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New Trends in Syrian Studies: A Dialogue of Theory and Practice
Fayetteville, AR, November 1998


Call for Papers New Trends in Syrian Studies: A Dialogue of Theory and Practice Fayetteville, AR 13-17 November, 1998
The organizers of a panel on literatures of Syria for an international conference, "New Trends in Syrian Studies: A Dialogue of Theory and Practice" seeks papers on any genre, any period of literature related to Syria. Syria is defined by the conference organizers as whatever Syria was at the time of the text in question, generally including the western "Fertile Crescent," following the Syrian Studies Association's definition. The panel will be organized thematically around the questions "What is the self and how is it translated into writing? How do travel and encounter ground the idea of the person in gender, class, religion, nation? Where is the body and its sensualities in relation to the self and its texts?" Any paper idea connected to these issues, even in the broadest way, will be given serious consideration. Panel organizers see a broad historical range possible within this thematic focus, from the early Islamic era texts (poetry, hadith, ilm al rijal, historiography), to the memoir of Usamah ibn Munqidh in the twelfth century A.D. and other works of the classical era of Arabic literature (adab, philosophy, rihla, poetry, etc.), to contemporary novels, autobiographies, poetry, and travel memoirs. Papers which cross disciplinary boundaries and/or address texts which are not normally considered literary are also welcome. The conference, hosted by the Middle East Studies Program of the University of Arkansas, is endorsed by the Syrian Studies Association and the American Research Institute in Syria. It will take place in Fayetteville, Arkansas on November 13-17, 1998. Please send abstracts of papers for receipt by Nov. 1, 1997 to: Mohja Kahf Department of English 333 Kimpel Hall University of Arkansas Fayetteville, AR 72701 USA Email submissions are encouraged. Send to: Questions about the panel may be directed to the same address. Communications from those interested in participating in the conference in other ways is welcome.