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Call for Papers: School of Mamluk Studies, Tokyo Conference

October 31, 2018

We are pleased to announce the Sixth Conference of the School of Mamluk Studies which will be held at Waseda University in Tokyo from June 15 to 17, 2019.

The conference will be conducted in two parts, and will be preceded by a three-day intensive course on Mamluk archival material from June 12 to 14, 2019, to be conducted in Arabic (see below).

The first day of the conference, June 15, will be under the theme “The Sacred in Mamluk Society”. Under this overall rubric, the sacred may be interpreted in a variety of ways, from spaces that were believed to be sacred to those which had any relationship with the sacred, as well as the rituals and/or practices that enabled and maintained the sacred. More concretely, this theme may include anything related to Sufism, the cult of the saints, Sharifism, the history of Mecca, Medina, and Jerusalem, the Hajj, the sacred among Christians and/or Jews, and Mawlids and other social events and practices, amongst other topics. In addition, by including “society”within this theme and by reconsidering the relationships between any of these elements and Mamluk society itself, as well as their roles within that society, we hope to widen the range of Mamluk studies, going beyond the boundaries between academic fields such as historical studies, religious studies, and anthropology. We look forward to papers that will expand the scope of this theme and enrich its content.

A maximum of 12 to 15 paper proposals will be selected. Should a greater number of proposals be received, the authors of those which are not selected for the conference may be offered the possibility to publish their contribution in the proceedings. Time allotted to each paper will be twenty minutes, plus ten minutes for discussion.

The following two days of the conference (June 16 and 17) will be structured in panels, which may focus on any aspect of the intellectual, political, social, economic, and artistic life of the Mamluk period. The panels will be organized into presentations of three to four papers of twenty minutes each. Panel proposals must be made by a representative, who will be responsible for its organization. Please note that in case of cancellation of two papers out of the three (or three out of the four) composing the panel, the panel will have to be withdrawn from the program. Time allotted to each paper will be twenty minutes. Discussion will take place at the end of each panel.

Language: The official language of the conference will be English.

Fees: The conference registration fees will be 7000JPY (approximately US$63) for participants and attendees. A farewell dinner will take place on the last day (June 17) at a cost to be determined. Payment of the fees (registration and farewell dinner) must be received by April 30, 2019 (information on the method of payment to be used will be provided in the first circular, which will be sent in January 2019). Participants must make their own travel arrangements; information and suggestions for accommodations will be provided in the first circular.

Proposals: Paper proposals for the themed day must be submitted electronically through the School of Mamluk Studies webpage (http://mamluk.uchicago.edu/school-of-mamluk-studies.html) by October 31, 2018. (The website will be open to accept proposals after October 1). Panel proposals must be submitted in the same manner by November 30, 2018. The paper proposals should provide the name and a one-page CV of the speaker, a provisional title, and an abstract of a maximum of 1500 characters (about 300 words) per paper. Panel proposals must be submitted as such, including the relevant information for each component paper as well as the name of the panel’s chair (the chair can be one of the panelists).

Acceptance: Paper and panel proposals will be peer-reviewed. A first circular will be sent by January 2019 to those whose proposals have been accepted, and to those who have expressed interest in attending the conference as listeners.


a) Themed day: the papers will be published in a volume of proceedings.

b) Panels: selected papers will be published in Mamlūk Studies Review.

Intensive courseMamluk Archival Material

A three-day intensive course on Mamluk archival material, intended for advanced graduate students and other qualified participants, will be offered by Professor Emad Badr al-Din Abu Ghazi (Cairo University). This will be held at Waseda University on June 12-14, 2019, immediately before the sixth conference of the School of Mamluk Studies. The course will enable students to develop reading skills in Arabic archival material related to the study of the Mamluk period and provide related contextual knowledge. It will deal with various types of archival material, including waqf-related documents, the Ragusa/Dubrovnik documents, Ottoman land registers (which include Mamluk land records), and diplomatic documents, among others. Please note that the course will be taught in Arabic.

Since the number of the participants will be limited (a maximum of 12), those who desire to take part in the course are requested to submit a CV, a statement of purpose, and a letter of recommendation by someone familiar with your work to the following email address: sms2019tokyo@gmail.com by the end of January, 2019. Those who are selected for the course will be notified by the end of February, 2019, at which time information about the method of payment for the course fees will be provided.

The course fee is 35000JPY (approximately US$315), which also includes the registration fee for the subsequent conference (June 15-17) and the fee for the farewell dinner (June 17). The fees must be paid by April 30, 2019. Registration and participation will not be confirmed until payment is received. Participants must make their own travel arrangements. The local organizer will provide suggestions for lodging at an affordable price.