The Annual Conference of the British Society for Middle Eastern Studies (BRISMES) is a three day event that brings together prominent scholars, publishers, diplomats, non-governmental organisations, and the press to highlight areas of research and share information related to the Middle East.
From June 16 – 18 the University of Sussex is hosting this event as part of its growing investment in the field of Middle Eastern Studies. Plenary sessions include a keynote address by Professor Asef Bayat (University of Illinois), an expert on social movements and the politics of religiosity in the Middle East.
Few of the world’s regions are as intimately connected to the wider world as the Middle East. This is true historically, where the region has long acted as a crossroads of trade, culture and ideas, as well as in more contemporary contexts where, for example, the recent Arab protest movements are inspiring similar actions around the globe. The turn towards area studies in the 1960s has led to the flourishing of a specialised approach to Middle Eastern studies, in Britain as in other parts of the world. This has produced a great depth of detailed scholarly work on the region, though it also frequently separates our understanding of the Middle East from wider global contexts. Recently this has begun to change as scholars are increasingly focusing on the historical and contemporary intersections and interactions between the Middle East and the wider world. The 2014 BRISMES annual conference seeks to place these approaches at the centre of the discussion, encouraging applications for papers and panels that take up this theme in new and innovative ways.
The conference includes submissions that highlight the connections between the Middle East and other areas of the globe, as well as ties within the region, be they between individual countries or between sub-regions, such as the Mashreq, Maghreb, Levant, and Gulf. We also aim to encourage new dialogue between scholars studying the Middle East on either side of the divide between area studies and specific disciplines ranging from history to literary studies, anthropology to international relations, and many shades in-between.
Within the overall theme of ‘The Middle East in Global Perspective’, our papers and panels have been mainly classified into the following sub-themes:
It is anticipated that a selection of the submissions related to the core themes will be published after the conference.
Non-presenting conference participants are warmly welcomed.