7 de abril de 2016

CALL FOR ABSTRACTS ASK Conference “Environmental Approaches in Pre-Modern Middle Eastern Studies”

Type: Call for Papers
Date: June 15, 2016
Location: Germany
Subject Fields: Arabic History / Studies, Environmental History / Studies, Islamic History / Studies

International Conference

“Environmental Approaches in Pre-Modern Middle Eastern Studies”

Sponsor: Annemarie Schimmel Kolleg, University of Bonn
Venue: Bristol Hotel, Bonn
Date: 5-7 December 2016
Defined in as many different ways as there are disciplines in the humanities, environmental history is the study of relations between people and their natural environment through time. On one level, it offers perspectives on the impact of climatic and other environmental changes on society, and on another it is a window on the varied ways people make use of, understand, control, and maintain their natural resources. Rejecting the outdated models of environmental determinism, environmental historians tend to either study the environment as a very powerful actor in socio-cultural change or as the locus of social conflict. Environmental history can be a potent tool for contextualizing political change and explaining the complex combination of factors behind dynastic decline in pre-modern societies. It is, in short, uniquely positioned for writing holistic histories.
Environmental history also provides a useful tool for social, legal (laws and ethics related to the management and equitable access to scarce resources, and disputes over them), and intellectual history (perceptions of the natural environment – color, space, etc.); urban studies (the “Islamic garden”, urban gardening and the development of urban “green spaces”); and, most importantly, the study of knowledge transfer (the agrarian manuals). Social history can certainly benefit from such lines of inquiry.  
This international conference is meant to be a forum for exchange of ideas about environmental history, and methods and theories, by scholars engaged in the study of the pre-modern Islamic world. Papers from the fields of history, historical geography, archaeology and art history, natural sciences, and historical anthropology are most welcome, as well as studies of a more theoretical (bust historically grounded) nature. We welcome the participation of doctoral students and post-doctoral scholars, as well as senior scholars. The chronological coverage is the period of the Islamic Conquests until the early nineteenth-century (pre-Tanzimat), with a geographical coverage of all regions of the world under the control of an Islamic regime. While our focus remains the Mamluk (and the larger “Middle Islamic”) period of the 13th-16th centuries and the territories of the Mamluk state – and while we aim to promote environmental lines of inquiry in Mamluk Studies – this conference encourages transregional and comparative approaches and particularly welcomes papers from Ottoman Studies.
We envision a wide range of topics, including but not limited to:
  • natural disasters, peasant and tribal rebellions and political decline
  • feeding the city; “moral economy”; transport, storage, and distribution of food
  • cooking; “foodways”
  • conflicts over water and land – legal and economic perspectives
  • organization of agriculture
  • land tenure and use
  • rural history
  • collaboration and conflict between the state and local society over natural resources
  • the agency of local communities in managing natural resources
  • urban gardening; “green spaces”
  • knowledge transfer: popularization of farming genres
  • an “environmental mentality” as reflected in contemporary written sources
  • intellectual history: perceptions of space, landscape, natural environmental, “homeland”, colors and light, land and identity
  • ethics: local perspectives on conflicts over natural resources; indigenous knowledge about sustainability
The deadline for submissions of abstracts (300-500 words), CV, and one letter of recommendation (for PhD students) is June 15, 2016. Confirmations will be sent out by the end of June.
Applications should be emailed directly to Dr. Mohammad Gharaibeh (gharaibeh@mamluk.uni-bonn.de). Questions regarding this conference and the Annemarie Schimmel Kolleg, in general, can be directed to Prof. Bethany Walker (bwalker@uni-bonn.de).
For all participants in the conference, the Annemarie Schimmel Kolleg will reimburse travel costs (round-trip, 2nd class tickets) and four nights’ accommodation in Bonn. Most meals will be included.