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Joining the Dots: Interdisciplinarity in Middle East Studies
The deadline for submissions to the 2019 BRISMES Conference was 17:00 (GMT) on Thursday 8 November 2018.
Please note that the deadline to submit a paper or panel proposal has now passed. If you have any queries, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
The British Society for Middle Eastern Studies and the University of Leeds’ Arabic, Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies (AIMES) Department in the School of Languages, Cultures and Societies invite proposals for the 2019 Annual BRISMES Conference on the theme ‘Joining the Dots: Interdisciplinarity in Middle East Studies’.
Though ‘interdisciplinarity’ is consistently upheld as an important and necessary aspect of enterprising scholarly research within the field of Middle Eastern Studies, the precise nature of effective interdisciplinary research remains underexplored. The 2019 BRISMES Conference seeks to celebrate interdisciplinarity as vital in understanding the interconnectedness of the social, cultural, political and economic structures and conditions throughout the Middle East and North Africa, and explore how disciplinary silos can be overcome in favour of communication between the humanities, social sciences and language studies on the region. To this end, the conference hopes to provide a forum for an open and wide-ranging debate on good practice in interdisciplinary design and research, its challenges as well as its potential of unlocking the complexities of the region.
Arabic, Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies (AIMES) at the University of Leeds itself embodies this aim towards scholarly cross-pollination and collaboration across disciplines, offering a diverse teaching portfolio in the fields of Arabic language, translation, literature, politics, history, culture and Islamic studies and sustaining a vibrant research culture that fosters cross-disciplinary collaboration not only within the Department but across the School of Languages, Cultures and Societies and beyond.
At the 2018 BRISMES conference, the suppression and denial of academic and creative freedom across the region emerged as an urgent and shared concern across all disciplines. Combined with issues of instituted academic precarity, and the continuing discrepancy of resources between Middle Eastern and Western universities, it is clear that the political and economic pressures on Middle Eastern Studies are considerable and ongoing. In this context, interdisciplinary work has the potential to cultivate empathic connections and professional solidarity, and to generate new methodological and conceptual responses to these challenges.
We encourage proposals that take up the conference theme in innovative and original directions: bringing different disciplines and fields into productive dialogue with one another, exploring the opportunities and limitations which interdisciplinary research presents, and reflecting on the various ways in challenges to Middle Eastern studies (be it social, political, ethical or otherwise) can be illuminated, and indeed countered, by interdisciplinary approaches to scholarship.
Proposals for complete panels (of either four or five speakers) are very much welcomed. In keeping with the theme of interdisciplinarity, we particularly encourage panels which involve participants or collaborations with those working outside of academia. In addition, we warmly invite individual paper proposals on any topic related to Middle Eastern Studies. Our aim is to foster dialogue between scholars studying the Middle East and North Africa from all disciplines, forming dynamic panels in which these individual submissions can speak to one another in energising and fruitful ways.
Please note that paper abstracts must not exceed 250 words, and must be received by 17:00 (GMT) on Thursday 8 November 2018, in order to be considered.
Submissions must be made online via the conference website. Please note that the deadline for the call for papers has now passed.