Appel à communications : Colloque “Middle Eastern Bodies in Motion”, Université de Cambridge, Royaume-Uni, 07/06/2014 — LIMITE : 07/03/2014

The body — at rest and in movement, marked by the disciplines of society and scored with the traces of culture, performing or performed upon — is now a well-worn scholarly theme. In particular, scholars of migration have focused upon the transformations wrought by movement. They have examined the ways migration redraws the notions of gender that men and women act out in new settings, and revises ideas of bodily comportment, but also the attempts of states and other governing authorities to keep the bodies of moving people in check, to enumerate, encamp, channel and turn back migrants, refugees and other figures of movement.

The organizers of this one-day workshop, to be held at the University of Cambridge on June 7, 2014 under the joint auspices of the Khayrallah Program for Lebanese-American Studies and the Cambridge Middle East History Group, invite scholars of the Middle East to reflect upon these bodies of work, and upon the ways in which careful consideration of the lived experiences of the men and women who have migrated through, to, and from the region over the past two centuries might enable us to enrich and revise scholarly narratives of movement.

We welcome proposals from scholars in history, literary and cultural studies, anthropology, sociology, geography, politics, geography, critical legal studies and associated disciplines addressing the following questions:

1. How might diasporic bodies differ from the lives of those who stay behind?

2. How might the study of migrants and their changing bodily dispositions help us to understand Middle Eastern discourses, and practices, of gender, sociability, society and culture?

3. How might theoretical and historiographical explorations of the body in transit and in check — of bodies held back and scrutinized at the border or secluded in camps, of thwarted migrants and illicit movers, or of refugees stripped of the trappings of statehood and reduced to bare life — look when examined from the vantage point of the Middle East?

4. And what contribution might scholars of the Middle East make to these broader debates?

Please send abstracts in MS Word or PDF format to the organizers at the following address: Abstracts should be no more than 300 words, and should include a title, correspondence address, and institutional affiliation.

Deadline for receipt of abstracts is 7 March 2014. Accommodation and meals will be provided. Andrew Arsan (University of Cambridge) John Tofik Karam (DePaul University) Akram Fouad Khater (North Carolina State University).

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