Call For Papers – Saharan Crossroads: Views from the Desert-Edge

24 October 2012

Call For Papers – Saharan Crossroads: Views from the Desert-Edge
An AIMS-WARA Conference, in collaboration with the CRASC
22-24 Juin 2013 – Ghardaïa, Algeria

This conference is part of a series of activities organized by the West African Research Association (WARA) and the American Institute of Maghribi Studies (AIMS) aimed at strengthening the cultural, artistic and historical links among the peoples living within and across the Sahara Desert.

The 3rd international conference « Saharan Crossroads: Views from the Desert-Edge » is planned to be held in Ghardaïa, Algeria June 22-24, 2013. The Centre d’Etudes Maghrébines en Algérie (CEMA) is partnering with the Centre National de Recherche en Anthropologie Sociale et Culturelle (CRASC) in planning this conference to be held at the University of Ghardaïa.

This conference’s theme is “Mapping information flows within and across the Sahara.”

Throughout the ages, Africans circulating in Saharan regions engaged in cultural, intellectual, religious and political exchanges. Through oral and scriptural media, and by way of foot, caravan, truck and other traffic, people conveyed information and ideas that transformed and connected societies across distances. The committee is interested in studies focused on Saharan and trans-Saharan exchanges of information and ideas, past and present. Ghardaïa, in the heart of the Mzab region, is a propitious locale to hold this conference. This ethnically and religiously diverse oasis town was once a major center of exchange, and a northern terminus of caravans originating from markets such as Timbuktu, Agadez and Kano.

Proposals for papers and panels are invited for the following suggested themes:
1. Circulation routes and information nodes
2. Art, music and stylistic trends
3. Cultures and ritual traditions
4. Centers of learning and scholarly circuits
5. Religious and Sufi networks
6. Legal opinions and jurisprudence
7. Political movements and ideological waves
8. Evolution of communication technologies
9. Migration and information flows
10. Water management technologies and oasis agriculture
11. Urban and architectural design
12. Comparative Saharan archaeology

Applications and Abstracts of no more than 200 words should be submitted by the December 30th, 2012 at the following website (

For further enquiries, you may contact the conference organizers (

Conference Organizers:
Ghislaine Lydon (University of California, Los Angeles)
Robert Parks (Director, CEMA-Oran)
Jennifer Yanco (Director, WARA)
Aomar Boum (Vice-President AIMS, University of Arizona)
Sidi Mohamed Trache (Université d’Oran et associé CRASC)

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