernity. This homogenizing conception of modernity, however, has faced serious challenges from within and without its European bedrock. Critics have problematized the unilinear view of historical progress in the discourse of Enlightenment modernity and its homogenizing universalism; they have also highlighted the (in)formal colonial trajectory of European modernity in non-European contexts. Out of these critical engagements, have emerged counterdiscourses such as “indigenous modernities”, “multiple modernities”, and “alternative modernities”, as well as a rich body of literature provincializing Europe, historicizing lived experiences of European modernity, and unveiling its darker side. These critiques have opened up new possibilities for transcending false binary oppositions of West/East, modernity/tradition, secular/sacred, and culture/nature. The organizing committee of this interdisciplinary conference invites contributions to the current rethinking of post-19th century identity formations and sociopolitical transmutations in Islamicate contexts (both national and diasporic) vis-à-vis the colonial project of modernity. We are particularly interested in examining practical implications as well as challenges and prospects of such dialogical investigations. Topics might include, but are not limited to:

*  Modern nation-building and its discontents
*   Postcolonialism, indigeneity, and decoloniality
*   Narrative resistance
*   Feminist theories of experience and first-person knowledge
*   Identity politics and intersectionality
*   Subjectivity, theories of the self, and narrative identities
*   Racialization and epistemologies of ignorance
*   Trauma, affect, memory, and their link to identity
*   The return of the repressed in myth, phantasy, and neurosis  
*   Islamophobia in the post-War-on-Terror era
*   Orientalization of diasporic identities in popular culture  
*   Radical pedagogies in interrogating Islamophobia/orientalism
*   Religion, secularism, and democracy
*   Orientalism and occidentalism
*   Critical race and whiteness studies
*   Marxist literary criticism
*   Critical (ir)realism
*   Technophobia, eco-criticism, and post-apocalyptic literature
*   Post-modernism as the return of Romanticism
*   Globalization and socio-economic development

Contributions can take the form of papers or posters. Please send abstracts (150-200 words for posters; 300-500 words for papers), along with a short bio of author(s), to by November 30, 2014. Decisions on selected proposals will be sent out early January 2014. Presenters whose abstracts are accepted must submit their papers (3000-5000 words) or posters (2-4 slides) by March 27, 2015, one month prior to the conference date. A selection of papers presented at the conference will be published in a peer-reviewed, edited volume. A final draft of selected papers is to be submitted within two months after the conference.

Should you have any questions or require more information, please contact us via email at, or visit

30 April-1 May, 2015 - "The Arab Spring in a Global Context" Provost's Global Forum 2015 (University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA). The wave of uprisings known as the Arab Spring may have changed or at least challenged the relationship between the governed and governing actors not only in Arab countries but in other societies with Muslim people around the world. New legal regimes may now navigate sectarian, gender, and religious fault lines in differing ways. Emerging issues and changing circumstances are providing scholars from all academic disciplines with opportunities to apply and/or revise old theories and produce a body of new knowledge about issues of social change, social justice, racial/ethnic and gender relations, the law, public policy, economic development, and international politics in a global context. The conference is an opportunity for the exchange and sharing of ideas for scholars from all disciplines including: area studies (international studies, Middle Eastern studies, Asian studies, African studies, and Eurasian studies), business, health sciences, journalism and mass communication, social sciences (anthropology, political science, psychology, and sociology), humanities (arts, cultural studies, history, gender and race, linguistics and literature, philosophy, religious studies, and rhetoric), education, and law.
The conference is also open to representatives of NGOs, governments, and think tanks. The aim is to facilitate the sharing of ideas and to contribute to building a body of knowledge on this topic representing the broadest range of perspectives possible. The conference will feature presentations of research papers and reports, roundtable conversations, and panel discussions. Although all abstracts will be initially reviewed by the conference organizing committees (consisting of faculty and graduate students), presenters who wish to publish their papers in the Journal of Islamic and Middle Eastern Multidisciplinary Studies must submit fully revised and edited manuscripts for a separate double-blind peer review before acceptance. The conference will also feature musical performances, book exhibits, film and documentary screenings, the taping of an interview-format television show, and art and document displays. Financial support is available to subsidize travel cost for qualified presenters who submit paper abstracts by October 31. Otherwise, the deadline for submitting paper abstracts is November 30. Competitive prizes will be awarded to exceptional undergraduate and graduate student papers. Submissions will be considered by a review committee.
A registration form for those wishing to attend the conference will be available at a later date. Contacts: Sarolta Petersen, Events and Project Specialist, International Programs 319-335-3862, For more information and/or to submit abstract, visit: faculty/arab-spring-global-context.

30 April-3 May, 2015 - "Building a Proficiency Oriented Arabic Curriculum." Call for papers for panel at the Northeast Modern Language Association Convention, Toronto, Canada. This panel invites submissions for 15-20 minute presentations. With the dramatic increase in Arabic enrollments and expanding opportunities for Arabic speakers, the demand for written and spoken Arabic proficiency has never been greater. This panel will consider the challenges and opportunities in building an effective proficiency-oriented Arabic curriculum. The experiences, visions, and concerns of Arabic teachers on integration of social media, online learning, new forms of assessment, integration of Colloquial and Standard Arabic, and selection of course materials are particularly welcome. Please submit abstracts directly to by September 30, 2014.

May 2015

5-8 May 2015 - "Media, Islam and the Religions of the Middle East" (University of Balamand, Balamand, Koura, Lebanon). CONFERENCE LANGUAGES: English and Arabic. The last two decades have seen a revolutionary transformation in the use and ownership of media.This transformation has offered the opportunity for small and large nations, poor and rich, to own and operate media conglomerates. Groupings or individuals now have direct access to the Internet and can broadcast their news, and opinions, and promote their causes and ideas to the world at large through a variety of ways. The purpose of this conference is to invite scholars and media professionals to examine how this development has impacted on the portrayal of the religions of the Middle East. Of particular interest is, of course, the impact on Islam, and the understanding and perception of Islam by Moslems and those of other faiths. Conference papers will examine how the Internet, social media, the establishment of powerful Middle East-based, or Middle East-funded television networks have affected the perception of religion, a particular religion, and religious communities in the Middle East, and in the diaspora. All abstracts, in either English or Arabic, relevant to the main subject of the conference will be considered. These are some of the suggested themes:

Media Theory and Religion in the Middle East
Media and the Rise or Fall of Religion
Media and the Promotion of Religious Tolerance/Prejudice
Media and the Rise/ Fall of Fundamentalism
Portrayal of Religious Minorities in the Middle East
Portrayal of Islam in Western Media
Portrayal of Middle Eastern Religious Minorities in the West
Portrayal of Middle Eastern Religious Minorities in the Middle East
Portrayal of Islam in Arab Countries
Third World Media Perceptions of Islam
Social Media and the Perception of Islam
Social Media and Religious Communities
Social Media and Religious Minorities
The Use of the Internet by Political Islam
Inter-religious Dialogue in the Media
Portrayal of Religion and Political Correctness
Anti-Islamic Promotion
Reality and Perception
Jihadist Media
Proselytizing Media

Deadlines December 15, 2014: Abstracts of about 400 words in Arabic or English January 10, 2015: Abstract decisions announced April 30, 2015: Full papers for those interested in submitting their papers for publication Registration Fee: $180 $80 graduate students Limited funds are available to assist with accommodation or registration. Abstracts in either English or Arabic of about 400 words, outlining the question or argument to be explored, should be sent to Dr. Ramez Maluf at Full panels will also be considered.

6-7 May 2015 - International Congress on Prophet Muhammad's (PBUH) Representation in Art (Zahedan, Iran). Sub-topics of the Conference: -Muhammad's (PBUH) Representation in Art: Painting, Illustration, Sculpture, Calligraphy, Art decorative, Dramatic Art, Handicrafts; Representation of the names, titles and characters of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) in Artworks; Reflect of word and morality of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) in Art, Literature and Mysticism. Last date for registration: 04/02/2015. Registation is FREE For further details:

8 May 2015 - "Post-graduate Symposium on Occupation, Transitional Justice and Gender" (University of Ulster, York St campus, Belfast, Northern Ireland). The Transitional Justice Institute (University of Ulster) and the Institute for Research in the Social Sciences (University of Ulster) invite proposals for a one-day postgraduate symposium on Occupation, Transitional Justice and Gender to be held on Friday, 8 May 2015. This symposium seeks to explore the interface between occupation, transitional justice and gender. The starting point for exploration is based in feminist concerns that are broadly focused on issues of power, control and hierarchies. More specifically, feminist theorizing acknowledges that women’s needs during times of occupation, conflict, and/or transition are often ignored, sidelined or essentialised; recent research is also looking into masculinities during these periods. While much research has explored transitional justice and gender, there has been limited research on the relationship and complexities of occupation and gender. Furthermore, there is a dearth of research on how these three concepts intersect, inform and/or impact each other. Some questions to be explored during the symposium may include:

  • What might be the approach in exploring the interface between occupation and transitional justice while utilizing a gendered lens?
  • How does law capture modern instances of occupation that do not fit neatly into the existing legal coding? 
  • Can transitional justice mechanisms be employed while there is an occupation and can such mechanisms take the gendered needs of the population into account?
  • Can the exceptionality of occupation reveal gender differences unapparent in normal settings and, if so, what are their implications for transitional justice theory and praxis?

We invite papers from postgraduate students (PhD and Masters) who are exploring the above-mentioned questions in any context and any time period; case studies and theoretical papers are also welcomed. We also invite poster proposals to be featured during a special poster session. For paper or poster proposals, please send a title, a 200-word abstract, and a short one-paragraph biography by 31 December 2014 to Rimona Afana ( and Stephanie Chaban ( Acceptance of abstracts will be notified by 15 January 2015. All submissions will be eligible for Best Paper and Best Poster awards. Papers will get substantive and thorough feedback from faculty with expertise in gender/transition and/or law of armed conflict. The organizers are exploring the possibility of publication for the best papers. The symposium will feature Professor Christine Chinkin, Professor of International Law at the London School of Economics and Political Science, as the keynote speaker. Gender experts from the Transitional Justice Institute and IRiSS will also participate. Furthermore, there will also be a praxis session involving domestic and international work related to women’s grassroots involvement in transitional justice mechanisms. The full schedule will be announced shortly. While there is no registration fee, we regret that we are unable to cover travel and accommodation costs for participants. The symposium is sponsored by the Feminist & Women’s Studies Association (FWSA): Further sponsorship is provided by the Transitional Justice Institute, University of Ulster, the Research Graduate School, University of Ulster, and the Institute for Research in the Social Sciences, University of Ulster. 

19-20 May 2015 - "Intertwined Elements in Arabic Literature: Classical, Modern and Popular" International Conference on Arabic Literature (Tel Aviv University, Israel). The Department of Arabic and Islamic Studies invites paper proposals for its annual conference on Arabic literature, to be held on May 19-20, 2015 at Tel Aviv University, Israel. This year's conference will deal with the variety of narrative and linguistic elements of Arabic literature in its evolution from classical to contemporary forms. For instance, the intertextuality between different literary genres, the integration of ancient texts in modern, the usage of diverse linguistic levels in one text for artistic purposes, the emergence of hybrid genres baring characteristics of more than one literary type, and the combination of prose and poetry in either narrative or poetic literary pieces. The conference will also focus on the connection between literature and social structures, e.g., popular spirit as a generator of literature for refined taste and eloquent audiences, the attitude of criticism toward pieces originated outside the circles of literary taste formers, and more. The official conference languages are English and Arabic. Abstracts in English or Arabic (not exceeding 300 words) are to be submitted by SundayFebruary 1st, 2015 to
Dr. Jeries Khoury -
Dr. Amir Lerner -
The Department of Arabic and Islamic Studies
Tel Aviv University
Tel Aviv 6997801
For more details please visit the conference page at the Department website

21-24 May 2015 - International Conference on Religion and Film (Istanbul, Turkey). Proposals for paper presentations are invited for the 2015 International Conference on Religion and Film, organized by Ensar Foundation, Center for Values Education, Marmara University's Faculty of Theology and Nebraska Omaha University. The conference will be held in Istanbul, Turkey on 21- 24 May 2015. Proposals are welcome on any topic in the field of religion and film. Proposals should include a title and an abstract of 350 words. All submissions must be made electronically via online submission at the following URL: The submission deadline is February 6 and the languages of the conference are English and Turkish. The travel expenses and accommodation will be covered by the organization committee and selected papers will be published after the conference.

26-27 May 2015 - "Middle Eastern Christians in Diaspora: Past and Present, Continuity and Change." (University of St Andrews, Scotland). This two-day conference will provide a singular setting for scholars to meet and engage with a wide array of actors working with Middle Eastern Christian migrant communities in Europe and beyond. It is organized by the research team responsible for the project “Defining and Identifying Middle Eastern Christian Communities in Europe” (DIMECCE). Researchers in the humanities, social sciences and theology are invited to propose their contributions to the conference organizers by 30 January 2015. Information:

June 2015

June 2015 - "Archaeology 2015: Ancient Cultures in the Land of the Bible (Jerusalem). The scientific committee of the conference invites participants to submit abstracts on the topics outlined in the accompanying list presented on this web site. Additional subjects related to the main topics of the conference are also welcome. Abstracts (in English) for individual paper presentations or symposiums should not exceed 200–300 words and must include the name of the presenter, his/her affiliation and the type of presentation (paper or symposium). Proposed posters can be submitted as text or PDF file. A short biography or C.V. can be added together with the abstract in a separate file. The deadline for abstract's submission is 15 September 2014.Questions concerning the conference or abstract submission can be addressed to our main office: Please submit your abstract directly to the scientific committee by For conference information, please visit:

1-3 June 2015 - "Middle Class in the Middle East and Beyond: What Has Changed?" (Ben Gurion University of the Negev, Israel). This workshop will discuss three broad historical "moments" in the making of regional middle classes. First, as nascent bourgeoisie first appeared (?) during the eighteenth century and gradually developed in correspondence with state reforms and economic integration into the world economy during the nineteenth century. Second, the increasing role of the state in patronizing local middle classes during the late imperial era and under nation state building; roughly since the turn of the nineteenth century and until the 1960s. Third, the coming into being of a "new" middle class since the 1970s oil boom and economic reforms. All such moments are open for debate as processes marked by clear starting and ending dates. We further expect fruitful engagements with "middle class" as an analytic tool in studying long-term change in the Middle East. Moreover, we assume that re-introducing class into regional social analysis will augment rather than replace past insights into ethnic, gender, subaltern, and cultural studies, and ask "in what ways?" The workshop is open to historians and social scientists alike, and to all ranks in academia (PhD candidates are welcome). We particularly encourage academics working on similar themes in other social environments beyond the Middle East. We look forward to comparisons with such case studies and discussion on global middle classes. Possible questions that papers might engage include: 1. Were middle classes uniquely modern social occurrences? Perhaps not? 2. Were middle classes local, regional, global, or perhaps "local" developments? 3. Class representation-what happened to middle classes as they expanded? 4. Middle class and nation states: which came first? 5. Was middle class the reason behind regional economic transitions, or their recipient? 6. Middle classes and competing/corresponding social categories-ethnic, tribal, minorities, gender, and youth - "how do they relate? 7. Middle class culture and middle class religion: do they exist? In what sense? We expect participants to send draft articles with an eye for future joint publication before the workshop, and to attend the workshop for its entire duration. Participants will receive reimbursement for airfare (up to $700 and $1,500 for flights from Europe and the USA respectively), ground transportation, and accommodation. Please send abstract and CV and refer any questions to Relli Shechter and Ben Zarhi Deadline for abstracts is 1 September 2014.

4-5 June 2015 - "Territories of Understanding" Second International Postgraduate Conference in Translation and Interpreting Studies (Queen's University, Belfast). Translation and interpreting are understood--and indeed function--all too often as tools that universalize and level. Unsustainable claims are made for their capacity to tap into and re-generate channels of communication which operate at the level of the species, while at the same time the deficits of translation and interpreting, in terms of significant and far-reaching failures of understanding, still structure our geopolitics. This conference will seek to address these broad issues by posing the following questions: 1. What might we mean by culture-specific definitions of translation/interpreting? 2. How do translators/interpreters operate within and/or go beyond such definitions? 3. What sort of contribution can translation/interpreting make to the development of public and/or international policy? 4. What do we mean by cultural encounter? Can we legislate for it? 5. In what ways are translation/interpreting answerable to a politics of recognition? 6. In what ways can translators/interpreters address cultural and political conflict? We would be delighted to receive proposals for twenty-minute papers on any aspect of the issues and questions set out above. Please send a 300 word abstract to by 5th January 2015. All papers will be refereed and you will be notified of acceptance by 2nd February 2015. Abstracts should also include: 1. The presenter's name 2. The presenter's affiliation 3. The presenter's academic status and current year of study 4. Title of the paper to be presented 5. Three keywords that best describe the content of the paper to be presented Confirmed plenary speakers are: Professor Michael Cronin MRIA, Centre for Translation and Textual Studies, Dublin City University Professor Susan Bassnett, Professor of Comparative Literature and former Pro-Vice-Chancellor at the University of Warwick Dr Samia Bazzi, Head of Translation at the Lebanese University of Beirut Conference participants will be responsible for travel to and from Belfast, and for their own accommodation. The conference fee will be £30, which includes refreshments, lunches and wine receptions on both days, and dinner on the first night. More details are available at Or find us on Facebook: and Twitter: @TranslateQUB

8-9 June 2015 - "Researching the Middle East: Fieldwork, Archives, Issues, and Ethics" (Exeter University, UK). Exeter University's Institute of Arab and Islamic Studies will be holding a conference on 8-9 June 2015 examining the various dimensions of conducting research on, and in the Middle East, from fieldwork and archives to issues and ethics. A key aim of the conference is to produce an edited volume on the subject to facilitate the work of academics working in this complex field. We invite submissions from all researchers wishing to share their experiences of working on and in the region for the benefit of current and future researchers. We strongly encourage postgraduates and recent PhD graduates to apply. To apply, please email the accompanying application form to Please put IAIS Middle East Research conference 2015 in the subject line. Deadline for the submissions is 16 April 2015. Further information can be found on the IAIS website: /iais/events/conferences Lorraine Charles & Monica Ronchi Co-Chairs, Conference Committee.

12 June 2015 - "Minorities and Popular Culture in Modern Middle East," (SOAS, University of London). Thanks to modern mass communication media and commercial entertainment, popular culture has increasingly become a large industry geared for massive consumption while engendering and contesting national and communal identities. Since late nineteenth century, Middle Eastern minorities have contributed to the making of popular culture industries as public performers, producers, writers, filmmakers, musicians, etc.  Meanwhile, popular culture has been a crucial tool in constructing public imagery of both majority and minority ethnic and religious communities. Thus, popular culture has been a site of contradictions and contestations. This workshop aims at exploring the contribution of all religious and ethnic minorities to the popular culture industries and how popular culture products have represented minorities and dealt with the minority question in modern Middle East during the twentieth century and at present. The workshop hopes to examine national, regional, and cross-regional case studies covering the area from Iran to Morocco, from Turkey to Sudan and beyond. Comparative and diasporic studies are particularly welcome.

Themes may include but are not limited to:

Histories of the contribution of ethnic and religious minorities to music, cinema, popular press/ publications, theatre, and TV productions Representation of ethnic and religious minorities in music, cinema, theatre, popular press and TV productions in past and present The treatment of minority question in entertainment industry Nostalgic trends in popular production to good old days of ethnic-diversity in Middle East Jews, Arabs, and Arab-Jews in Israeli popular culture The Arab-Israeli conflict in popular culture The dynamic of contemporary Christian media in the Arab world Popular culture and the LBGT communities Gendering minorities in popular culture Popular culture and racialising minorities State’s engagement of popular culture production to other or integrate minorities

Further information:

Submission deadline:

Please submit 200 word abstracts to: by December 12 2014. Those accepted for the workshop will be notified by early February.

21-23 June 2015 - "Archeology 2015: In the Footsteps of Ancient Cultures in the Lands of the Bible." (Jerusalem). The scientific committee of the conference invites experts to submit abstracts on the conference topics. The list of topics is presented on the conference web-site: More details on the conference are available on the site:

24-26 June 2015 - "Liberation?" BRISMES/EURAMES Annual Conference. Liberation has been a recurrent theme in the Middle East for millennia. People have sought it in a multitude of ways – through politics, mysticism, philosophy, and personal piety. In the modern Middle East, different political movements – nationalist, communist, economic liberalist, Islamist, and secularist – have all promised liberation of different kinds. It is also a key theme of feminist writing, and of modern Middle Eastern literature. Together with ‘bread and dignity’, it was one of the central principles of the Arab Spring. With the reassertion of military rule in Egypt, and the descent in Syria from popular uprisings to bloody civil war, ‘liberation’ is now even more in question in the Middle East than it was before 2011. The BRISMES Annual Conference 2015 will explore the multitude of meanings that the concept has for the region today. BRISMES 2015 invites papers on any aspect of liberation – and we will also welcome papers on any other theme. We will include panels on as wide as possible a range of disciplines, including: politics, religious studies (Islam, and also other religions), history, law, economics, sociology, anthropology, literature, linguistics, geography, translation studies, and language teaching. Please submit paper proposals here and panel proposals here.

Deadline for submission of abstracts and panel proposals: 20 February 2015
Accepted papers and panels announced: 20 March
Deadline for participant registration: 10 April
Deadline for paper submission: 20 May

Non-presenting conference participants are warmly welcomed and registration will open shortly.

July 2015

6-9 July 2015 - "2015 Conference on Middle Eastern and North African Studies" (Brussels, Belgium). The Institute of MENA is hosting two annual conferences: First session is in the winter, and the second is summer. For the summer session, You are invited to participate in the Institute for MENA conference on Middle Eastern Affairs from July 6th to July 9th, 2015. The conference will take place at Brussels, Belgium. There are two types of participations: 1. a presenter, or; 2, guest (guest does not have to present, but he/she is welcome to engage in the session discussions). Guests can secure their attendance by paying the conference fees by the dates specified below. The presented papers may be published in the conference proceedings and the institute publication; further information will be provided upon accepting your paper for presentation. Submission Process: Submit your abstract by November 25th to: Late submission is permitted until February 28, 2015. Please write in the subject line: 2015 Conference for MENA- Brussels. If your abstract is selected, pay the conference fees. Submit your full paper. For Information: Special Fees Reductions: Full-time Students will be granted 25% off the published fees (Please submit student grant form). A school Email or letter of the admission and record to show your status. Presenters and Guests can apply for Grants that can apply to your conference fees. Grants may be granted on case-by-case (please see attached grant form). How to submit your proposals and Guests' requests: For your Abstracts: Please submit your abstract by November 25th to: For your Guest Attending Requests: Please Download the application and fax email it after you complete it. NOTE: Any inquiry should be directed to the same email address (

13-15 July 2015 - "The River Jordan," ARAM Society 41st International Conference (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 Email:

20-22 July 2015 - "Religious Offerings and Sacrifices in the Ancient Near East," ARAM 42nd International Conference (University of Oxford, UK). ARAM Society for Syro-Mesopotamian Studies is organising a series of conferences on Transmission and Innovation: Scientific, technological and religious thought in the Syro-Mesopotamian area (3000 BC – 700 AD), and its Forty Second International Conference will study the theme of Religious Offerings and Sacrifices in the Ancient Near East, 20-22 July, 2015 at the Oriental Institute (University of Oxford). The conference will start on Monday 7 July at 9am, finishing on Wednesday 9 July at 1pm. Each speaker’s paper is limited to 45 minutes, with an additional 15 minutes for discussion. If you wish to participate in the Conference, please fill the form below and return to our Oxford address. All papers given at the conference will be published in a future edition of the ARAM Periodical, subject to editorial review. If you know of colleagues who might like to contribute to the conference, please send us their names and addresses:
ARAM, the Oriental Institute, Oxford University, Pusey Lane, Oxford OX1 2LE, England. Tel. 01865-514041 Email:

August 2015

5-6 August 2015 - "Fourth Islam and Bioethics International Conference" (Coimbra, Portugal). The fourth Islam and Bioethics International Conference (following Haifa University, 2001, Penn State University, 2006, and Ankara, Turkey 2010) will take place at Coimbra, Portugal, during August 5-6, 2015. The conference will be part of the 21st Annual meeting of the World Congress on Medical Law (WCML) August 2- 6 , 2015. Participants and speakers from various disciplines are welcome (medicine, Islamic studies, natural sciences, law, history, sociology, philosophy, etc.). The conference language is English. Abstract submission deadline is April 2, 2015. To submit your abstract, please use the link below and follow the instructions: authorlogin.asp?conferenceID= 4386&language=en-uk. Notification of acceptance: by April 30, 2015. Please consult the Congress website ( for guidelines about abstract submission, registration, hotels, etc.

24-27 August 2015 - 6th Gulf Research Meeting (University of Cambridge, UK).Workshop: "Egypt and the GCC: Renewing an Alliance Amidst Shifting Policy Pressures", Gulf Research Meeting at the University of Cambridge, 24-27 August 2015 Papers are invited which contextualise recent shifts in the Egyptian - GCC alliance and present the latest findings on Egyptian and/or GCC economic, security and foreign policy. Some papers might also analyse the underpinnings of the relative positions of Egypt and the GCC states in the regional or international order. Deadline for abstracts is 18 March 2015. Deadline for draft papers is 31 May 2015. Further information available at:

September 2015

7-11 September 2015 - Eleventh Conference on Hunting and Gathering Societies (University of Vienna). The Eleventh Conference on Hunting and Gathering Societies (CHAGS 11) will be taking place at the University of Vienna from September 7-11, 2015. Please save the date and bookmark our homepage at We will provide more information and a first call for session proposals in the near future. Please subscribe to our CHAGS 11 newsletter by sending an e-mail to with "subscribe" in the subject field.

25-27 September 2015 - "The Unfinished Project of the Arab Spring: Why the "Middle East Exceptionalism" is Still Wrong (University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada). Four years after the recent revolutions/social movements (2011-12) in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), the region is caught between a number of rocks and many hard places. The rise of ISIS in Iraq and Syria, the return of a military regime in Egypt, the breakout of proxy/civil war in Syria and Yemen, and the chaos and collapse of the Libyan polity have largely replaced hope with despair, and excitement with resentment. Is the Middle East exceptionally immune to democratic movements, values and institutions?  This interdisciplinary international conference is an attempt to examine why and how the MENA region is not immune to democratic social movements. We propose that these revolutions were indicative of deep-rooted socio-cultural and structural transformations in contemporary MENA; they symbolized a popular quest for human dignity, social justice and freedom. The genie is out of the bottle and more progressive changes have yet to come. The contemporary social movements in MENA are open-ended and unfinished projects. The conference and the subsequent publications aim to study these movements and their aftermath with an eye to the socio-political opportunities and potentials for progressive change they left behind. We will examine the local, regional and global impediments to grassroots democracy in the region. We will problematizes the impact of global and regional politics, political economy, post-colonial condition, and socio-cultural factors – gender, ethnicity, class, and religion – on the rise and the current crisis of contemporary social movements in the region. The conference is an attempt for theorizing/problematizing these uprisings and imagining an alternative perspective for the future of popular and progressive social movements in MENA. Paper proposals may address, but are not limited to, the following themes:
1.   “The Quiet Encroachment” of the counterrevolutionary forces: Why the ancient forces are coming back?
2.    Social Movements in MENA: Is the “Return of the Repressed” Possible?
3.   What liberal and the Left-wing forces could have done to prevent the crisis in the MENA social movements?
4.   Problematizing the faults and failure of Islamist forces in MENA social movements
5.  The myth and reality of Army as a “midwife” of MENA social movements
6.   Is the “Post-Islamist turn” over?  
7.   Are contemporary social movements in MENA open-ended/unfinished projects?
8.   “Muslim/Middle East Exceptionalism”, Islamophobia and the West: Past and present
9.   Impact of global/regional politics on the rise and crisis of the MENA social movements
10. Political economy of the MENA social movements (The Arab Spring, Iran’s Green Movement, Turkey's Gezi Park Movement)
11. Political economy of Islamism
12. Gendering the MENA Social Movements: The question of women, LGTB, etc. 
13. The MENA social movements and minorities (religious, ethnic, etc.)
14. Postcolonial critique of the implementation of R2P in Libya
15.  Postcolonial critique of the rise of ISIS in Iraq and Syria

Abstract Submission
Please send abstracts (200-300 words) along with a short biography (100 words) to: <>. Please include the title of your paper, your name and affiliation. Submissions are due by June 01, 2015. Selected proposals will be notified by June 15, 2015.  

Edited Volume
A selection of papers presented at the conference will be published in a peer-reviewed edited volume by a prestigious press. We do welcome original research and contributions on the themes of the conference from various academic disciplines. A final draft of selected papers is to be submitted within two months after the conference – December 01, 2015.
Should you have any questions or require more information, please contact us at: <>. Or visit the conference website: <>.

October 2015

16-17 October 2015 - "Distant Reading and the Islamic Archive" 3rd Annual Islamic Digital Humanities Conference (Brown University, Providence, RI). Each year, the number of digitized books, inscriptions, images, documents, and other artifacts from the Islamic world continues to grow. As this archive expands, so too does the repertoire of digital tools for navigating and interpreting its diffuse and varied contents. Drawing upon such tools as topic modeling, context-based search, social network maps, and text reuse algorithms, the study of large-scale archives and textual corpora is undergoing significant and exciting developments. With this in mind, the Middle East Studies program at Brown University is pleased to announce its 3rd annual Islamic Digital Humanities Conference, to be held on October 16-17, 2015. We cordially invite proposals for papers related to distant reading and other computational approaches to the study of the pre-modern and early modern Islamic world. Faculty members, postdoctoral fellows, graduate students, archivists, librarians, curators, and other scholars are welcome to apply. Candidates are requested to submit a title and abstract of 300 words and a CV to the conference organizers at The deadline for submissions is April 30, 2015, and successful applicants will be notified by the end of May. Papers should be no longer than twenty minutes and read in English. A collection of abstracts from previous conferences and workshops may be found on our website ( along with recorded webcasts, a list of digital resources, and announcements for related events. There may be limited funding available to cover travel expenses and hotel accommodation for junior scholars. All other participants are asked to cover their own expenses. The conference will begin at noon on Friday, October 16 and conclude by the early afternoon of Saturday, October 17. Brown University is located in Providence, Rhode Island, one hour south of Boston and easily accessible by train and plane. For any questions, please contact Dr. Elias Muhanna at the email address above.


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