The legalization of concubinage by the medieval jurists granted slave women access to the ‘private’ and ‘public’ political, economic, social and cultural spheres of the medieval Islamic polity. This panel investigates the ways in which the presence of slave women in these various domains challenged established norms and shaped the emergence of new ones in medieval Islamicate societies from the 7th to the 15th centuries. It invites papers that explore and discuss how the different representations of female slaves in male-authored legal, literary and historiographical discourses may be approached not only as reflections of but also as means for reflecting upon these changes. Particular areas of interest include, but are not limited to, changes in social mobility, gender relations, political agency, labor, sexual ethics, matrimony, pleasure, fashion and artistic performance.
Please submit an abstract of 300 to 400 words and a CV to Karen Moukheiber < email@example.com> by Sunday, February 7th, 2016. When submitting your abstract, please use MESA 2016 in the subject line. Participants will receive panel decisions by Wednesday, February 10th, 2016. Participants will then be required to upload their abstract to the MESA site before February 16th, 2016. You must have a current MESA membership by this date in order to submit an abstract. MESA makes decisions about the program by the end of April 2016. The MESA annual conference takes place this year in Boston, MA, November 17-20, 2016.