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Tuesday, April 28, 2015


The Unfinished Project of the Arab Spring: 
Why “Middle East Exceptionalism” is Still Wrong

University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada
September 25-27, 2015


For more information visit the Keynote and Distinguished Speaker page 

Four years after the recent revolutions/social movements (2011-12) in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), the region is caught between a number of rocks and many hard places. The rise of ISIS in Iraq and Syria, the return of a military regime in Egypt, the breakout of proxy/civil war in Syria and Yemen, and the chaos and collapse of the Libyan polity have largely replaced hope with despair, and excitement with resentment. Is the Middle East exceptionally immune to democratic movements, values and institutions? 

This interdisciplinary international conference is an attempt to examine why and how the MENA region is not immune to democratic social movements. We propose that these revolutions were indicative of deep-rooted socio-cultural and structural transformations in contemporary MENA; they symbolized a popular quest for human dignity, social justice and freedom. The genie is out of the bottle and more progressive changes have yet to come. The contemporary social movements in MENA are open-ended and unfinished projects.

The conference and the subsequent publications aim to study these movements and their aftermath with an eye to the socio-political opportunities and potentials for progressive change they left behind. We will examine the local, regional and global impediments to grassroots democracy in the region. We will problematizes the impact of global and regional politics, political economy, post-colonial condition, and socio-cultural factors – gender, ethnicity, class, and religion – on the rise and the current crisis of contemporary social movements in the region. The conference is an attempt for theorizing/problematizing these uprisings and imagining an alternative perspective for the future of popular and progressive social movements in MENA.

Paper proposals may address, but are not limited to, the following themes:
1.   “The Quiet Encroachment” of the counterrevolutionary forces: Why are the ancient forces coming back?
2.    Social Movements in MENA: Is the “Return of the Repressed” Possible?
3.   What the liberal and the Left-wing forces could have done to prevent the crisis in the MENA social movement
4.   Problematizing the faults and failure of Islamist forces in MENA social movements
5.  The myth and reality of Army as a “midwife” of MENA social movements
6.   Is the “Post-Islamist turn” over?  
7.   Are contemporary social movements in MENA open-ended/unfinished projects?
8.   “Muslim/Middle East Exceptionalism”, Islamophobia and the West: Past and present
9.   Impact of global/regional politics on the rise and crisis of the MENA social movements
10. Political economy of the MENA social movements (The Arab Spring, Iran’s Green Movement, Turkey's Gezi Park Movement)
11. Political economy of Islamism
12. Gendering the MENA Social Movements: The question of women, LGTB, etc. 
13. The MENA social movements and minorities (religious, ethnic, etc.)
14. Postcolonial critique of the implementation of R2P in Libya
15. Postcolonial critique of the rise of ISIS in Iraq and Syria

Abstract Submission
Please send abstracts (200-300 words) along with a short biography (100 words) to: <upasconference@ualberta.ca>. Please include the title of your paper, your name and affiliation. Submissions are due by June 01, 2015. Selected proposals will be notified by June 15, 2015.  

Edited Volume
A selection of papers presented at the conference will be published in a peer-reviewed edited volume by a prestigious press. We do welcome original research and contributions on the themes of the conference from various academic disciplines.
A final draft of selected papers is to be submitted within two months after the conference – December 01, 2015.
Should you have any questions or require more information, please contact us at: <upasconference@ualberta.ca>. Or visit the conference website: <https://upasconference.wordpress.com>.


Tuesday, March 31, 2015

2015 AIMS Graduate Student Writing Workshop

2015 AIMS Graduate Student Writing Workshop
October 10-11, 2015
Center for Middle Eastern Studies at
University of California, Berkeley

The American Institute for Maghrib Studies (AIMS) invites doctoral and masters candidates to its 16th Dissertation Workshop scheduled for October 10-11, 2015 at the Center for Middle Eastern Studies, University of California, Berkeley.
The workshop provides the opportunity for current doctoral or master candidates to present, discuss, and receive valuable feedback on work related to North Africa. Accepted applicants will submit a piece of writing from their dissertations or theses at any stage (prospectus, dissertation chapter, or article draft).  Participants will read and prepare discussion of one or more other submissions in addition to presenting their own.  Scholars who have worked on North Africa in a variety of disciplines will offer feedback, as well as perspectives on publishing, job market conditions, and other topics germane to professional academic development.  The workshop further affords the opportunity to meet and develop relationships with colleagues in the field.
All disciplines are welcome.  In the past they have included: history, political science, sociology, anthropology, archaeology, comparative literature, psychology, public health and more.  There will be some funding for travel expenses and per diem allowances.  Space and funding are limited.
  • This workshop is open only to AIMS members. To become a student member (only $50) or renew your membership, please visit the AIMS website at www.AIMSNorthAfrica.org or contact the AIMS Executive Office aaims@aimsnorthafrica.org.

  • Applicants must send a current C.V. and short (300-word) topic proposal to the AIMS Graduate Student Association President David Stenner atdstenner@ucdavis.edu 

  • Selected participants will be notified by email and asked to submit a chapter/prospectus/ article for review.

  • The deadline for submissions is August 1, 2015.
Please share this announcement with interested colleagues and friends!
This event is sponsored by the American Institute for Maghrib Studies and the Center for Middle Eastern Studies at the University of California, Berkeley.

Monday, March 30, 2015

Europe in the Middle East – the Middle East in Europe (EUME) 2015 Call for Applications


 ACADEMIC YEAR 2015/2016
(Location: Berlin / Closing Date 24 April 2015)

The Berlin-based Forum Transregionale Studien invites scholars to apply for five postdoctoral fellowships for the research program europe in the middle east – the middle east in europe (EUME). 

EUME seeks to rethink key concepts and premises that link and divide Europe and the Middle East. The program draws on the international expertise of scholars in and outside of Germany and is embedded in university and extra-university research institutions in Berlin. It supports historical-critical philology, rigorous engagement with the literatures of the Middle East and their histories, the social history of cities and the study of Middle Eastern political and philosophical thought as central fields of research not only for area or cultural studies, but also for European intellectual history and other academic disciplines. The program explores modernity as a historical space and conceptual frame.

EUME is interested in developing new fields of research that bridge the gap between political science approaches and cultural studies in cooperation with Cilja Harders, Center for Middle Eastern and North African Politics, Freie Universit├Ąt Berlin, and Rachid Ouaissa, Political Science Departement, Center for Near and Middle Eastern Studies, Philipps-Universit├Ąt Marburg.


The fellowships are intended primarily for scholars of art history, history, literature, philology, political philosophy, political science, religion and sociology who want to carry out their research projects in connection with the Berlin program. Applicants should be at the postdoctoral level and should have obtained their doctorate within the last seven years. Fellows gain the opportunity to pursue research projects of their own choice within the framework of one of the above-mentioned research fields and in relation to the overall program 'Europe in the Middle East - the Middle East in Europe'. Successful applicants will be fellows of EUME at the Forum Transregionale Studien, and associate members of one of the university or non-university research institutes listed below.

As a rule, the fellowships start on 1 October 2015 and will end on 31 July 2016. Postdoctoral fellows will receive a monthly stipend of 2.500 € plus supplement depending on their personal situation. Organisational support regarding visa, insurances, housing, etc. will be provided. Fellows are obliged to work in Berlin and to help shape the seminars and working discussions related to their research field. Scholars are also invited to apply with their own funding. The working language of EUME is English.

An application should be made in explicit relation to one of the research fields and consist of
-  a curriculum vitae,
- a project description (no longer than 5 pages, and including a title), stating what the scholar will work on in Berlin if granted a fellowship,
-  a sample of scholarly work (maximum 20 pages from an article, conference paper, or dissertation chapter) ,
-  the names of two university faculty members who can serve as referees (no letters of recommendation required).

The application should be submitted by e-mail as three separate word documents or PDF files in English and should be received by 24 April 2015, sent in to:

Europe in the Middle East - the Middle East in Europe (EUME)
c/o Forum Transregionale Studien
Attn: Georges Khalil
Wallotstrasse 14, 14193 Berlin
Fax +49 30 - 89 001 440

For further information on EUME and for detailed information on the research fields, please visit: http://www.eume-berlin.de .

Monday, March 9, 2015

Islamic Scholarship Fund: 2015 Application OPEN

The Islamic Scholarship Fund is currently accepting applications for 2015. We offer scholarship awards ranging from $2000-$5000.

The deadline to apply is: April 14, 2015.

Minimum requirements to apply for a scholarship: 
Muslim or active member of the Muslim community; 
Enrollment at an accredited university in the U.S. by August 2015; 
Majoring in an ISF supported major; (as posted on the website)
Maintaining a minimum 3.0 Grade Point Average; 
A Citizen or Permanent Resident of the U.S.; 
An undergraduate (sophomore/junior/senior) or of graduate standing (including PhD). 

Please use the link below to apply or to request further information.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

APSA Call for 2015 MENA Workshop Fellows

American Political Science Association
“The Resource Curse in MENA”
May 17-21 in Qatar; follow -up workshop in December in Kuwait 

APSA is seeking applications from PhD students and early-career scholars who would like to participate in the 2015 MENA Workshops program on "The Resource Curse in the Middle East and North Africa." This two-part workshop program is a unique opportunity to network with colleagues from across the MENA region and develop discreet research findings related to the impact of rent wealth on democracy, state-building, political stability, and state-society relations.

The first one-week workshop will be hosted by Qatar University’s Social and Economic Survey Research Institute (SESRI) from May 17-21. A follow-up workshop in early December will be held at the Alsalam Center for Development and Strategic Studies in Kuwait. The organizers, with support from the Carnegie Corporation of New York, will cover all the costs of participation for up to 26 qualified applicants. The working language of the workshop is English.

The workshop will be led by Professors Justin Gengler (Social and Economic Survey Research Institute, Qatar University), Michael Herb (Georgia State University, USA), Ghanim Alnajjar (Alsalam Center for Development and Strategic Studies and Kuwait University), AlanoudAl Sharekh (Women's Research and Studies Center, Kuwait University), and Mark Tessler (University of Michigan, USA). 

Additional information and application instructions are available online at http://community.apsanet.org/mena/2015-call-for-application
The application deadline is March 14, 2015.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Call for Papers 2015 – The Journal of Rotterdam Islamic and Social Sciences

The Islamic University of Rotterdam (IUR) has a heavy and important task in the West; first of all Islam will be taught by Muslim and non-Muslim scholars. This institution should also fulfill a responsible task as a bridge between Islamic World and Western countries, especially by influencing the public opinion and dealing with the public debates. Also the problems of integration of Muslims into the western societies without losing their own norms and values take our high priority.

For the research aspect, IUR annually publishes an academic journal, the Journal of Rotterdam Islamic and Social Sciences, which may contribute to solve social problems, firstly in the Netherlands and secondly in the whole world. The Journal focuses on themes such as philosophy, epistemology, study of religion and comparative studies, takes a critical-analytical approach to the most important contemporary theoretical issues and questions, and aims to create a place for conversation among the elite, scholars, and experts of the above fields about Islamic and social subjects.

The Journal of Rotterdam Islamic and Social Sciences is proud to accept papers for its upcoming edition: Volume 6, Number 1, 2015.  Areas of subject: Theology, Religion, Islam, Social Sciences, Islamic Economics, Psychology, Social and Cultural Studies, Ethnography

Please send your academic paper by e-mail to info@jriss.nl and info@iur.nl

Deadline of submission: SEPTEMBER 30, 2015.

You may submit your paper until this deadline; all papers shall be gathered and evaluated by the Board after the submission closes on S
EPTEMBER 30, 2015.

The list of selected papers shall be published on the website www.jriss.nl<http://www.jriss.nl> at the end of October 2015.