Appel à contribution : The Digital Humanities in Islamic & Middle East Studies, Brown University, 24-25 octobre 2013

The Digital Humanities in Islamic & Middle East Studies, October 24-25 2013 |

Brown University
Call for Papers
*Over the past few decades, humanistic inquiry has been problematized and
invigorated by technological advances and the concomitant emergence of what
is referred to as the digital humanities. Across multiple disciplines, from
history to literature, religious studies to philosophy, archaeology to
music, scholars are tapping the extraordinary power of digital technologies
to preserve, curate, analyze, visualize, and reconstruct their research

The humanistic study of the Middle East and the broader Islamic world has
been no less impacted by this new paradigm. Scholars are making daily use of
digital tools and repositories including private and state-sponsored
archives of textual sources, digitized manuscript collections,
densitometrical imaging, visualization and modeling software, and various
forms of data mining and analysis. However, there have been few calls to
bring researchers together to showcase their experiments in digital
humanistic scholarship within their respective fields, or to discuss the
opportunities and challenges engendered by this changing scholarly

With this in mind, *Middle East Studies at Brown University* – with the
support of the Brown Humanities Initiative – is pleased to announce a
pioneering conference on October 24-25 2013 that will explore the state of
the art in digital scholarship pertaining to Islamic & Middle East Studies.
Some of the guiding questions we are interested in include:

(1)  Where are the most important digitization projects of historical
sources in Arabic, Persian, Turkish, and other languages taking place around
the world?

(2)  What kinds of digital technologies and methodologies have proven most
fruitful for scholars in different disciplines (e.g. data mining, pattern
recognition, social network analysis, etc.)?

(3)  How are existing technologies challenged by the manipulation of data in
non-Western languages, and what are the most significant technological
desiderata for researchers?

(4)  What specific examples of digital-based research (macroscopic or
microscopic) in Islamic and Middle East Studies are promising, problematic,
or otherwise provocative?

(5)  As digital tools and media become more widespread, what ethical issues
relating to privacy and human consent must be carefully considered,
particularly in projects involving contemporary political and social issues?

We are happy to welcome as our keynote speaker *Dr. Dwight
Reynolds*(Professor of Religious Studies, UCSB), who is among many other
things the architect of the Sirat Bani Hilal Digital Archive, “an open
access resource for the preservation and dissemination of audio recordings,
written texts, photographic images and other materials related to the Epic
of the Bani Hilal Tribe,” a thousand-year-old epic poem. The conference will
be webcast and several papers may be selected for publication in an edited


We welcome submissions from scholars and graduate students in
diverse disciplines. Interested candidates are kindly requested to submit a
title and abstract of 300 words to the conference organizers at

Deadline: March 15, 2013. Successful applicants will be notified by mid-April.
Papers should be no longer than 20 minutes and should be read in English.

Depending on the number of participants, *there will be limited funds
available for travel and accommodation*. Brown University is located in
Providence, Rhode Island, about one hour south of Boston. For any questions,
please contact Dr. Elias Muhanna at the email address above.
Additional information will soon be available on the conference website.

Sterenn Le Maguer

Archéologue spécialiste de la péninsule Arabique et du commerce dans l'océan Indien, vacataire à l'Institut catholique de Paris et à l'Université Rennes 2.

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