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CFP: Dialogue and Difference in the Middle Ages (University of Bristol, February 25-6, 2016)

sageandfool-283pxDialogue and Difference is an interdisciplinary conference bringing together scholars from all fields to explore the ways in which cultural, social, political, religious, scientific and intellectual exchange and interaction unfolded throughout the Middle Ages. Dialogues took place both across borderlines and within the heart of medieval societies, in monasteries, universities, courts and market places as well as on battlefields and high-roads. How did these dialogues shape the societies of the Middle Ages, and how did new ideas, people and cultures interact with old? Did difference lead to conflict, or to coexistence?

This conference aims to explore these issues across societies from medieval Europe, Byzantium, the Near East and beyond, and spanning from Late Antiquity to the 16th century.

Possible topics include, but are not limited to:

  • societies built on cultural, political and religious borders
  • inter-religious dialogue and polemic
  • the emergence of the university
  • conquest and colonisation
  • heresy and reform
  • inter and intra-textual dialogues
  • gender and the body
  • technological or scientific developments
  • conversion and assimilation
  • material histories and the dialogue of artefacts

Postgraduate and early-career researchers are invited to submit abstracts of 200-300 words for 20 minute papers

We are also accepting abstracts of 100 words for 10 minute flash papers, or 100 words for poster presentations

All abstracts are to be submitted by Wednesday 25th November 2015 to Sophie and Teresa, at: sophie.burton@bristol.ac.uk and teresa.witcombe@bristol.ac.uk

For all additional information, please contact:sophie.burton@bristol.ac.uk and teresa.witcombe@bristol.ac.uk

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10 Postdoctoral Fellowships: Europe in the Middle East, The Middle East in Europe

10 Postdoctoral Fellowships: Europe in the Middle East, The Middle East in Europe
Berlin
Deadline: 15 January 2014

Bassin_Syrie_1The Berlin-based Forum Transregionale Studien invites scholars to apply for up to ten 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 (Christian, Jewish, Muslim, and secular) 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.

The program puts emphasis on three programmatic ideas:
1) supporting research that demonstrates the rich and complex historical legacies and entanglements between Europe and the Middle East
2) reexamining genealogical notions of mythical ‘beginnings’, ‘origins’, and ‘purity’ in relation to culture and society
3) rethinking key concepts of a shared modernity in light of contemporary cultural, social, and political entanglements that supersede identity discourses as well as national, cultural or regional canons and epistemologies that were established in the nineteenth century.

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 2014 and will end on 31 July 2015. 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. The working language of EUME is English.

EUME supports and builds upon the following interconnected research fields:

CITIES COMPARED: URBAN CHANGE IN THE MEDITERRANEAN AND ADJACENT REGIONS
This research group is directed by Ulrike Freitag and Nora Lafi, both of the Zentrum Moderner Orient, Berlin. It contributes to the debate on plurality, citizenship and civil society from the historical experience of conviviality and socio-cultural, ethnic, and religious differences in the cities around the Mediterranean;

ISLAMIC DISCOURSE CONTESTED: MIDDLE EASTERN AND EUROPEAN PERSPECTIVES
is directed by Gudrun Kraemer, Institute for Islamic Studies, Freie Universitaet Berlin. It analyzes modern Middle Eastern thought in the framework of discourses on modernity, secularity, and justice;

PERSPECTIVES ON THE QUR’AN: NEGOTIATING DIFFERENT VIEWS OF A SHARED HISTORY
is directed by Angelika Neuwirth, Seminar for Arabic Studies, Freie Universitaet Berlin, and Stefan Wild, Universitaet Bonn. This research group situates the foundational text of Islam within the religious and literary landscape of late antiquity, early Islamic History and Arabic philology, and combines a historicization of its genesis with an analysis of its hermeneutics, its reception and perception in Europe and the Middle East;

TRAVELLING TRADITIONS: COMPARATIVE PERSPECTIVES ON NEAR EASTERN LITERATURES
is directed by Friederike Pannewick, Centrum fuer Nah- und Mitteloststudien, Philipps-Universitaet Marburg, and Samah Selim, Rutgers University. This research group reassesses literary entanglements and processes of canonization between Europe and the Middle East.

TRADITION AND THE CRITIQUE OF MODERNITY: SECULARISM, FUNDAMENTALISM AND RELIGION FROM MIDDLE EASTERN PERSPECTIVES
is a special forum, directed by Amnon Raz-Krakotzkin, Ben-Gurion University, that attempts to rethink key concepts of modernity like secularity, tradition, or religion in the context of the experiences, interpretations, and critiques of Jews, Arabs, and Muslims in the Middle East and in Europe.

A new field of research that attempts to bridge the gap between political science approaches and cultural studies will be developed during the coming year. It will be directed by Cilja Harders, Otto-Suhr-Institut fuer Politikwissenschaft, Freie Universitaet Berlin, and Rachid Ouaissa, Political Science Departement, Centrum für Nah- und Mittelost-Studien, Philipps-Universität Marburg.

APPLICATION PROCEDURE”

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), 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)
– a letter of recommendation by one university instructor (that can be sent by as a separate e-mail).

The application should be submitted by e-mail as four separate PDF files in English and should be received by 15 January 2014, sent in to: eume@trafo-berlin.de

For information on the research institutions in Berlin participating in EUME, please visit:
– Berlin Graduate School of Muslim Cultures and Societies, FU Berlin
– Center for Middle Eastern and North African Politics, FU Berlin
– Corpus Coranicum, Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities
– Zentrum Moderner Orient
– Friedrich Schlegel Graduate School of Literary Studies, FU Berlin
– Institute for Islamic Studies, FU Berlin
– Museum for Islamic Art
– Seminar for Arabic Studies, FU Berlin