Call for Papers for the 32nd Annual Middle East History and Theory Conference (Univ. of Chicago May 5-6, 2017) “Center and Periphery” – DEADLINE: Friday 10 February 2017

CALL FOR PAPERS for the 32nd Annual Middle East History and Theory Conference
THE UNIVERSITY OF CHICAGO
May 5–6, 2017

We invite proposals from graduate students, faculty, and independent scholars about the Middle East and Islamic World from the coming of Islam until the present day. This year’s conference has the broad theme of “Center and Periphery” which raises a number of possible issues:

  • How are center and periphery defined? By whom and for whom?
  • How is the hierarchy of center and periphery maintained through economic, political and social power? In what ways do shifting fortunes upset that hierarchy for individuals, communities, and nations?
  • How do center and periphery figure in to cultural expression like art, literature, and music? Geographical and conceptual space? Racial, gender, and social identity?

We encourage papers on these and related questions from many fields, including but not limited to history, anthropology, political science, literature, philosophy, art history, and media studies. The theme corresponds to our keynote address, which will be given by Professor Benjamin Fortna at the University of Arizona with the title, “Inside Out: The Life of an Ottoman Officer at Empire’s End.”

Approximately 50 papers will be selected and grouped into panels of three or four. Special preference will be given to pre-arranged panels, although individual submissions are welcome. Participants should be prepared to deliver a maximum twenty-minute presentation and respond to questions from an assigned discussant. Written papers should be circulated to panel members at least two weeks before the conference. If you are unsure about the suitability of your topic, feel free to email us (see address below).

Please send submissions to mehatconference@gmail.com no later than Friday 10 February 2017. Include each presenter’s name, institution, and position (graduate student, professor, etc.), and attach a 250-word abstract with a tentative title. The best abstracts will summarize the paper’s topic, its relationship and contribution to existing scholarship, and specific conclusions. For pre-arranged panels, please send a single email with an overall panel description plus individual paper abstracts. Proposals will be evaluated anonymously by the coordinators, so please do not include names or any identifying information in the abstract. Selection results will be announced in March 2017.

Sponsored panels. As in previous years, three of our sponsors will offer limited funding for panels in the following fields: (1) Modern Arabic Literature; (2) Central Eurasian Studies; and (3) South Asian Studies. Participants chosen for one of these panels may be eligible for a modest travel subsidy. Those interested should submit abstracts according to the process outlined above, with a note indicating their interest in a sponsored panel. Applicants not placed on a special panel will still receive full consideration.

Please circulate widely. Updates will be shared on the MEHAT website and Facebook page. For questions, please write to mehatconference@gmail.com.

Conference Coordinators:

Sami Sweis
PhD Candidate, NELC
University of Chicago

Kevin Blankinship
PhD Candidate, NELC
University of Chicago


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