CFP - Material Culture Methods in the Middle Islamic Periods (Bonn, 8-10 December 2017)

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International Conference
“Material Culture Methods in the Middle Islamic Periods”
Sponsor: Annemarie Schimmel Kolleg, University of Bonn
Venue: Bristol Hotel, Bonn
8-10 December 2017
Deadline for application: 8th September 2017
This year’s international conference is devoted to the study of material culture in the Middle Islamic periods, namely the era of the Ayyubid, Mamluk and Ottoman Sultanates and their contemporaries, with a special emphasis on the Mamluk era. Material culture includes the things that people have made and the relationships between people and those things. It is most informative about the realities of daily life, social and economic networks, and the spatial setting of social activities. Rather than focusing on the formal qualities of objects or their “materiality” (dating, provenance, material composition), the conference’s aim is to facilitate the expansion of the kind of questions we can ask about the societies of the Mediterranean in the 12th-16th centuries, through reference to the material record, including “archaeological texts” (papyri, paper documents, and inscriptions recovered from archaeological contexts). The geographical focus of the conference is the Mediterranean and its hinterland.
Participants are challenged to address the explore ways in which “things” fashioned by human hands defined, molded, and reconstituted relationships: the relationships between craftsman and consumer, patron and client, and within social or intellectual groups, for example. What about the relationships between “things”? When objects gained a second life – through reuse, recycling, as spolia – how did these relationships change? How were relationships consolidated or transformed through consumption (or performance), display, or disappearance from public view? What can we learn about the societies of the day in this manner?
We invite both senior researchers and junior scholars using material culture methods in Ayyubid, Mamluk and Ottoman Studies to share and reflect perspectives related to the conference’s topic and aim. Please submit your abstract (no longer than 500 words) and a short vita to Dr. Abdelkader Al Ghouz ( before September 8th 2017. Successful applicants are expected to submit a draft paper by November 24th, 2017.
Speakers agree to publish their papers in a conference volume after a review process and confirm that they have not been previously published. For accepted papers, accommodations will be provided and travel costs will be covered. The language of the conference is English. The conference proceedings will be published in a peer-reviewed volume. The publication is planned for October 2018.
For more information, please contact Dr. Abdelkader Al Ghouz.