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Call for Proposals: "Teaching about the Middle East in the 21st Century"

First International Conference on Middle East Studies - California State University, Fresno

"Teaching about the Middle East in the 21st Century"
October 16-18, 2008
Fresno, California. USA


The Middle East Studies Program at California State University, Fresno calls for proposals for pre-organized panels and individual papers for the Program's inaugural meeting, October 16-18, 2008, in Fresno, California.

Conference Theme:

In academic and popular discourse today, the Middle East has become a primary dimension of our geopolitical-intellectual culture. The global reach of current events has brought the Middle East into direct contact with the West. Much scholarly and professional attention is afforded today to the complex (yet habitually abstracted and simplified) human reality of the peoples of the Middle East, and their contributions to the world, be they in science, religion, literature or art.

One of the primary objects of this conference will be to explore the constructions and contextualizations of the modern Middle East through artistic, scholarly, economic, political, sociological, historical, and philological works and texts. The conference will subsequently examine the politics that underlie their production and dissemination in academia.

Keynote Speech:

Dr. Juan Cole, Professor of History, University of Michigan, "The Iraq Crisis and the Next Administration," Friday, October 17, 2008.

Dr. Haleh Afshar, University of York, "Islam and Feminisms ," Saturday, October 18, 2008.

Research Topics:

Cutting across disciplinary lines, and recognizing the plurality of the Middle East, the inherent multidisciplinary nature of studying and teaching it, as well as the diversity of its identities, the richness of its languages, histories, religions, political, economic and social circumstances, the conference invites panels and contributions from a range of disciplines, including, but not limited to:

Pedagogical Approaches to Middle East Studies
Art, Architecture, Visual & Performing Arts
History & Historiography
Literature, Literary Studies & Linguistics
Culture, Gender & Ethnography
Diaspora & Migration Culture
Middle East Politics & Representations
U.S. Foreign Policy
Civil Society, NGOs & International Development
Media Studies (including Film, Broadcast, Print, News, etc.)
Economic development/Sustainability/Democratic transitions
Business and Finance
Religion: Christianity, Islam and Judaism and in the context of the Middle East

Important Dates:

Deadline for abstracts: 27 June, 2008
Notification of acceptance: 1 August, 2008


Papers: Exploring original research on the Middle East by one or more authors. Presentations will be 20 minutes long.

Plenary Session/ Panel Discussion: Panel proposals should be submitted by a moderator, inviting three to five presenters to discuss a topic relevant to the conference theme. The topic should be one that would benefit from diverse opinions and open discussion. Panel presentations will be limited to 90 minutes.

Abstracts/Paper Proposals:

Submission Items:

  • Cover Sheet: Required for all submissions. On a separate cover sheet, list the title of the presentation, author name(s), school affiliation(s), contact person address, and audio-visual requirements. Make a separate cover sheet for each submission.
  • Abstracts: Abstract submissions should be approximately 500 words and must be in English. Abstract and full paper submissions should be sent in MS Word or PDF document format. Include title but do not include author name(s) or school affiliation(s).
  • Notes & References: Must conform to the Chicago/Turabian style.

Submission Method:

Contributors have two choices for submitting:

  • Option 1. (preferred) Submit as an email attachment to the Program Committee Chair at Submission should include cover sheet and abstract along with other documents or images required for submission attached to an email. Please put CSU-Fresno Mid-East Conference Submission in email subject line.
  • Option 2. Submit in hard copy. Submitters may mail a hard copy of cover sheet, and three copies of other required submission items. The mailing address is:

Dr. Sasan Fayazmanesh,
Program Committee Chair
Department of Economics
California State University, Fresno
5245 N. Backer MS/PB20
Fresno CA 93740-8001

Conference Fees, Registration & Accommodations:

Authors are invited to complete the registration process before September 1, 2008. Failing to send the registration fees on or before this date might result in excluding the paper from the proceedings. Registration fee is $50 for conference participants and $25 for students. An additional $25 will be charged for late registration. Accommodations are available at Piccadilly Inn University Hotel, 4961 North Cedar Avenue, Fresno, CA 93726, (559) 224-4200 and Piccadilly Inn Airport Hotel, 5115 E. McKinley Avenue, Fresno, CA 93727, (559) 251-6000 (the conference rate is $88 per night and reservations must be made no later than September 16, 2008).

Conference Proceedings:

Select papers presented at the conference will be published in a conference proceedings, which will become available after the conference. Details will be announced in October 2008.

Organizing Committee:

A. Sameh El Kharbawy, Liaison, Manuchehr Shahrokhi, Vincent Biondo, Vida Samiian, Sasan Fayazmanesh

CSUF Program Committee:

Sasan Fayazmanesh (Chair), Steve Adisasmito-Smith, Vincent Biondo, Jose A. Diaz, A. Sameh El Kharbawy, Ellen Gruenbaum, Mary Husain, Ellen Lipp, Samina Najmi, Jay O'Brien, Vida Samiian, Manuchehr Shahrokhi

Program Committee on Other Campuses

Sebouh Aslanian (Whitman College), Houri Berberian (CSU Long Beach), Touraj Daryaee (UC Irvine) Manzar Foroohar (Cal Poly San Luis Obispo), Jonathan Friedlander (UCLA), Amir Hussain (Loyola Marymount University), Simin Karimi (University of Arizona), Nikki Keddie (UCLA), Afshin Matin (CSU Los Angeles), Rudi Matthee (University of Delaware), Mahmood Monshipouri (CSU San Francisco), Jamal R. Nassar (CSU San Bernardino), Katherine Platt (Babson College), Jasmin Rostam (CSU Fullerton)

Conference Coordinator:

Dr. Vida Samiian, Dean
College of Arts and Humanities
California State University, Fresno

Conference Liaison:

Please direct any questions to:
Dr. A. Sameh El Kharbawy
College of Arts and Humanities
California State University, Fresno


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