Interdisciplinary Workshop: "Where are the Intellectuals? Culture, Identity and Community in the Modern Middle East", University of Edinburgh, 7-8 May 2010
The role of the Middle Eastern intellectual has long constituted an object of study and fascination for scholars, particularly in colonial and post-colonial contexts, where the intellectual was often seen as the main bridge - or interpreter - between the modernity of the West and the 'traditional' culture of the East. But the study of Middle Eastern intellectuals has come a long way since Albert Hourani's seminal Arabic Thought in the Liberal Age, with much work now examining such complex dynamics as the relationships between intellectuals and publics, the role of popular intellectuals within national and transnational social movements, and the significance of secondary or 'organic' intellectuals; as much as the philosophical innovations of great luminaries. Intellectuals have long been acknowledged as shapers of nationalism, but how have Middle Eastern intellectuals articulated other identities, such as gender? What role do intellectuals play, in the age of global and mass media, in the formation of culture, identity and community?
Proposals are invited from any and all disciplines that reflect on the role of the intellectual - including writers, novelists, filmmakers and artists, as well as political and social thinkers and academics - in modern Middle Eastern cultural, social and political life. Possible topics include, but are not limited to:
. Intellectuals and the construction of identities and histories . Minority intellectuals . Non-elite or popular intellectuals . Intellectuals and the state . Intellectuals and religion . Intellectuals and revolution, war and resistance . Intellectuals and globalization . Intellectuals and social change . Theoretical frameworks for studying intellectuals in the Middle East
Please send a 300-word abstract as well as brief biographical statement, and any enquiries, to: Maryam Ghorbankarimi: firstname.lastname@example.org
Deadline for proposals: Tuesday 16 March, 2010
This event is funded by the British Society for Middle Eastern Studies (BRISMES) with contributions from the Center for the Advanced Study of the Arab World (CASAW) and the Department of Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies, University of Edinburgh.
Organiser: Dr. Ewan Stein, Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Centre for the Advanced Study of the Arab World
Coordinator: Ms. Maryam Ghorbankarimi, Doctoral Candidate, University of Edinburgh
Funds will be available to cover travel and accommodation expenses.