Call for papers: « The Dynamics of Space in the Middle East and North Africa ». Deadline: 1 May 2006.
archives , Archives.
Until recently, scholarship concerned with issues of space in the Middle East focused primarily on the city. Approaches varied from functional and political sociology to studies of aesthetic and material culture. Debates about the existence and characteristics of an ?Islamic city? were particularly heated and reflected subtle yet critical shifts in the field at large. More recent works have become increasingly nuanced as scholars from various disciplines have begun to address space not merely as a pre-existing terrain but as a category of critical analysis. The relative slowness of this shift can be partly explained by the serious challenge that analysis of space poses to the identity, coherency, and linearity assumed by more conventional categories of analysis. Received categories of identity or cultures may well shatter when re-examined from the perspective of space. Space, as Edward Soja reminds us, has long been marginalized and muted in critical social theory. What contributions could analyses of space make to an understanding of the Middle East? How would perspectives on this area change when looked at through the prism of spatial formations and conceptualizations? Henri Lefebvre makes an analytical distinction between ?place? and ?space?, describing the latter as the historical and global force associated with capitalism, and the former as the natural, pre-modern terrain which space conquers. Place, it is argued, is rapidly eroding. How is the production ? and elimination ? of space central to reassessing the nonlinearity of some histories, to tracking the subtleties and contradictions of capitalism in different regions, communities, populations, and nations? How do these considerations underlie studies of tourism and cultural heritage, and the spatial politics of globalization? In addition to research on urban planning and architecture, studies that examine the formation of ethnic, class, and national spaces are needed. The topics of segregation; gender; globalization; immigration and the global city; media and the internet; war and geopolitics; and literature and art, among others, are also important in bringing both new and largely unmined dimensions to the study of the Middle East. The Arab Studies Journal invites scholars to address these and other questions arising from an analysis of space. Scholars are encouraged to submit papers from all fields of the social sciences and humanities. Comparative studies between different areas (within and beyond the Middle East) are particularly welcome. This issue of the Arab Studies Journal hopes to contribute to and advance the growing interest in spatial questions in Middle Eastern Studies, and also engage broader theoretical debates, which transcend geography and disciplinary boundaries.
Submissions must adhere to the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th Edition.
Papers may be submitted online at WWW.ARABSTUDIESJOURNAL.ORG or mailed to: Editors, Arab Studies Journal, ICC 241, Georgetown University, Washington, DC 20057, USA
DEADLINE: 1 May 2006.