[R6478] Reimagining Middle Eastern Studies: Notes from the Margins

Created by Sargon Donabed
Tuesday, 11/30/21 11:30 am


The conversation proposed wishes to further a dialogue between scholars, who have for most of their careers, worked on individuals, communities, ideas, or methods and works that have been largely ignored or dismissed by the academic community due to politics, circumstance, or simple lack of exposure. The "Global South" within the Middle East and Middle Eastern Studies. But how can they influence changes in the field to become more inclusive, and why are they an important litmus test? In the words of Henry David Thoreau, "Cast your whole vote, not a strip of paper merely, but your whole influence. A minority is powerless while it conforms to the majority; it is not even a minority then; but it is irresistible when it clogs by its whole weight." First the monolithic rubrics must be challenged and deconstructed. Thus, this thematic conversation will debate new ontological pathways, proposed theories, and specific narratives and nomenclature that could be used or shifted to create a more vividly illustrate the region and its heritage by being markedly more inclusive. As this is a three year project - Year 1 will focus on the above issues between scholars involved in such studies or of said backgrounds and focus on the birth and importance of indigeneity in/for Middle East Studies. Year 2 will broaden its scope to include conversations between scholars focusing on marginal issues and those who conform to a more mainstream mindset. Year 3 will then work towards creating new space for groups of scholars from different marginalized sub-fields, communities, or ethnocultural backgrounds (including but not limited to Yezidis, Alevis, Assyrians, Armenians, Greeks, Mandaeans, Sufis, Palestinians, etc.) to work together on creating new methods and theories to help, in the words of Thoreau, "clog by its whole weight." The conversation has begun in various circles including joint Assyrian-Greek-American Indian relationships, new book series like the Alternative Histories series of EUP.


Assyrian Studies Association (ASA)


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Sargon Donabed

(Roger Williams University/Assyrian Studies Association)
Sargon Donabed is an associate professor of history at Roger Williams University. He holds a PhD in Near and Middle Eastern Civilizations from the University of Toronto and a MSci from Canisius College in Anthrozoology/Animal Studies. Donabed is...
Panel Participating Role(s): Organizer; Presenter;

Thomas Carlson

(Oklahoma State University)
Panel Participating Role(s): Presenter;

Candace Lukasik

(Washington University in St. Louis)
Candace Lukasik is a Postdoctoral Fellow at the John C. Danforth Center on Religion and Politics at Washington University in St. Louis, and earned her PhD in Sociocultural Anthropology from the University of California, Berkeley. Her research sits at...
Panel Participating Role(s): Presenter;

Thomas Simsarian Dolan

(George Washington University)
Panel Participating Role(s): Presenter;