MESA - Middle East Studies Association










August 2015

1-2 August 2015
12th International Research Conference on Business, Economics and Social Sciences, IRC-2015
Istanbul, Turkey
Submission Deadline: June 15, 2015
Registration Deadline: July 10, 2015

5 August 2015
Why Did They Not Print Their Books? Stories About the Reasons Why Printing Was Introduced So Late in the Muslim World
Islamic Manuscript Association Lecture Series
Stanford, California

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.

5-7 August 2015 - A Critique of the Modern Discourse of Maqāsid (Alexandria, Egypt). Several modern Muslim scholars have found in al-Šātibī’s (d. 1388 CE) concept of maqāsid al-Šarīʿah a refuge to centralize human reason in the making of Islamic law. This concept helped them propose a form of Islam that complies with what they considered necessary conditions of modernity. Practically, however, the discourse of maqāsid has been used by extremists, for instance to promote suicide bombing, by liberals, for instance to drop off hudūd, and by several other groups, which lie between these two ends. We would like to examine if this modern discourse of maqāsid contradicts some traditional principles, values and structures of traditional Islam. For instance, does this discourse ignore the central notion of ghayb? Does it downplay the basic principle of tāʿah? Does it contradict the traditional downplaying of the notion of truth in the making of law in traditional Islam? Speaking of truth, al-haqq, can we find in some recent Western theories appropriate approaches to understanding Islamic law? Here, we point out to works such as Habermas’ integration of facts and norms in the making of the law, Baudrillard’s contrast of the rules of the game to rational laws, and Geertz’s reorientation of the notion of haqq in Moroccan Islam. In addition, we want to reexamine al-maqāsid in the entire oeuvre of al-Šātibī. Moreover, we will explore the usūlī definitions and distinctions of a number of concepts that have been (con)fused in the modern discourse of maqāsid, such as sabab, maqsid, ʿillah and hikmah. We will also examine modern texts that maintained a critical position toward the maqāsid discourse, for instance, al-Būtī’s Dawābit al-Maslahah. One more topic that intrigues us is the frequent conflation of the discourse of maqāsid with the other modern discourse of wasatiyyah. If you are interested in this workshop, you may please send us a 300-500 word abstract and a short bio. We plan to finally publish all papers in an edited volume. The workshop discussions will enrich our ideas before we submit the final chapters. The organizers at the Discourse Research Center in Alexandria are open to sponsor a second meeting, if needed, before sending the manuscript for publication. Please, email your abstract and any questions you may have to Mohamed A. Mohamed at by May 31, 2015. Accepted applicants will be notified by June 5, 2015. Both air-tickets and accommodation will be covered. We are very happy that Professor Devin Stewart is joining us as a co-organizer of this workshop.

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.

Dates: 25 September 2015
Title: "Islamophobia and Surveillance: Genealogies of a Global Order"
Location: Edge Hill University, UK
Call for Papers Deadline: June 30, 2015
Information: Dr. James Renton

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.

28-29 October 2015
International Conference on the Geo-Politics of the Middle East
Deakin University, Melbourne, Australia
Abstract Deadline: 31 July 2015
Send abstract to: Dr. James Barry (

29-31 October 2015 - Eighth Annual ASMEA Conference (Washington, DC).

November 2015

4-5 November 2015
Fifth Annual Conference on Philanthropy and Civic Engagement
University of Abu Dhabi, UAE
To submit an abstract: ConfHome.aspx?Conf=Takaful2015&Title=Call%20for%20papers
Information: ConfHome.aspx?Conf=Takaful2015&Title=Home or Salma Eissa

12-14 November 2015
International 100th Anniversary of World War I Symposium
Izmir, Turkey
Sponsored by the Turkish Historical Society
Abstract Deadline: September 21, 2015

29 November-3 December 2015
Fifth National Built Heritage Forum
Al-Qassim, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
Information: or

December 2015

5-6 December 2015
3rd MENA Social Policy Network Conference, "A New Social Contract for MENA Countries: Experiences from Development and Social Policies"
Bonn, Germany

5-6 December 2015
20th International Research Conference on Business, Economic and Social Science
Istanbul, Turkey
Abstract Deadline: 20 November 2015
Send Abstract To:

9 December 2015
Political Islam and Socio-Political Transformations in the MENA Region after the Arab Spring
Tischner European University, Cracow, Poland
Abstract Deadline: 25 October 2015
Send Abstracts To: Konrad Pedziwiatr ( and Rachela Tonta (


January 2016

13-16 January 2016 - "Fragments of Empire After the American Century" the 6th International Conference of the American University of Beirut Center for American Studies and Research (Beirut, Lebanon). This conference will provide a forum to focus on and debate the consequences and residues of imperial (and neo-imperial) presences across the Middle East, as well as the legacies of empire in the so-called metropoles or in comparative consideration to other regions and eras. The concept of "fragments" can be interpreted literally, as in pieces or cuts to elicit analysis on a specific context, relationship, cultural or historical manifestation, and/or it can be interpreted metaphorically to reflect on diffusions, refractions or realignments of power, culture, space and so on. In this unwieldy moment, American power unfolds in diffuse sites and often in scattered or incongruous ways. The phrase "after the American century" aims to be suggestive; it can be interpreted either as a reflection of the waning US power in support of contradictory strategic interests, or as a question about whether we are, indeed, entering an "after" phase of imperial hegemonies. We invite disciplinary, interdisciplinary, and un-disciplined papers that address any aspect of transnational American Studies (or America's transnational fragments). Although CASAR focuses primarily on the transnational relations between the United States and the Middle East, we also invite papers that address transnational American studies in other geographies, such as hemispheric borders in the Americas, provided these papers speak to broad methodological and theoretical questions relating to the theme. These may include - but are not limited to - the following: - Theories of American empire and statecraft - Digital futures across borders - Global diffusions and fragments of pop cultures - Fragmentation and subject-formation in imperial, neo-imperial, or post-colonial contexts - Political economy of transnational media - Political economy of consumer cultures - Theories of diaspora, diasporic networks, displacement, refugee communities - Decoloniality and fragmented modernities - War and political fragmentation In addition to hosting a wide range of scholarship in transnational American Studies relating to empire, we welcome panel and paper proposals focused on the history of AUB and/or American education in the Middle East for AUB's 150th anniversary. The deadline to submit abstracts is April 30, 2015. For abstract submission information, please see: For other questions:

21-24 January 2016
Intercultural Competence: Traditions and Transitions
Tucson, Arizona (U.S.A.)
Call for Papers Deadline: 25 May 2015

25-27 January 2016
Political Parties in the Middle East: Past, Present and Future Perspectives
University of Manchester (UK)
Call for Papers Deadline: October 5, 2015

February 2016

26 February 2016
Middle East Dialogue: New Hopes and Aspirations
Washington, DC
Policy Studies Organization
Call for Papers Deadline: 15 October 2015

March 2016

17-19 March 2016 - "Migrants: Communities, Borders, Memories, Conflicts" XIII Annual conference of the Italian Society for Middle Eastern Studies (SeSaMO) (University of Cataniak, Italy). The 2016 SeSaMO conference on 17-19 March, 2016, puts the spotlight on migration meant as a general phenomenon that has affected Muslim-majority societies across history and can be approached from different disciplinary perspectives. Scholars are invited to present a panel. Interdisciplinary proposals are welcome as well as proposals focusing on distinct areas of interest in the field of Middle Eastern studies. With the aim of encouraging scientific interaction with the international scholarly community, the conference will host keynote speakers who will lecture on topics of interest for the Society and who will have the opportunity to listen to paper presentations. Panels in Italian, English or French are welcome. Each panel proposal should include two workshop directors who ought to come from different institutions and must reach Dr. Paola Rivetti ( by August 30, 2015. The full call for panels is available at

23-25 March 2016
Middle East Economic Association 15th International Conference: "The Impact of Oil Price Changes on the Economic Growth and Development in the MENA Countries"
Doha, Qatar, Hosted by the Doha Institute for Graduate Studies
Abstract Deadline: October 15, 2015

April 2016

12-14 April 2016
International Symposium on Civilization, Cities and Architecture
Istanbul, Turkey
Call for Papers Deadline: 1 September 2015
Sponsored by the Turkish Historical Society

August 2016

10-14 July 2016
ISA Forum of Sociology
Call for Papers for session on "Muslim Youth, Contemporary Challenges and Future Prospects"

Abstract Deadline: 30 September 2015
Organizers: Ali Akbar Tajmazinani ( and Mohammed Saeed Zokaei (
Submit abstracts to:

September 2016

13-15 September 2016
The Islamic Manuscript Association's Eleventh Islamic Manuscript Conference, "Sufism and Islamic Manuscript Culture"
University of Cambridge, UK
Abstract Deadline: 23 November 2015
Information: 2016conference.aspx

22-23 September 2016 - "Partition and Empire: Ireland, India, Palestine and Beyond (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign). The imperial partitions of the twentieth century reverberate to the present, and inform contemporary insecurities of different regimes across the world. Present-day challenges to the post­colonial nation­state and its boundaries are often rooted in imperial partitions. Whether in Kashmir, Syria or Palestine, the legacies of partition form the everyday experiences of conflict and violence for millions of people. With these considerations in mind, this conference will explore the theme of partition and empire in global, comparative, and connective frames. Though we focus on the partitions of Ireland, India, and Palestine, we welcome papers addressing imperial partitions in other regions of the world. Topics include but are not limited to violence; sovereignty; sexuality and the body; displacement and dispossession; memory and cultural production; territoriality and borders; identity and state formation; pedagogies and/or epistemologies of partition. We invite a title and abstract of 250 words due Sept 25, 2015, emailed to Conference attendees will pre-circulate papers (of about 8,000 words including footnotes), due August 19, 2016. Travel and accommodation will be provided for all conference attendees.

24-25 September 2016
Investigating Arabic Second Language Learning: Empirical Findings and Trends
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
Abstract Deadline: February 28, 2016
Submit abstracts to:
Inquiries: Mohammad Alhawary


 Start of Page