Workshop on "Travel, Mobility, and Cultural Conflict in the Middle East and North Africa" at the University of Alabama

Waleed Hazbun's picture
Call for Papers
December 31, 2021
Alabama, United States
Subject Fields: 
Arabic History / Studies, Architecture and Architectural History, Islamic History / Studies, Middle East History / Studies, Urban History / Studies

The Southeast Regional Middle East and Islamic Studies Society (SERMEISS) invites scholars (including advanced doctoral students) to submit paper proposals for its Spring 2022 workshop, to be held April 9-10, 2022 at the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa, AL. The workshop will focus on “Travel, Mobility, and Cultural Conflict in the Middle East and North Africa” and is being organized by a committee chaired by Dr. Waleed Hazbun (University of Alabama). Papers presented at the 2022 workshop will be considered for publication in a special issue of the Journal of Tourism History.

We invite paper proposals from any discipline in the humanities or social sciences that address topics relating to travel and mobility in, to, and from the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region in any historical era. Papers should not have been previously published or be under peer review for publication. We are interested in papers addressing, for example, the following issues:

  • The practices of travel, tourism, or other forms of mobility by people of the MENA region to destinations within and beyond the region during any time period.

  • The visual, textual, and material cultures of travel and tourism, including guidebooks, postcards, travelogues, advertisements, and the practices of heritage and site interpretation.

  • Local responses to the cultural, economic, and environmental impact of travel and tourism (e.g. building of mass tourist hotels, construction of airports, docking of cruise ships).

  • The changing means and infrastructure of transportation and mobility.

  • The impact of war, conflict, state policies, or other events (such as pandemics) on travel patterns, tourist sites, and cultural heritage.

  • Novels, films, and other forms of art and expression that address travel, tourism, and mobility.

  • The development of new practices of travel or tourism development, such as Islamic tourism, dark tourism, political solidarity tourism, medical tourism, illicit (e.g. sex, drug) tourism, and “academic tourism.”

Paper proposals must include a title, a detailed abstract of about 300 words, the author’s scholarly discipline, and the author’s contact information (including department and institutional affiliation). Abstracts should include a clear thesis statement, discuss methodology, and list research data/sources. Doctoral students presenting at the workshop will be eligible for the Herbert L. Bodman Award for best graduate paper presentation.

To submit a paper proposal, please send your materials in a single file to Waleed Hazbun ( by Friday, December 31, 2021.

Paper proposals will be vetted by a workshop committee chaired by Dr. Hazbun. The number of participants will be limited (SERMEISS usually accepts around 9-10 papers). Preference will be given to paper proposals from scholars who are SERMEISS members and who are based in SERMEISS’s 10-state region, which includes Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia. Scholars whose papers are accepted for inclusion in the workshop should be or become members of SERMEISS.

SERMEISS and the Program for Middle East Studies at the University of Alabama will provide accommodations and meals for all paper presenters and offer travel grants to offset travel costs.

We are currently planning an in-person workshop and will follow CDC safety guidance. We recommend that all attendees be vaccinated.

Workshop presenters will have 20 minutes to present their papers and will be assigned a discussant. Presenters must submit a draft copy of their papers at least two weeks before the workshop (March 25, 2022), so that these can be circulated among confirmed workshop attendees. Paper presenters interested in submitting their manuscripts to the Journal of Tourism History will be expected to submit revised manuscripts to the workshop organizer by the middle of the summer 2022.

Questions and queries can be sent to Waleed Hazbun (

Regardless of whether or not you will be submitting a paper proposal, please plan to join us at the SERMEISS workshop at the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa.

Contact Info: 

Waleed Hazbun
Richard L. Chambers Professor of Middle Eastern Studies
Department of Political Science
University of Alabama

Contact Email: