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Call for papers: On Critique in Middle East Studies: Conceptual, Practical and Ethical Considerations – CMES panel at BRISMES annual conference 2019, 24-27 June, Leeds

June 24 @ 8:00 am - June 27 @ 5:00 pm


For a special panel organized by the CMES (Critical Middle East Studies) section of BRISMES, we are soliciting papers that actively focus and reflect on the notion, practice and ethics of critique. We welcome both more conceptual as well as empirical papers that relate to and reflect on some of the following questions:


  • What is critique? What does it mean to be critical? What are the political, social, academic and personal purpose(s) of critique?
  • Who or what motivates critique? For who do we offer critique for and why? What are critique’s audience(s)? Is there a different mode of engaging with these different audiences?
  • How does “critical” practice stand apart from or in relation to “traditional” scholarship and practice? What does it mean to be critical in the Middle East and in Middle East Studies?
  • What are the conceptual and empirical tools that we use for critique? What are its limitations and advantages? Do we need new tools, concepts, modes of expression and focus areas? If so, what would these be?
  • How has critique developed within Middle Eastern studies and political advocacy? What are its blind spots, or its disadvantages?
  • Is there a chance that critique collapses inwards, and becomes reactionary or dogmatic in the process? How do we recognize and avoid such tendencies? How do we avoid paternalistic tendencies in critique, and ensure that subaltern voices are heard? What does it mean to give voice? Does giving voice always serve the purpose of critique?
  • What are the personal, professional, social and political impacts of critique on oneself and others? How do we weigh its so-called benefits in light of its emotional, personal and professional costs? How do we ensure we do not put others or ourselves at risk when engaging in critique?
  • How do we draw the boundaries of critique?
  • Are there other creative ways that Middle East Studies academics and activists could engage in practices of critique?
  • How does interdisciplinarity feature in critique? What are the obstacles as well as advantages arising from such interdisciplinarity?


Based on the papers that are submitted, we are also interested in considering these papers for a proposed special issue of Critique: Middle East Studies.


We kindly request all those who are interested to submit an abstract of no more than 250 words by 7 November 2018 9am GMT time. Abstracts should be sent to: Dr Vivienne Matthies-Boon (e.a.v.boon@uva.nl) and Dr Andrea Teti (a.teti@abdn.ac.uk). 


For more information regarding the BRISMES conference, please consult: http://www.brismes.ac.uk/conference/call-for-papers-2019/



June 24 @ 8:00 am
June 27 @ 5:00 pm
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Dr Vivienne Matthies-Boon
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