Calls for Participation

If you are planning to organize a panel or roundtable for MESA’s 56th annual meeting to be held in Denver, Colorado from December 1-4, 2022 at the Sheraton Denver Downtown Hotel, please fill out the form below to post a call for papers for your session.

You can post calls as far in advance of the meeting as you care to. The system opens on Monday, January 10, 2022 and closes at midnight (Eastern Standard Time) on Thursday, February 17, 2022. Questions about the submission process are always welcome. Please email Kat Teghizadeh at

Please note that the form at the bottom of the page is NOT where you submit individual paper proposals, panels, and/or roundtables. Instead, please find the directions for doing that here

Calls for Participation 2022


  1. Name of Organizer: Levi Thompson (
    Proposed Session Title: Does Middle Eastern Modernism Exist?
    Brief Session Description: 1922 was a landmark year for the development of literary modernism in the West. One hundred years ago, the literary world saw the first publication of T.S. Eliot’s The Waste Land, the completion of James Joyce’s Ulysses, and the English translation of Marcel Proust’s In Search of Lost Time, as Kevin Jackson’s Constellation of Genius: 1922: Modernism Year One reminds us. While we celebrate the centennial anniversary of these famous works, this panel seeks participants interested in answering the question: does Middle Eastern modernism exist? That is, can we identify distinct features that set Middle Eastern modernism apart from critical narratives of Western influence and local response? If so, what are these features, and how can we rethink our critical frameworks to better understand them? Alternatively, might Middle Eastern modernism simply be an iteration of Western modernist styles and preoccupations, or is it an instance of a global phenomenon that manifests differently in diverse geographic and linguistic contexts? For instance, consider that 1922 also saw the publication of the Persian modernist poet Nima Yushij’s long poem Afsanah (Legend or Myth). In the introduction to the poem, Nima challenges a “young poet” (sha‘ir-i javan) to reconsider the definition of what a poem in Persian could be before presenting an extended dramatic dialogue in a new type of poetic experiment unseen in Persian to that point. While Nima was familiar with the work of Charles Baudelaire and his role in elaborating the concept of modernism in French, Afsanah and the “modernist” poems that followed remained indebted to the Persian literary tradition, founded in the Arabic prosodic sciences (al-‘arud), and imbued with Middle Eastern mythic and mystical content. Scholars of all levels are invited to submit papers that offer preliminary answers to the question posed in the panel’s title. Despite the examples given above, submissions need not be limited to researchers working with literature. Academics specializing in Islamic studies, art and art history, cinema and the dramatic arts, architecture, and urban planning are also invited to submit papers engaging with the panel’s theme. The panel aims to encourage conversations across national and linguistic contexts, including but not limited to Arabic, Persian, Turkish, Armenian, and others, as well as even less-commonly-taught languages like Kurdish, Azeri, and more. If you are interested in participating, please send an abstract of 150-200 words and a 50-word biography to by Feb. 1st, 2022
    Deadline: February 1, 2022
  2. Name of Organizer: Stephen Cory (
    Proposed Session Title: Political, Social and Religious Change in the Pre-Modern Islamic Maghrib
    Brief Session Description: European visitors to the Maghrib in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries frequently commented on the “timeless” feel of Maghribi society, as if nothing had changed there in hundreds of years. This was actually a false impression, arising from a combination of Western cultural arrogance and the fact that change in the Maghrib looked different than it did in European societies. The papers in this panel will examine change in Maghribi societies during the pre-modern (before nineteenth century) Islamic period. If you are interested in participating, please send an abstract of 150-200 words and a 50-word biography by February 4 to
    Deadline: February 4, 2022
  3. Name of Organizer: Kristin Tassin (
    Proposed Session Title: Teaching Middle Eastern Studies in K-12 Education
    Brief Session Description: Area studies are underrepresented in K-12 teaching. In particular, Middle Eastern Studies course offerings are few and far between in primary and secondary educational settings. What can be done to inject area specialists into this crucially underserved area? Are area specialists interested in teaching at these grade levels? Is there sufficient educational outreach to aid educators interested in expanding their knowledge of the area and incorporating it into their curricula? How can area specialists aid in bringing specialized Middle Eastern Studies content into the K-12 classroom? The papers in this panel will focus on the state of the field in K-12 education and ways in which Middle Eastern Studies content can be taught earlier and better in primary and secondary school settings. This panel seeks to include those who work in educational outreach, K-12 education, and those interested in exploring ways in which Middle Eastern Studies can be better incorporated into education before the undergraduate experience. If you are interested in participating, please send an abstract of 150-200 works and a biography of 50 words by February 10, 2022 to
    Deadline: February 10, 2022
  4. Name of Organizer: Ella Williams (
    Proposed Session Title: Rethinking Women's Empowerment in the MENA
    Brief Session Description: Women's empowerment in the MENA region is often based on the Eurocentric notion that empowerment unfolds along a single, universal pathway, with formal education leading to paid employment and financial independence as prerequisites. If women's lives don't follow these narrowly defined pathways, they are frequently considered by the development community to be 'disempowered.' This panel seeks to include papers around the theme of women's empowerment that focus on women's lived experiences in the MENA region, taking a more holistic and qualitative approach to thinking about women's empowerment, disempowerment and empowerment pathways.  It is hoped that papers in this panel will add qualitative, micro-level data about women’s lives in the MENA, that not only broadens, but also complicates our understanding of modern-traditional dichotomies, as well as challenging notions of the ‘Third World’ woman as victim, receiver of aid and lacking agency, instead showing that women in the MENA play an active role in shaping their own lives.  If you are interested in participating, please send an abstract of 150-200 works and a biography of 50 words by February 10, 2022 to
    Deadline: February 10, 2022
  5. Name of Organizer: Banu Ozer-Griffin (
    Proposed Session Title: Envisioning New Directions and Post-Pandemic Practices for Teaching and Learning in the Field of Turkish and Turkic Languages
    Brief Session Description: The Roundtable will focus on best practices for envisioning new directions and post-pandemic practices for teaching and learning in the field of Turkish & Turkic Languages. The COVID-19 pandemic brought continuing effects for the learning and teaching of the Turkish language. These unusual circumstances created a new normal and compelled instructors to enact changes and gave opportunities to redesign and innovate our curriculums. Amidst so many challenges we discovered new teaching methods and tools through which to promote cultural competence, form communication skills, and connect with our students. This year’s Roundtable will be providing a space for sharing how our teaching evolved as a result of teaching during the pandemic. In what ways moving back to in-person from online practices impacting our instruction? How did Turkic language educators apply what was used to innovate their curricula? What various instructional modes are kept and what others are left? What additional opportunities are available to Turkic language learners? We invite participants on the following topics:
    • Instructional materials and tools to design an effective post-pandemic classroom setting
    • Development of program, materials, and resources for instructional activities and methods of assessment.
    • Practical concerns and applicable suggestions on teaching and assessment
    • Effective integration of digital teaching practices into-in-person or hybrid teaching
    • Strategies that boost student motivation and linguistic confidence 
    • Best practices in the field to provide recommendations for implementation.
    Interested colleagues will need to submit a proposal on any topic related to “Envisioning new directions and post-pandemic practices for teaching and learning in the field of Turkish and Turkic Languages” to Banu Ozer Griffin at by January 23rd.
    Deadline: January 23, 2022
  6. Name of Organizer: Joshua Goodman (
    Proposed Session Title: The Arab Peace Initiative at 20: Retrospect and Prospect
    Brief Session Description: This year marks the twentieth anniversary of the promulgation of Saudi Crown Prince Abdullah's Arab Peace Initiative (API) for a comprehensive regional framework to resolve the Arab-Israeli conflict. The successful negotiation of the API among Arab countries was made possible by the particular political context of the time, including the need for Arab unity in the face of the divisions of the Second Intifada, the aftermath of 9/11, the impending US invasion of Iraq created an opening in which the Saudis were able to mobilize support, or at least acquiescence for a regional solution to the Arab-Israeli conflict. Twenty years later, the domestic, regional, and global political picture has changed significantly. The papers of this panel will explore the evolution of the Arab Peace Initiative amidst political, economic, diplomatic and geological shifts in the region over the past twenty years. 
    Central themes the panel hopes to explore include: 
    - The evolution of peace processes and their impacts on the prospects for a comprehensive regional settlement.
    -Ways in which domestic political changes in Israel and the Arab States as a consequence of the Arab Spring have altered the significance, attitudes towards, or political feasibility of an Arab-Israeli peace
    -Ramifications of regional shifts in political, economic, and security landscapes, as well as the ways inter-Arab relations have impacted regional attitudes towards and prospects for the peace process and/ or Arab-Israeli cooperation
    - How developments along alternate tracks for Arab-Israeli cooperation, including economic, technological, cultural, and in the field of resource management have either complemented or undermined prospects for a comprehensive regional settlement.
    Interested participants should submit a brief paper proposal/abstract on any topic broadly related to the evolution of the Arab Peace Initiative to Joshua Goodman ( or Eli Sperling ( by February 4.
    Deadline: February 4, 2022
  7. Name of Organizer: Ahmed Idrissi (
    Proposed Session Title: Arabic Literature in the Interwar Period in the Maghreb
    Brief Session Description: The development of 20th century modern Arabic literature in North Africa went through different stages in which writers used different genres, modes of writing and conceptualizations to address what they deemed the most urgent issues and challenges of their time. During the period between WWI and WW II, one central preoccupation was the reaction of Arab intellectuals of the region to the increasing hegemony of European lifestyles and cultures. Arab intellectuals also differed in their ideological reactions, literacy approaches and cultural allegiances. While some of them called for renegotiating the emergent forms of Arabic literature to ground a sense of nationalist belonging and identity, others advocated for an adaptation of European culture and perspectives. While some of them emphasized the need to revive classical Arabic genres and Muslim tradition, others embraced newly imported genres, languages and epistemologies. In this panel, we are seeking papers that specifically address how this debate played out and how it was staged in the region of the Maghreb in the interwar period. If interested in presenting on any aspect of Arabic literary, cultural or critical production in the Maghreb region during the interwar period, please send an abstract (250 words) and a short bio to by February 13, 2022.
    Deadline: February 13, 2022
  8. Name of Organizer: Iclal Vanwesenbeeck (
    Proposed Session Title: Tradition and Modernity on Stage in the Late Ottoman Empire (1839-1914)
    Brief Session Description: Ottoman audiences developed a taste for a widening range of entertainment offerings in the late Ottoman Empire. New genres imported from Europe such as public operas, oratorios, musicals, and stage theater commingled with more longstanding forms of Ottoman performance and entertainment in the culturally vibrant and cosmopolitan landscape of Istanbul and other major Ottoman cities. We solicit papers that explore the broad topic of theater arts and opera in the late Ottoman Empire, while paying specific attention to the nexus between technology, art, tradition, and modernity. Papers could address a range of questions, including but not limited to: How did new technologies such as the transition to the printing press and the circulation of print librettos affect the production and distribution channels of music and the theater arts? How did the repertoire of local entertainment troupes reflect a hybridization of international performance genres and preexistent forms of arts and entertainment popular with Ottoman audiences? How did cultural, ethnic, religious identity and gender intersect with the performing arts, on and off stage? Are there links between the Westernization of the visual arts and the development of the performing arts during late Ottoman modernity? In what ways did censorship and self-censorship necessitate new artistic and creative expressions? Were there differences in how censorship affected page and stage? Researchers working with new archival findings are especially encouraged to submit a proposal. Please send 300-500 word proposals and a brief bio to and by February 11.
    Deadline: February 11, 2022
  9. Name of Organizer: Dina Mahmoud (
    Proposed Session Title: The Medical, the Human and the Medically Humane in Arab(ic) Literature and Art
    Brief Session Description: Medical Humanities started in the 1960s as a reactionary movement against the highly detached biomedical training that characterized US medical education for decades. The movement urged US medical schools to incorporate humanities subjects in their curricula. It also led to the establishment of the American Society for Bioethics and Humanities (prev. The Society for Health and Human Values) in 1969 for “persons committed to human values in medicine.” However, this particular historiography of the medical humanities overlooks other forms of medicine and medical training, as well as the history and practice of medicine in other parts of the world. This panel problematizes the scope of the medical humanities as an interdisciplinary field by exploring the interactions between Arab(ic) forms and traditions of literature, art, medicine and bioethics. It examines the representation of the history and sociology of medicine and bioethics in Arab(ic) literature and art. The panel also explores how Arab(ic) literature and art has informed, complicated, and/or challenged socio-cultural conceptions and beliefs about illnesses and disease. If you are interested in participating, please send a 200-250-word abstract and a 50-word biography by February 10 to
    Deadline: February 10, 2022
  10. Name of Organizer: Tabby Anvari (
    Proposed Session Title: Iran’s Place in the World: Visions and Ambitions in the Last Century
    Brief Session Description: A nation-state’s visions and ambitions are manifested in its endeavors in the world. In time, those exertions may describe tendencies and trends that reveal the contemporary character of the country as well as its hopes and aspirations for the future. Domestically, such visions and ambitions are reflected in social-cultural or economic policies, and internationally, they inform the nation’s foreign and security policies. During the past century, from the end of the First World War to today, Iran has experienced foreign occupations, rebellions, coups d’état, revolutions, regime changes, and wars, requiring it to struggle to uphold its sovereignty and territorial integrity and preserve its cultural identity. But in pursuit of these and other goals, Iran has been more than a victim or a pawn; it has sought to control and define its own destiny. What, then, is Iran’s place in the world? What have been Iran’s visions and ambitions since the rise of Reza Khan to the current rule of Ali Khamenei? How have these visions and ambitions been defined in response to internal and external challenges, and to what extent do they draw on deeper wellsprings of culture and values? This panel will examine Iran’s implemented policies or doctrines during the past one hundred years as a way to explore how Iran has tried to define its place in the world, and perhaps to open a window to understanding Iran’s visions and ambitions for itself. Using various analytic lenses and approaches, our panelists will focus on “Iran’s place in the world” to understand Iran’s visions and ambitions and perhaps to identify directions they may take in the near future. Please send abstracts to Tabby Anvari at by February 10. 
    Deadline: February 10, 2022
  11. Name of Organizer: Berin Golonu (
    Proposed Session Title: Urban Natures
    Brief Session Description: This interdisciplinary panel explores the histories, politics, and meanings of urban natures across the Middle East. The phrase "urban natures" calls our attention to two distinct but interrelated questions. First, how are "natural" landscapes, species, and practices brought into urban spaces through art, architecture, urban design, and social life? We thus seek papers that explore the politics and practices through which natures are incorporated into the city. At the same time, "urban natures" also direct us toward a second question: What are the unexpected, weedy, and unruly forms of plant and animal life that take root in cities? We are also interested in papers that highlight species and subjects that exceed and escape human control.Focusing on urban natures thus calls us to consider both the projects of containment and categorization that produce "nature" as a particular kind of object and the vibrant possibilities for non-human life amidst those landscapes of control. Building on a rapidly growing academic conversation between art historians, environmental historians, geographers, and others, this panel uses urban natures as a point of departure to consider questions of power, meaning, and possibility. We are especially interested in papers that help us imagine connections between and beyond the typical spatial and temporal frameworks that define our fields (e.g., Turkey, Istanbul, early modern, modern, etc.). Please submit 300-500 word proposals and a brief bio to the panel organizers Timur Hammond, Berin Golonu, and Aleksandar Shopov by February 12.
    Deadline: February 12, 2022
  12. Name of Organizer: Victoria Hightower (
    Proposed Session Title: Roundtable: Emotional Wellbeing in the MES Classroom: Teaching on the Middle East in Times of Distress
    Brief Session Description: The pedagogical landscape continues to shift under our feet. With the pandemic, many of us are learning new skills and programs, struggling along paths unimagined a few months prior. This tumult has been compounded by increasingly acrimonious public debates about (MES) education that are forcing academics to reflect on their roles and freedoms in the classroom and beyond. Finally, as MES scholars and instructors, we continue to grapple with the many traumatic events that beset our subjects of study and the peoples we hold dear. Beyond impacting our own emotional wellbeing, this nexus of troubling circumstances has ramifications for students in our care, many of whom are also struggling with the pandemic and/or how to understand the traumas experienced by their families and compatriots in the region. Consequently, more than ever, it is vital that we reflect on the ways our instruction impacts emotional wellbeing and, in turn, how and what students learn about the Middle East.This roundtable explores these affective dimensions of teaching in MES during times of distress, the ways in which we as MES instructors might mitigate the negative impacts on our students’ and our own emotional wellbeing, and, finally, the connections between emotional wellbeing and learning outcomes in our field. We welcome submissions on topics ranging from all-purpose efforts to create more inclusive, accessible, and compassionate classrooms to MES-specific pedagogical approaches that address or attempt to enhance emotional wellbeing in and through the MES classroom. We hope to recruit a geographically, disciplinarily, and linguistically diverse panel to discuss these issues.
    Deadline: February 9, 2022
  13. Name of Organizer: Keye Tersmette (
    Proposed Session Title: The Pragmatics of Citizenship on the Arabian Peninsula and Beyond
    Brief Session Description: This panel intends to investigate the myriad ways in which nationals and non-nationals on the Arabian Peninsula (and beyond) fashion themselves as citizens. It does so through the double lens of pragmatics, denoting both an emphasis on practical considerations over ideals, and an attention to the implicit, the unsaid, and the contexts of public discourse. By attending to the lived experience of citizenship (past and present) and to the proliferation of "citizenship talk" online and offline, this panel offers a critique of narrow conceptions of citizenship that are limited to participation in state-organised elections as either candidate or elector. We invite papers that tackle the direct and indirect meanings of citizenship on the Arabian Peninsula, and their authors may, but need not, address such questions as: 
    - When and with what aims is the language of citizenship invoked on the Arabian Peninsula, and by whom?
    - How is citizenship defined or experienced, and how do these definitions and experiences differ from their state-formulated counterparts?
    - How has the category of citizen developed historically on the Arabian Peninsula, and what local, regional, and international factors have contributed to its formation? 
    - How can insights into citizenship generated by scholarship on the Arabian Peninsula advance our understanding of citizenship elsewhere? 
    Please send an abstract (~300 words) and a bio to by February 12, and please also reach out if you have any questions. The panel is particularly keen on creating a space for sharing and discussing the work of graduate students and early career scholars, and welcomes submissions from first-time presenters at MESA.
    Deadline: February 12, 2022
  14. Name of Organizer: David Wrisley (
    Proposed Session Title: Data in the Middle East Classroom
    Brief Session Description: We have observed an increase in the number of conversations related to digital humanities, data and the Middle East in recent years. This proposed panel will serve as a venue for discussing some of the challenges of teaching the Middle East (and teaching in the Middle East) in the age of data. We are interested in exploring the following questions:
    -What are the challenges of teaching the region when its languages and archives have not traditionally been well represented in digital knowledge bases? 
    -When we teach the Middle East through the lens of data, are sources of authoritative knowledge reinforced or destabilized? 
    -Do digital approaches to the Middle East blur the lines between pedagogy and scholarship? How can they create opportunities for public participation and shared creation of knowledge? 
    -Who is the citizen scholar in the Middle East? What are the risks of openness that the digital often facilitates? 
    -What is characteristic of data-rich domains such as social media or artificial intelligence with respect to the Middle East and how does that change the way we teach (in) the region?
    -When digital approaches are adopted in teaching, what opportunities for new knowledge construction about the Middle East, from within the Middle East, or in collaboration with the Middle East come into being?
    If you are interested in participating in this panel, please send a ~200 word abstract and a 50 word bio by February 14, 2022 to
    Deadline: February 14, 2022
  15. Name of Organizer: Gwyneth Talley (
    Proposed Session TitleThe Legacy of UNESCO’s Intangible Cultural Heritage in the Middle East and North Africa
    Brief Session DescriptionIn 2003, UNESCO acknowledged, and set out to safeguard, fluid objects such as “practices, representations, expressions, knowledge, skills.” Differing from other forms of cultural heritage which focus on their materiality, intangible cultural heritage concentrates on processes, interactions, and adaptations of traditions. It indicates practices that are not only those inherited from the past and passed on from generation to generation, but also includes contemporary urban and rural cultural practices which play an important role in forging the MENA region’s varied cultural identities. Today, the MENA has over 75 intangible cultural heritages registered with UNESCO. But what does that mean for these countries? As Hafstein (2018) asks, if intangible heritage is the solution what is the problem? What problems do people set out to solve with the concept of intangible heritage and with the convention for its safeguarding and with what effect? The goal of this panel is to invite discussion of the legacy of UNESCO’s intangible cultural heritage (ICH) safeguarding and the effects on these practices. Contributions are invited focusing on UNESCO’s legacy of ICH in countries, questioning the roles of UNESCO in sustainable economic development, the role of ICH on identity formation, policy implications surrounding ICH in countries that have signed the Convention and nations that have not signed the Convention, ICH and education, the role ICH plays in safeguarding and sustaining the environment, ICH and sustainable tourism, listed and specific ICH practices in the MENA region, or items that have been rejected for listing including (but not limited to):
    • Performance arts 
    • Folklore and oral traditions
    • Traditional sports and games 
    • Crafts and cooking
    • Knowledge and practices concerning nature
    • Rituals
    • Cultural diversity
    Abstracts should not exceed 350 words in length and should be submitted to Gwyneth Talley at
    Deadline: February 13, 2022

  16. Name of Organizer: Mia Fuller (
    Proposed Session Title: North African Soldiers in Europe’s Armies
    Brief Session Description: Scholarship on soldiers of North African origin who served Spanish, French, and Italian armies, rich as it is in some areas, has not yet worked comparatively or holistically. Our panel will begin from comparative and transnational history, and extend into questions regarding legacies today, across the Maghrib, of North African men’s service in European colonial wars and the World Wars. We may also wish to discuss the construction of ‘Europe’ through those wars, in light of these troops’ participation.
    Deadline: February 12, 2022

  17. Name of Organizer: Amy Fallas (
    Proposed Session Title: Common Challenges, New Opportunities: Connections between the Middle East and Latin America
    Brief Session Description: While it can be argued that the legacy of the Pink Tide in Latin America has spurred some of the most recent work on the development of South-South initiatives, our contemporary moment has also seen a resurgence of interest in previous moments of Latin-East connection. Scholars across disciplines have begun to recenter the historical ties between Latin America and the Middle East in a myriad ways: through new histories of Islam in the Caribbean, archival investigations into the formation of Palestinian diasporic communities in Central America, and comparative accounts of Cuban-Palestinian poetics, just to be brief. What larger processes and possibilities do these works bring to light? What historical conjunctures have led to a rapprochement between scholars of Latin America and of the Middle East? How has renewed attention to the Latin-East informed our awareness of global inequalities, and of the potential of new political solidarities? This cross-disciplinary roundtable explores the growing field of the Latin-East– or connections between Latin America and the Middle East– by discussing the unique challenges and opportunities of studying these two regions in conjunction. Co-Organized by Amy Fallas and Maru Pabón, we enthusiastically seek to add diverse perspectives to this discussion by incorporating research examining: 
    -Diasporas and migration 
    -Social movements 
    -Cultural exchange
    -Intertextual connections 
    -Political solidarities 
    -Latin-East contact zones
    Deadline: February 12, 2022

  18. Name of Organizer: Leila Zonouzi (
    Proposed Session Title: MENA Migrations: Roots, Trends, Futures
    Brief Session Description: This panel intends to explore migrations within and beyond the MENA region. According to the leading figures of this field, MENA migrations have been traditionally rooted in economic or religio-ideological issues, yet new global developments have created novel trends and push-pull factors. Some questions to consider include: 
    • What have been the root causes of MENA migration? 
    • How have colonial and imperial histories impacted movement within and beyond the region? 
    • How do migration policies implemented by non-democratic states affect diasporans and diaspora formation? 
    • What are some implications of new and existing state-level collaborations on intra-regional migrations? 
    • What does migration look like in late stage capitalism? 
    • How have health and climate crises impacted and continue to affect migration?
    One of the papers on this panel will focus on Iran, Egypt, and Turkey and examine the wave of emigration that began in the 2010s, as an outcome of neoliberalization of the region and brutal crackdowns on the emerging civic engagements and social movements of the period. 
    I highly encourage perspectives from all disciplines, focal points, time periods, and case countries. Please submit 300-500 abstract and a brief bio to
    Deadline: February 12, 2022

  19. Name of Organizer: Odile Moreau (
    Proposed Session Title: Post-First World War Political Projects and Resistance in North Africa
    Brief Session Description: Post-First World War period in North Africa is viewed in the broadest sense, from Morocco to Egypt. This panel will highlight the various forms that resistance took in North Africa after the First World War, whether expressed through arms or in the form of a variety of new political and civil projects and experiments. If you are interested in participating in this panel, please send a ~200 word abstract and a 50 word bio by February 13, 2022 to
    Deadline: February 13, 2022

  20. Name of Organizer: Yossef Ben-Meir (
    Proposed Session Title: Decentralized Renewable Energy and the Water-Energy-Food Nexus in Rural Morocco
    Brief Session Description: UVA visting professor and President of High Atlas Foundation, Dr. Yossef Ben-Meir, will present the results of a pilot project in Morocco's Youssoufia Province demonstrating the benefits of decentralized renewable energy initiatives in developing nations of the MENA region. The presentation will focus on promoting effective partnerships and addressing interdependencies around climate mitigation, systems adaptation, healthy ecosystems, and community well-being, including sustainable water-energy-food (WEF) management. In fact, the project showed that the WEF Nexus can help build mutually-beneficial partnerships, reduce trade-offs between sectors, and allow better coordination and informed decision-making. In addition, the presentation will touch on the lack of societal awareness and political and economic investment that has inhibited vigorous change and also the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on recent decades' development gains and its disruption of socioeconomic systems as these directly affected the renewable energy project.
    Deadline: February 17, 2022

  21. Name of Organizer: Miray Philips (
    Proposed Session Title: The Afterlives of the Arab Spring: Exile and Diaspora Mobilization Post-2011
    Brief Session Description: Promising as they were, most mobilization in relation to countries of the “Arab Spring” is now unfolding transnationally. Recent literature has started to explore how existent diaspora communities and newly formed exile communities have engaged, and continue to engage, with politics in their homeland, if at all. Yazidis have mobilized for genocide recognition, Syrians for transitional justice, and Egyptians have lobbied for democracy, among others. While diaspora mobilization is hardly a new phenomenon (e.g. Palestinian, Kurdish, and Armenian mobilization), discussions in both the academy and policy fields are contending with new sets of challenges and conceptualizations facing these newly politicized communities. This panel seeks to explore the opportunities and challenges facing diaspora and exiled communities post-2011. Some topics to consider include:
    -Forms of political mobilization
    -Transnational repression
    -Transitional justice and genocide recognition
    -Relationship between exiled and diaspora communities
    -Intersectionality across different activists communities 
    -Trauma and exile
    -Historical continuities to diaspora mobilization(s)
    -Host policies and de-politicization of communities
    -Intersection of hostland and homeland politics
    -Claims-making by marginalized groups, including ethnic, indigenous, religious, racial, gender and sexual minorities
    -Theorizing exile(s), diaspora(s), and transnational(s)
    This panel is co-organized by Miray Philips and Amr ElAfifi: To submit a paper, please email us an abstract (400 words) and a short biography (50 words) by February 16th (11:59 pm EST) at:
    Miray Philips:
    Amr ElAfifi:
    Deadline: February 17, 2022

  22. Name of Organizer: Hella Cohen (
    Proposed Session Title: Palestine and the Future
    Brief Session Description: "Posthumanists" such as Dipesh Chakrabarty, Rosi Braidotti, Donna Haraway, and others have changed the landscape for global humanities practitioners, challenging us to ask new questions about our own human-historical, identity-centric fields. In particular, they have challenged us to relinquish our hold on a relatively shallow, linear history that marks the Anthropocene. A focus on futurity and futurism trends in its place. This panel invites scholars to consider futurity and history in Palestinian diaspora literature, and archival and cultural production. Scholars might consider expressions of history and futurity through any of the following assemblages: alternative history, counter-futurism, narratology, Afro- and indigenous futurisms, dystopias/utopias, posthumanism, animality and extinction studies, and science/speculative fiction and poetry. This would be an interdisciplinary panel on Palestinian diaspora and futurity, organized around questions like: How do writers and cultural producers of the Palestinian diaspora read history and the future? How do they imagine historical implication? How do and should we as critics and historians read history and future into Palestinian literature and material artifacts? What are Palestinian literatures' and archives' histories–political, social, cultural, and institutional–and to whom are these histories and materials proper? Does understanding Palestinian diasporic literary and archival history, and also the Palestinian production of history, demand a national frame?
    Deadline: February 17, 2022

  23. Name of Organizer: Nathaniel Greenberg (
    Proposed Session Title: 9/11 @ 20: Narrative Legacies and Digital Frontiers in the War Formerly Known as the Global War on Terror
    Brief Session Description: Two decades on from 9/11 historians face still fundamental questions surrounding the war on terror, not the least of which being the representation of the conflict and the nature of the media through which it flowed. Scholars and the public remain in the dark about the remarkable work of filmmakers, marketing representatives, social media influencers, and digital technology companies in fashioning an eclectic, if largely unregulated stream of strategic communications in the war on terror. Questions remain concerning the use of Arab Middle Eastern listening posts and broadcast hubs as well the robust counter-communications strategy that emerged from state-backed media organs, both within the region and beyond. In examining core debates surrounding US and Arab communications strategy in the first two decades following 9/11, this panel seeks to reexamine broader questions around the design, distribution, and afterlife of soft power strategy in the war on terror. Panelists are invited to discuss the evolution, efficacy, or contradictions of state-sponsored strategic communications campaigns, US-Arab media collaborations, CVE content and distribution, digital interference strategy, information warfare, and militainment. Interested participants are invited to send a short abstract (400 words) along with a short bio (200 words) to organizers Nathaniel Greenberg ( and Waleed Mahdi (
    Deadline: February 15, 2022

  24. Name of Organizer: Zeynep Tezer (
    Proposed Session Title: Beyond the Center and the "Canonical": Socio-Political Discourses and Knowledge Circulation in the Early Modern Ottoman Empire
    Brief Session Description: We are two doctoral candidates at the University of Chicago looking for a third panelist. We are interested in popular and/or critical expressions of attitudes towards the Ottoman regime from the 15th to 18th century, both in text and action. While there is a consensus that the early modern period was a time of flux and crisis for the imperial government and administration which impacted and transformed Ottoman society in general, we still know quite little about how the Ottoman subjects positioned themselves, either in written form or through their (mis-)conducts, in relation to the state, the political regime, the contemporaneous social issues, and further circumstances dictating their lives. In addressing the question of how socio-political discourse was generated and perceived among the Ottoman populace during the early modern period, we are particularly interested in discussions that shift the emphasis away from the imperial court and capital, as well as from the narratives that are the cultural products of its social networks. We welcome papers on (but not restricted to): 
    +Ottoman authors and texts on the margins, or beyond the purview, of the imperial court 
    +Narratives that draw attention to the social history of the Ottoman dynasty rather than the political legitimacy 
    +Reading and correspondence practices among the Ottoman subjects 
    +Avenues of cultural production in the provinces 
    +Forms of social and political counter-conduct and non-conformity 
    +Perspectives on contemporary political and social norms expressed by outcasts or the members of marginalized social groups 
    If interested, please e-mail us at or
    Deadline: February 16, 2022

  25. Name of Organizer: Fabiola Hanna (
    Proposed Session Title: Reckoning with our Role as Immigrants to Stolen Land
    Brief Session Description: This panel will make space to discuss a gap in current scholarship by looking at the relationship of immigrants to the ancestral lands of Indigenous peoples they now live on. An overview of overlapping fields reveals that scholars are actively engaged in the vital work of documenting the historical relationship between foreign settlers and indigenous peoples, as well as the ongoing violence indigenous peoples continue to face in the US. In addition, much has been written about the struggles of immigrants facing various forms of discrimination as they settle in the US. There is also work on shared solidarity between Black and Indigenous historical justice movements and Palestinian resistance movements.
    Additionally, however, if scholars are to take seriously the process of decolonization, the role immigrants play and have played in relation to the land they live on must be part of this conversation. What does it mean for an immigrant to live ethically on this land? What kinds of solidarity movements currently exist or should exist among indigenous and immigrant peoples? How do immigrants understand their roles as they build lives on land that is itself stolen from its traditional caretakers? This panel invites scholars who are researching current or historical conversations among immigrant groups about their relationship to the histories and the lands they build their livelihoods on, as well as media makers who make space for these conversations. Some examples of relevant studies might include:
    Historical or current instances of diasporic groups forming alliances with indigenous groups
    Educational initiatives for immigrants on the violent histories of the US
    Decolonial projects carried out by immigrant coalitions/groups
    Speculative and futurist imaginings of solidarity and coalition among immigrant and Indigeneous groups
    Interested participants are invited to send a short abstract (400 words) with a brief bio to Fabiola Hanna (
    Deadline: February 17, 2022

  26. Name of Organizer: Matthew Walleser (
    Proposed Session TitleWhen Options are Limited: Youth in the Middle East and North Africa in the midst of Displacement, Unemployment and Covid-19
    Brief Session DescriptionYouth in the MENA have been increasingly challenged in the last decade. The Covid-19 pandemic in 2020 aggravated the gloomy reality of deteriorating economic conditions, on-going conflicts and refugee displacement. Both nationals and refugees have been affected by these issues, which have halted normal, everyday life and crippled production, education, and job opportunities. The aspirations of refugee youth to study, travel and find work opportunities at home or abroad have been limited due to several factors, including the increased securitization of borders, nationalization of jobs, and discrimination by host communities. All of these issues have been heightened by the Covid-19 pandemic. Moreover, resettlement programmes in the Global North have reduced admissions, leaving refugees closer to their native countries under conflict. New policies have been issued against the 'other' migrant and refugee and each state has governed its borders differently, prioritising services to nationalized citizens and limiting the options for refugees. The humanitarian aid industry, in turn, has increased its support to address the increased vulnerability amongst refugees in camps and in urban/rural settings. Yet, refugee youth continue to be 'banned' in their limited spaces.  Using a conceptual framework rooted in Georgio Agamben’s “State of Exception,” and Henry Giroux’s critique of neoliberal education, we argue that in these societies youth are fundamentally limited by what we term as “Tiers of Invisibilisation.” These tiers include the neoliberal state, the authoritarian state, and social and cultural hierarchies. These “Tiers of Invisibilisation” affect different youth populations in different ways. This panel will showcase several examples of this pattern and how youth in the region navigate them.
    Deadline: February 16, 2022

  27. Name of Organizer: Sanae Alouazen (
    Proposed Session Title: Peacebuilding in Muslim Societies: Local Initiatives in Conflict Managment
    Brief Session Description: The contemporary field of peace and conflict studies emerged in the late 20th century following the global scale tragedy of the two world wars. Researchers, diplomats, and practitioners championed approaches of liberal peacemaking by implementing the concepts of preventive diplomacy, economic interdependence, and democracy. Many critics have addressed the fallouts of liberal peacemaking: it implements a top-down approach in peacebuilding that centers the state and its institutions, translates the interest and ideologies of the Global North, and lacks in-depth understanding of local values, experiences and expertise that promote peace and solve conflict. Al-Hokama Center for Peace Research highlights and promotes “the local turn” in peace and conflict studies by shifting the focus towards the importance of local culture and local agents in building sustainable, bottom-up peace in conflict-afflicted societies and in understanding the causes of violence and preventing escalation. Through this panel, we invite interested scholars to explore community-based approaches and locally rooted mechanisms for conflict settlement, conflict management, conflict resolution and conflict prevention. We are interested in research that is inter-disciplinary, multi-level (individuals, communities, and states), both theoretical and applied. We encourage scholars to present case-studies that highlight local peace initiatives and theoretical studies that explore the framework of everyday peace, local peace, and bottom-up peacebuilding -- with a special focus on Muslim societies. We welcome scholars of different linguistic, geographical, and disciplinary backgrounds. If you are interested in participating, please submit a 250–500-word abstract and a brief bio to the panel organizer: Sanae Alouazen - as soon as possible. 

  28. Name of Organizer: Kerem Oktem (
    Proposed Session Title: Beyond ‘The Club’: New directions in the study of Turkish Jewish lives
    Brief Session Description: The study of Turkish Jews, their Ottoman pasts, and their life-worlds in the Republic and contemporary Turkey is proliferating at the same time as the major communities in Istanbul and Izmir are fast shrinking due to rising anti-Semitism, economic and political crises and emigration. This roundtable seeks to take stock of this current trend in Turkish Studies, engaging with a series of intersecting phenomena. Some of them are specific to the Ottoman and Turkish context, such as the discourses of the uniqueness of Turkish-Jewish relations and of 500 years of Muslim hospitality, or the instrumentalization by the Turkish state of Jewish institutions in the denial of the Armenian genocide. The increasingly audible voices of young Jews on the website ‘Avlaremoz’ that reach beyond the confines of community life in search of equal citizenship and the impact of the celebrated Netflix series ‘Kulüp’ on public debates and knowledge production on Jews and minorities in Turkey is also noteworthy. A second set of phenomena pertains to experiences shared by Jewish communities in the Middle East and elsewhere and discusses places and practices of memory, the pressures of assimilation into the majority community and relations with Israel and Zionism. Others deal with the themes of migration, diaspora-building and transnationalism. With these processes in mind, we wish to explore two interrelated questions: What does the unprecedented interest in Turkish Jews tell us about social, cultural and political transformations in AKP-dominated Turkey? And, secondly, can we ascertain the emergence of a field of Turkish-Jewish studies that builds on the existing scholarship on Sephardi Jews in the Ottoman Empire and early Republic but that reaches into the domain of the contemporary politics, society and culture of Turkey today?
    Deadline: February 17, 2022

  29. Name of Organizer: Daanish Faruqi (
    Proposed Session Title: The Syrian Revolution and the Global War of Narratives
    Brief Session Description: The Syrian Revolution of 2011 has emerged as perhaps the most prescient laboratory for global campaigns of disinformation. Before the rise of Trumpism and “fake news,” the Syrian Revolution was manipulated by reactionary global forces to embolden counterrevolutionary politics. And in the years following the revolution’s commencement, that disinformation campaign has proven wildly successful; among both contingents of the global left and the global right, the Syrian revolution has been rebranded as the handiwork of foreign forces seeking to delegitimize a sovereign state. Both see Syria as part of a very different geopolitical endgame, with the far left seeing Bashar al-Assad as a force of anti-imperialism, and the far right admiring his militant populism. But both political poles are united in their having succumbed to manipulated narratives over Syria, orchestrated by exceedingly powerful geopolitical forces. This panel will focus on the Syrian Revolution as a site of contesting narratives, through several complementary approaches. It is especially interested in soliciting papers that will focus on the issue from the perspective of Russian and Iranian disinformation campaigns pertaining to Syria. If interested in participating please send a 200-300 word abstract and a 50-word biography to
    Deadline: February 17, 2022

Member Calls for Participation

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