CFP Symposium: “Jazīrat al-Maghrib”: North Africa as an Island

Symposium: “Jazīrat al-Maghrib”: North Africa as an Island
2 April 2016

Princeton University, Princeton New Jersey

Keynote Speaker: Julia Clancy-Smith, University of Arizona
Submission Deadline: 12 December, 2015

Jazīrat al-Maghrib: North Africa as an Island is a one-day interdisciplinary symposium organized by Princeton University’s North African Studies Group to bring together graduate students and scholars in North African Studies to explore the ‘island’ as an analytical category in our field. As a small strip of fertile land located between the Mediterranean Sea and the Sahara Desert, North Africa has been described since the ninth century as ‘jazīrat al-maghrib’ (Island of the West). Despite the term’s ancient roots, jazīrat al-maghrib still has traction in modern narratives of North Africa. While featured in many discussions, the ‘island’ as an analytical category is rarely defined, conceptualized, or afforded any critical attention. Moreover, the rise of ‘Island Studies’ in interdisciplinary, regional studies has complicated notions of ‘isolation’ and ‘insularity’ in relation to island societies, arguing that that islands are consistently defined by forces that promote both isolation and connectedness.

Through a morning Paper Panel and afternoon Works-in-Progress Workshop, our symposium seeks to explore these tensions as they relate to North Africa – conceptualizing, scrutinizing, and problematizing the island as an analytical lens. We hope to engage with theoretical, methodological, and disciplinary debates. Therefore, we encourage submissions from a range of disciplines including, but not limited to: anthropology, sociology, history, political science, international relations, art history, women’s studies, classical and ancient studies, and area studies.

Abstracts may focus on the following areas:

How do we define the ‘island’ as an analytical category in North African studies? What are the benefits and detriments of doing so? And what is at stake?
How is North Africa similar or different to other regions? Can the region’s ‘islandness’ help us to conduct interesting or unusual comparative analyses?
How has North Africa’s ‘islandness’ shaped broad political and social processes? How has it shaped its inhabitants’ conceptions of themselves vis-a-vis others?
Does engaging with the ‘island’ help us to transcend terms like ‘transcultural’, ‘transformative’ and ‘tolerant’?

Interested parties should submit abstracts (300-500 words) for either the Paper Panel or Works-in-Progress Workshop. Indicate “Paper Panel” or “Workshop” along with your submission. Finally, please provide your institutional affiliation and mailing address, as well as telephone number. Indicate whether a/v equipment will be needed. Deadline for abstract submission: December 12, 2015.
The presentations for the Paper Panel should be in English and twenty minutes in length (i.e., 10 double-spaced pages). Research memoranda for the Works-in-Progress Workshop should provide a 1000-1500 word summary of ongoing and/or proposed research. Accepted participants must submit these materials by March 2, 2016.
Submissions and questions should be directed towards the Princeton North African Studies

Ouidad Hamitri

Doctorante en Histoire Médiévale à l'Université Lyon 2 et membre du CIHAM, elle travaille sur la chirurgie en Al-Andalus (Xe-XVe s.)

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Appel à participation: Séminaire de doctorants lyonnais en Islam médiéval

Appel à participation: Séminaire de doctorants lyonnais en Islam médiéval
Organisé à l’initiative de trois doctorants du CIHAM-UMR 5648, ce séminaire a pour visée de proposer une série de présentations sur les différentes réalités et aspects de l’Islam médiéval. Dans le cadre de ces communications, les doctorants pourront  présenter les axes de leur recherche, l’avancée de leurs travaux, ou même des thématiques plus ciblées. La richesse et la fécondité du thème de l’Islam médiéval rendent évidente une ouverture à toutes les disciplines concernées (histoire, archéologie, littérature, linguistique, etc.) sur l’ensemble de la place lyonnaise (Lyon-2, Lyon-3, ÉNSL, etc.), faisant de ce séminaire un lieu de rencontre, de discussion, d’émulation.
Ce séminaire se veut également un lieu d’échange scientifique : il s’agit de faire découvrir des aspects particuliers de l’Islam médiéval, peut-être encore inconnus à d’autres étudiants, et d’échanger sur les thématiques de fond comme sur des questions méthodologiques, en présence, nous l’espérons, de professeurs.
Transmettez l’information aux contacts que vous connaissez pouvant être intéressés, s’il vous plait.
Nous prions les personnes intéressées de nous contacter par mail.

En espérant avoir très prochainement de vos nouvelles,

Bien cordialement,
O. Brisville, O. Hamitri, A. Montel
contact : olivier.brisville (at) ens-lyon (dot) fr

Olivier Brisville-Fertin

Docteur en Études hispaniques (2020); thèse sur la production aljamiada des communautés mudéjares et morisques d'Aragon, en particulier la prédication islamique en vernaculaire.

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CFP: Politics of Dress and Identity in Eastern Mediterranean Societies (24-26 March: Amsterdam)

Proposals for papers are being accepted for “The Politics of Dress and Identity in Eastern Mediterranean Societies, Past and Present” an international symposium organized by the Fitting in/Standing Out project (NWO), Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, the University of Salento (Lecce), and the Allard Pierson Museum (Amsterdam) to be held on  24-26 March 2016, at the Allard Pierson Museum (Amsterdam).

Dress plays an essential role in the presentation of the self and in the perception of the other. Clothing and headgear, as well as accessories, tattoos, and hair styles, overtly state and sometimes more subtly convey information about a person’s social standing, gender, ethnicity, regional background, affiliations, profession, or religious beliefs – in other words, about the particular position (s)he holds, or would like to show as having, at a certain moment in time within a certain group or society. Dress is also part of the negotiation of identity and status; it allows individuals to articulate, or conceal, different identities, whether these are individual or collective, imposed or chosen. Identificational changes – when entering a new phase of life or assuming a new status or role – are often marked by the rejection of certain dress codes and/or the acquisition of new ones. Similarly, transient identities can be expressed through a new or composite dress vocabulary. Although dress is usually perceived, understood, and represented as an unambiguous statement about one’s identity, it is in fact a source of many potential ambiguities. The meanings and symbolic values associated with dress are not only culturally situated; they are also dependent on the time and place, the wearer, and the audience. Moreover, they constantly change over time.

This international symposium takes an interdisciplinary, diachronic, and comparative approach to explore the interplay between dress and identity in the broader Mediterranean basin, with a special focus on Muslim societies and interconnected cultures, in both the past and present. It aims to bring together anthropologists, sociologists, historians, art historians, archaeologists, and scholars of other disciplines working on this subject, using a wide spectrum of methods – from textual to textile analysis. The study of dress and, in particular, of attempts to control the meanings of dress – whether in practice, depictions, or texts – not only has great potential for social and cultural history, but is also crucial to understand sartorial dynamics within contemporary societies. From the sumptuary laws issued in many ancient societies to the contemporary debate on veiling practices among Muslim women, dress is, and has always been, the site of competing discourses, where authority and resistance, and the interests of the community and those of the individual meet. By bridging the gap between different academic fields, this symposium aims to put perceptions of dress in the past and the present into a broader perspective.

The main themes we aim to discuss are:
    •    How is dress used to reify or challenge community boundaries? How do intersecting identities influence choices in dress?
    •    How is dress represented in visual and written sources? What is the relation between these and actual dress practices? How do these images and texts contribute to construct, reinforce, or subvert identity categories?
    •    How do actual garments, depictions of dress, or discourses on dress refer to the past (i.e. religious or cultural traditions) to legitimize the present?
    •    What role does dress play in the articulation of transient or multiple identities, for example in cases of conversion, migration, or the assumption of a new social status?
    •    How do political, economic, and cultural connections between the East and the West influence dress? How is exotic dress appropriated locally to negotiate status and identity?

Scholars, PhD candidates, and advanced MA students doing research related to the subject of dress and identity are invited to submit a proposal for the symposium. If application for participation has been successful the following is granted:

Participation in the complete program, including lunches and the conference dinners.
Not included: travel, accommodation expenses, and other meals.

The conference does not offer travel grants, but we can support applications for additional funding sought from third parties such as the Pasold Research Fund (

To apply for participation applications should be send to the symposium organizers: Rosita D’Amora or Tineke Rooijakkers

Deadline for application: Monday, 16 November 2015, 24.00 (CET)
This application includes the following:
    •    a title and an abstract of 300 words (max.)
    •    a short biography of 50 words (max.)

We intend to publish a selection of the papers presented at the symposium in an edited volume. The deadline for the submission of these articles is: Thursday, 15 September 2016.

The organizing committee: Rosita D’Amora, Tineke Rooijakkers, Bas ter Haar Romeny, Mat Immerzeel, Judith Kindinger, and Alexandra Pleşa

Magali Romaggi

Agrégée de lettres classiques, doctorante en littérature médiévale à l'Université Lumière Lyon 2, elle travaille sur la figure de Narcisse au Moyen Âge.

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Changement de date: journée d’étude “Trames arborescentes”

La journée d’étude “Trames arborescentes : confection et croissance de structures textuelles et iconographiques” aura lieu le 16 décembre dans les locaux du Centre d’Études Supérieures de la Renaissance à Tours.
La date limite de propositions de communication est toujours fixée au 10 octobre.

Magali Romaggi

Agrégée de lettres classiques, doctorante en littérature médiévale à l'Université Lumière Lyon 2, elle travaille sur la figure de Narcisse au Moyen Âge.

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