Call for Papers

2022 BRISMES Annual Conference

4–6 July 2022 | MECACS, University of St Andrews

The 2022 BRISMES Annual Conference will be hosted by the Institute of the Middle East, Central Asia and Caucasus Studies (MECACS) at the University of St Andrews in Scotland. We look forward to hosting excellent papers and panels across all fields of Middle Eastern Studies, from sociology or politics to languages & literatures, religious studies to anthropology and everything in between. While Exploring and Contesting the (re)production of coloniality in the Middle East: Borders, Transnationalism, and Resistance is a theme for this year's conference, submissions outside of this are enthusiastically welcomed. So regardless of which area of Middle East Studies you work in, we encourage you to submit! 

Individual paper submissions, panel and roundtable submissions are all welcome; we especially encourage submissions from the Global South, from the Middle East region, and from people from under-represented backgrounds. Please submit abstracts of no more than 250 words, or panel submissions of 3-5 papers, or roundtable submissions. The main working language of the conference is English. However, BRISMES is able to include a limited number of panels in non-English languages spoken in the Middle East region. If you would like your panel to be considered for a non-English language slot in the programme, please indicate this in your submission. 

Exploring and Contesting the (re)production of coloniality in the Middle East: Borders, Transnationalism, and Resistance

From the Napoleonic invasions to the European mandate system; from the Crusades to the current occupation of Palestine; from the founding of ARAMCO to the Iraq War, colonialism has had a deep and lasting impact on the political, economic, and social fabric of the Middle East. Even the modern demarcation of a ‘Middle East’ region has been shaped by colonial practice and knowledge production. But just as colonialism in the region has a long history, so too does decolonisation, expressed through social movements, states, institutions, intellectuals, and acts of everyday resistance and reimagination. With the global and historic calls for decolonisation, reparations, and justice increasingly being made and heard within the academy, this conference seeks to amplify and deepen the conversation on (de)coloniality within Middle East studies. We especially invite theoretical and empirical engagements on:

  1. The historical role that colonialism and racism played in both producing and disrupting networks, geographies, imagined communities, trade, lingua-francas, and transnational/ transborder solidarities, identities, and ideologies in the Middle East (and beyond);
  2. The role that borders and transnationalism play in shaping politics and society in the region today, brought into sharp focus via increased migrant and refugee movements; occupation; statelessness; transnational solidarities for justice; and the cross-border spread of authoritarian/ sectarian/ and racial repression;
  3. Continuities of pre-colonial identities, communities, networks, and practices, that have remained resilient both within the region, and between the region and other parts of the world, despite the impact of colonialism and capitalism.
  4. And finally, the conference seeks to build on the theme of the 2021 BRISMES conference: How does knowledge production uphold or contest coloniality in Middle East studies? How has contemporary scholarship evolved and changed to recognise the impact colonialism has had on the way the Middle East was/is studied, taught, and perceived, both within and outside of the Middle East region? To what extent have non-hegemonic narratives, methods, and theories, been afforded greater prominence in Middle East studies? How truly global is the knowledge exchange in Middle East studies, or will a resurgence of nationalism and restrictions on scholarly mobility have a lasting impact on the nature of knowledge production in Middle East studies?


The deadline for paper, panel and roundtable submissions is now closed. 

We expect to return a decision on acceptance by Monday, 31 January 2022.

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