Call for Papers: Middle East History and Theory Conference (MEHAT), University of Chicago, January 26, 2024

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From the organizers:

This is just a quick reminder that the deadline for the call for papers for the Middle East History and Theory Conference (MEHAT) at The University of Chicago (Friday, May 4, and Saturday, May 5, 2024) featuring a keynote speaker Prof. Suraiya Faroqhi is fast approaching! Our call for papers closes January 26th.

Call for Papers. We are now accepting proposals for papers and pre-arranged panels from graduate students, postdocs, faculty, and independent scholars. We are eager to hear from historians, linguists, anthropologists, literary scholars, sociologists, musicologists, scholars of religion, and political scientists whose work engages with a broad geography, including but not limited to, the Mediterranean, North and West Africa, and South and Central Asia, from Late Antiquity and the advent of Islam to the present.

We particularly encourage submissions related to this year’s organizing theme: “The Middle East from the Margins: Geographic, Temporal, Linguistic, and Cultural Boundary Crossers.” The range of topics we hope to examine with this theme include, but are not limited to:
·  Microhistories and ethnographies of unexpected or otherwise forgotten historical actors who traversed geographic, linguistic, racial, national, class, and gender boundaries in the pre-modern and modern Middle East.
·  Investigations of the marginal or paratextual elements of texts that illuminate the way written works and the ideas they contained transcended the temporal boundaries of their production.
·  Examinations of minority histories or literatures and their relationship to the majority.
·  Social histories and other quantitative or qualitative social scientific studies of everyday life and social groups of any description.
·  The thought and history of minor ideological currents and political movements.
·  Reflections on the use of historical method and theory in Middle Eastern studies. Particularly, discussions of how micro-scale studies can inform our analysis of macro-level structures and processes operational in the history of the Middle East.
About the Conference. Since its inception more than three decades ago, the annual Middle East History and Theory Conference at the University of Chicago has earned a reputation as one of the premier academic gatherings in the field. Capitalizing on its setting at a university with a strong tradition in Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies, MEHAT has established itself as a major forum for emerging scholars across disciplines to share their research with peers, receive constructive feedback, and establish fruitful academic relationships. Participants come from North America, Europe, and the Middle East, and they have traditionally included researchers at every stage of their careers.

Keynote. The keynote speaker of this year’s conference is Professor Suraiya Faroqhi, a pioneering social and cultural historian of the Ottoman Empire whose publications include Approaching Ottoman History: An Introduction to the Sources and Subjects of the Sultan: Culture and Daily Life in the Ottoman Empire.

Applications. Please send submissions electronically to [email protected]<mailto:[email protected]>, no later than Friday, January 26, 2024. Please include each presenter’s name, and a brief biographical note including institutional affiliation, program of study, or position and attach a 250-word abstract with a tentative title. For pre-arranged panels, please send a single email with an overall panel description plus individual paper abstracts. The best abstracts will summarize the paper’s topic, its relationship and contribution to existing scholarship and specific conclusions. Abstracts will be evaluated anonymously by the coordinators; therefore, please do not include names or any identifying information in the abstract. If you are unsure about the suitability of your topic, feel free to email us at the above address. Submissions will be assessed, and invitations extended by late February 2024.

Selected papers will be grouped into panels of three or four. Participants should be prepared to deliver a maximum twenty-minute presentation and respond to questions from an assigned discussant as well as conference attendees. Written papers must be circulated to the respondent and fellow members of the panel at least two weeks before the conference.

A small amount of travel support (~$250 per person) will be available for a number of presenters without access to institutional funding. Please indicate if you are interested in being considered in your email.

Please circulate widely! For questions and accessibility concerns, please write to [email protected]<mailto:[email protected]>. You can find additional information on our website<https://theoknights.com/mehat/2023/12/13/annual-middle-east-history-and-theory-conference-call-for-papers.html>.