[URBANTH-L]two CFPs: Border Studies / America / The Middle East

bvergara at sfsu.edu bvergara at sfsu.edu
Mon Mar 28 09:29:27 EST 2005

1. Border Studies Symposium, Cleveland State U.
2. America in the Middle East/The Middle East in America, American University of

1. Border Studies Symposium
Location:	Ohio, United States
Call for Papers Deadline:	2005-04-29

A Symposium Dedicated to the Examination
of the Borders where Cultures Blend and Clash:
A Look at Intercultural Sites of
Migration ¡ñ Creolization ¡ñ Hybridity
October 6 ¨C 9, 2005

Cleveland State University
Department of Modern Languages, with the cooperation of Cultural Crossings, A
Division of the Humanities Consortium of the College of Liberal Arts and Social
Keynote Speaker: Rigoberta Menchu (tentative)

Further inquires:
Dr. Antonio Medina-Rivera or Dr. Diana Orendi
Department of Modern Languages, Cleveland State University
2121 Euclid Avenue, RT 1619
Cleveland, OH 44115
Phone: 216-687-4646, Fax: 216-687-4650
a.medinarivera at csuohio.edu or d.orendi at csuohio.edu

This Symposium brings together the Humanities and the Social Sciences
Papers on any topic related to the issues mentioned above are welcome!
Submit one page Abstracts by April 29, 2005

	Diana Orendi
Modern Languages, RT 1627
Cleveland State University
Email: orendi at aol.com
Visit the website at http://www.csuohio.edu/crossings


2. America in the Middle East/The Middle East in America
Location:	Lebanon
Call for Papers Deadline:	2005-06-01

America in the Middle East/The Middle East in America
An Interdisciplinary Conference

December 18-21, 2005
Beirut, Lebanon

Sponsored by
The Center for American Studies and Research (CASAR)
American University of Beirut

The September 11 attacks and the Iraq War have thrust the people of the Middle
East and Americans into direct and intense contact. The goal of this conference
is to explore these current encounters through contextualization and
questioning. One important context is the long and complex history of encounters
between two places designated “America” and the “Middle East.” Questioning the
status of these two terms, and the entities they purport to describe, must be
our starting point.

Scholars of American studies have called into question the notion that states
are the default containers of cultures. Cultural diversity within the borders of
the United States, and intercultural processes bleeding through those borders in
multiple directions, mean that individual identities are formed from different
proportions of sub-national, national, and transnational attachments. Few in the
Middle East, nonetheless, would want to underestimate the political salience of
national attachments in the United States—attachments that have been
consolidated in part though narratives that appropriate and mythologize
“America.” To the extent that religion has figured in these narratives, the
Middle East has long been a background presence, but recent events have placed
it near the center of both scholarly and public debates about the meaning of

The “Middle East” also requires questioning. Many Americans see the Middle East
as unitary and often have difficulty distinguishing it from the “Arab World” and
the “World of Islam.” Yet scholars cannot agree even on the boundaries of the
region. Middle Eastern countries contain considerable ethnic, religious and even
linguistic diversity. Levels of wealth, education, and secularization also vary
widely. Moreover, the presence of people of Middle Eastern origin in places like
Europe and North America reveals that the Middle East is not a neatly separable

This conference invites papers that explore current American-Middle Eastern
encounters by placing them into a larger context such as that of earlier
encounters, or by questioning categories, terms or narratives. It will provide a
unique opportunity to bring together scholars from North America, the Middle
East and other regions to discuss past, present and future encounters. By
providing considerable time for free interaction, the conference seeks to
engender new insights and perspectives. At the very least, the cosmopolitan
atmosphere of the American University of Beirut, and of Beirut itself, will
allow some very positive encounters among the participants. In the opening
address, Dr. Juan Cole of the University of Michigan will discuss the Americana
Translation Project (http://www.juancole.com/trans.htm). Dr. Melanie McAlister
of George Washington University will present a closing address focusing on U.S.
images of the Middle East after 9/11.

Possible topics include, but are not limited to, the following:

The role of religions in mediating American-Middle Eastern encounters

African Americans and the Middle East

Connections between the domestic and the foreign (e.g., how is the domestic
experience of race and gender connected to the representation of, and
interactions with, foreign peoples?)

Empire and the Middle East, the global role of the U.S. after 9/11

The role of “the Middle East” in the construction of U.S. nationalistic
narratives, the role of “America” in Middle Eastern political discourse

Border crossing between America and the Middle East (elite travelers,
immigrants, missionaries, journalists, American universities in the Middle East,

State relations (foreign policies, the status of sovereignty, public diplomacy,
democracy and civil rights—promotion and erosion, the politics of oil, military
and strategic issues)

The role of popular culture and media

Teaching American Studies in the Middle East: Teaching Middle East Studies in
the United States

Prospects and possibilities for honest interactions, mutual understanding and


In addition to paper presenters, scholars of American studies living in the
Middle East and representatives from American Studies Programs in the Middle
East are specifically invited to participate is a special working session to
discuss what American studies can be in the Middle Eastern context, and to
consider future collaboration, coordination and interaction.

All paper presenters and Middle Eastern scholars will be partially subsidized.
Scholars are urged to propose new work suitable for inclusion in a possible
edited volume.

Please send abstracts of proposed papers (500 words or less), along with a short
CV, via electronic mail to the e-mail address provided below by June 1, 2005.
Authors of accepted papers will be notified by June 30. American studies
scholars from the Middle East, even if they are not proposing to present a
paper, are urged to indicate interest via e-mail. Further information about the
conference is available on the CASAR website (web address provided below).
Registration will begin immediately and continue until September 15 for paper
presenters and Middle East scholars, and December 10 for general attendees.
Registration information is posted on the website.

The Center for American Studies and Research (CASAR) at American University of
Beirut was launched in 2003 with a major gift from Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Bin
Abdulaziz Alsaud. It is an independent academic center that seeks to promote
better understanding between the people of United States and those of the Arab
World through teaching, research and outreach efforts.

	Patrick McGreevy
Center for American Studies and Research (CASAR)
452 College Hall
American University Of Beirut
P.O. Box 11-0236
Riad El Solh,
Beirut 1107 2020 Lebanon
961-1-350000, ext. 4197
pm07 at aub.edu.lb

Email: casar at aub.edu.lb
Visit the website at http://staff.aub.edu.lb/~webcasar/index.html

More information about the URBANTH-L mailing list