CfP: Betwixt and Between: The History of Identity and Status Negotiation Across the Sahara (African Studies Association 2015 Meeting)

11 March 2015

This panel examines the ways in which various forms of identity have historically been constructed and used to negotiate social status in the Sahara and on its northern and southern fringes. These forms of identity include religion, race and ethnicity, and gender—and have been complicated over the millennia by migrations throughout the region, both forced and voluntary. The migrations, driven by trade, imperialism, transhumant pastoralism, and environmental change, have resulted in several social fabrics of great diversity.

While diversity can be a source of strength, the societies in and around the Sahara have historically had great difficulty in achieving social and political cohesion. Some of the causes for this political instability arise from the physical environment and the mobile character of camel and cattle pastoralists, but others derive from a history of slavery and other forms of subordination imposed through physical violence. Yet even when a status was originally imposed through an act of violence, it could not be maintained exclusively through those means, but rather also included various forms of cultural interaction, social coercion and negotiation. The papers in this panel examine the history of some of the negotiated relationships in this region in order to illuminate some of the current social and political conflicts.

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Call for Applications: 2015 Africa Workshop Fellows, Nairobi, Kenya – “Conflict and Political Violence”

11 February 2015

The American Political Science Association (APSA) and United States International University-Africa (USIU) are pleased to announce a call for applications from individuals who would like to participate in a workshop on “Conflict and Political Violence.” The two-week workshop will be held from July 20–31, 2015 in Nairobi, Kenya. The organizers, with a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, will cover all the costs of participation (including travel, lodging, meals, and materials) for up to 26 qualified applicants. The workshop will be conducted in English.

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CfP: Considering the Western Sahara: Multi-Discipinary Approaches to Post-Colonialism

14 January 2015

This special issue aims to provide an interdisciplinary assessment of the representations of the unresolved colonial conflict in Western Sahara. We invite articles that examine the issue from a variety of angles. Some articles might assess ways in which cultural production on the region addresses the impact of the conflict on the West, including the implications of the apparent failure of the post-national project of a united Europe, the opposed interests of Spain and France in the region, the increasing diplomatic prominence of China in the Maghreb, and the changing position of the U.S. Other articles might adopt the perspective of the Arab and African worlds. How does the Saharawi Arab Democratic Republic understand its position in the world? What is the role of Saharawi cultural production in promoting that vision? Still others might focus on neoliberalism, globalization and universal human rights. How are political and economic strategic positions packaged and distributed by the cultural industries? How do contemporary representations of the conflict reconcile the apparently irreconcilable notions of national identity in a transnational economic and political order? How are economic and cultural notions of human rights used to argue for and against the independence of Western Sahara? What are the main strategies deployed by both sides of the conflict to advance their position in the arena of public opinion? How do novels, poems, films and documentaries on Western Sahara coincide or differ from other postcolonial cultural production?

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CFP: Harry Frank Guggenheim Foundation / Centre d’Études Maghrébines à Tunis (CEMAT) Social Sciences Research Methodology Training Workshop for North African Scholars

14 January 2015

The three-day workshop will bring together twenty young Algerian, Libyan, Moroccan and Tunisian scholars researching the relationship between violence and a number of areas of inquiry including social change, political action, revolution and crime. Selected participants will work with international experts to hone the research design on a research project in its early stages of development. Day one will be dedicated to expert lectures focusing on the essential elements of research methodology and design. On day two and three, participants will present their proposals and discuss them with co-participants and experts to ensure that they receive ample feedback to fine-tune their proposals. Participants will also have a chance to discuss ways of incorporating the theoretical tools they acquired on day one into the research design of their respective research projects.

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CfP: Networks of Dependency: Re-configurations of clientelism, patronage, and corruption in the Middle East and North Africa

10 November 2014

This international workshop aims at filling this gap by analyzing the development and the reconfigurations of networks of dependency (i.e. based on clientelism, patronage and corruption) in the region.

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CFP A Sea that Links and Binds: Cooperation, Coercion and Compulsion across the Red Sea from the Eighteenth Century to the Present

9 November 2014

This workshop will explore the dynamics of cooperation, coercion and compulsion in the Red Sea region. These dynamics allowed diverse groups of actors to participate in the making and remaking of the transnational Red Sea social system. Papers will show the ways in which these social forces were, like the men and women who were both their subjects and objects, thoroughly bound into the natural geography of the region. To facilitate discussion, the workshop will focus on the period from the end of the eighteenth century to the present. During this time period, the Red Sea social system rapidly transformed alongside other, rapid political, economic, technological and environmental changes. In response to these changes, individual and collective strategies based upon cooperation, coercion and compulsion were adjusted. For some people, this meant improved personal security. Unfortunately, for others this meant further instability and an increase in the precariousness of everyday life.

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CFP: Conflicts Over Water & Building Bridges with Water

5 September 2014

Center for Conflict StudiesWe invite proposals from graduate students, academics and practitioners in conflict studies and other related disciplines (such as law, human rights, gender, culture and environment) who can offer perspectives from their empirical research (we insist on first-hand, ground-up research) particularly on but not limited to the following conference sub-themes.

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CFP: Building Sustainable Agriculture for Food Security in the Euro-Mediterranean Area: Challenges and Policy Options

4 June 2014

The International Affairs Institute (IAI), the OCP Policy Center, the Economic and Social Sciences Research Unit at the Agronomy and Veterinary Medicine Institute Hassan II of Rabat and the Center for International Food and Agricultural Policy (CIFAP) at the University of Minnesota invite submissions that explore issues and policy responses to address food security and agricultural challenges in the countries of the Southern Mediterranean region within the framework of Euro-Mediterranean relations (deadline: 15/6/2014). Further information here.

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Novo livro – Tribos, Princesas e Demónios : Etnografias do encontro pré‐colonial no Sudoeste do Saara, Francisco Freire

22 January 2014

Este ensaio questiona algumas das estruturas reconhecidas como definidoras da sociedade arabófona do ocidente saariano; sendo destacados os elementos que complexificam a longa inscrição histórica desta população, questionando outros que, mais recentemente, tendem a simplificá‐la. Este contexto é introduzido através de um documento português de meados do século XVI, que a partir da feitoria de Arguim serve a imediata incorporação de uma visão europeia sobre o Saara, ilustrando também a profundidade dos laços desde então estabelecidos com as diferentes populações da região. Será igualmente apresentada uma compilação de tradições orais que actualmente descrevem os iniciais encontros euro‐saarianos, assim como o seu relevo nos mecanismos de filiação tribal e estutária que, até hoje, definem a região.

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Appel à contributions : Politiques de la culture et cultures du politique dans l’Ouest saharien

17 December 2013

Ce projet portera tout autant sur les mobilisations de la culture, ou de ce qui fait culture (représentations, pratiques, normes partagées), par le politique, dans ses déclinaisons classiques (élus, représentants de l’Etat, institutions politiques diverses, arsenal législatif, politiques publiques) et nouvelles (société civile, cyberactivisme, réseaux sociaux), dans le cadre de projets de contestation, d’émancipation ou de gouvernement, que sur les cultures du politique en tant qu’ensembles de « manières de faire » de la politique (codes, normes, valeurs, savoir-faire, dispositifs matériels, usages rhétoriques). Pour interroger ces interactions entre culture et politique, on privilégiera les questionnements thématiques et transversaux ci-dessous, qui constitueront une grille d’analyse commune, sans être pour autant exclusifs d’autres interrogations ou approches.

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