CFP: CEMS International Graduate Conference (Budapest, 1-3 Jun 17)

mediterraneanBudapest, Central European University, June 1 – 03, 2017
Deadline: Jan 31, 2017

The Center for Eastern Mediterranean Studies (CEMS) at Central European
University and its junior members are proud to announce the forthcoming
Fifth International Graduate Conference on Building, Bending, and
Breaking Boundaries in the Eastern Mediterranean World.

 

This three-day conference invites graduate students of Late Antique, Islamic, Jewish,
Byzantine, Medieval, Ottoman studies, and related disciplines, to present their research on the manifold and complex processes of constructing, negotiating, transgressing, and subverting social, political, cultural, or confessional boundaries in the eastern Mediterranean from Antiquity to the Early Modern period.

Conference Description

What is a border? What are the sites and strategies of
boundary-construction and who are its agents? Boundaries shape and
forge categories by enforcement and reinforcement of power ingrained
within a built environment, conceptual or physical. Thus, they do not
necessarily indicate territorial margins, but can also embrace
theoretical, temporal, and metaphorical borders. They can be natural or
artificial, sharp or blurry; they can be understood in positive and/or
negative terms as means of protection or as instruments of exclusion;
and they can mark conceptual territories, such as “the human,” “the
holy,” “the family,” or “the natural world.” Triggered by new waves of
immigration, the meaningfulness of state borders and the necessity of
their control have been subject to debate, alongside questions
concerning the boundaries surrounding identities, cultures or
religions. Moving beyond the border of nation-states and the “clash of
civilizations” paradigm, the main objective of this conference is to
explore the historically contingent, fluid, and dynamic nature of
borders by shedding light on the intricate mechanisms through which
boundaries were erected, maintained, crossed, and transgressed
throughout the eastern Mediterranean world.

Possible paper topics might include, but are not limited to:

Border ontologies and epistemologies
Negotiating, contesting, and appropriating spaces – sites of cultural,
religious, social, political, economic, artistic encounters,
transformations, and exchange
The dynamics of borders and identities – the role of different sensory
mechanisms in (re)articulating communal boundaries and identities,
multiple identities and cultural mobility
Practices of representation – multisensory engagement with various
aspects of daily life, the anthropology of smells and sounds, sumptuary
restrictions on food
Bordering the body – the politicization of bodily images and the
genderization of conflicts
Geopolitics, power practices, sovereignty
Politics of translation as means of enforcement, representation, and/or
appropriation
Please submit by January 31, 2017 a short paper proposal (no more than
250 words, together with a brief biography and contact information) to
the following address: cemsconference@ceu.edu

Keynote Speakers

Verena Krebs (Hebrew University of Jerusalem)

David Thomas (University of Birmingham)

Greg Woolf (Institute of Classical Studies, London)

Accommodation and Travel Grants

All participants will be offered accommodation for the full duration of
the conference (3 nights) at the CEU Residence Center. In order to
encourage the participation of individuals with limited institutional
support a small number of partial travel grants will be available to
cover travel expenses. Those who wish to be considered for the grant
should include an additional justification alongside their paper
proposals. Please note that there is no conference fee. For further
information, do not hesitate to contact the organizers at
cemsconference@ceu.edu .

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