Call for Papers: The Lure of the ‘Other’: Religious Conversion and Reversion in the Early Modern Mediterranean and Beyond

A symposium to be held at St Mary’s University College, Twickenham, London,
June 4th-5th, 2013

The topic of religious conversion into and out of Islam as a historical
phenomenon is one that is mired in a sea of debate and misunderstanding.
Religious conversion tends to be viewed as the crossing of a line that
cannot be re-crossed.  However, the convert traversed not only religious
divisions, but in an early modern/Renaissance context, frequently political,
cultural and geographic boundaries as well thereby blurring allegiances and

We invite proposals for papers on the following topics – all of which should
focus on conversion to or from Islam in the early modern Mediterranean world
broadly conceived.

•	Religious conversion and the fabrication of cosmopolitan identities
•	Conversion as translation between cultures; converts as mediators
•	Religious conversion and the spread of technical and artisanal
skills or
 the exchange of philosophical, scientific and  theological knowledge
•	Religious conversion and trading networks
•	Religious conversion and hybridity; the syncretic devotional
practices and beliefs of converts
•	Links between religious conversion and economic (forced or
voluntary) migration and slavery
•	Acculturation and conversion; religious conversion as a form of
cultural and social "belonging"
•	Conversion as a literary trope
•	Conversion rituals and discourses of political legitimization
•	Religious reversion, the "returning convert", and rituals of

Proposals should be no longer than 500 words in length and should be
accompanied by a very brief CV (no longer than 1 page). We particularly
welcome proposals from postgraduate students and early career researchers.
Limited funds are available for accommodation for the duration of the
conference and reimbursement of travel costs; where possible, we encourage
participants to seek financial support from their home institutions.

Deadline for proposals: November 1st, 2012.  Please submit your proposal to
the conference organisers:
Claire Norton ( and Nur Sobers-Khan

For more information and full conference description, please visit the
conference webpage:

Camille Rhoné

Agrégée d'histoire, titulaire d'une thèse de doctorat en histoire de l'Islam médiéval ("Défendre le territoire en Iran nord-oriental - Khorassan et Transoxiane -, IXe-XIe siècle"), Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne.

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