Call for Papers: Middle East Studies Association (MESA), November 22-25, 2014, Washington, DC.

The informal colloquium for the study of medieval Islamicate slavery and gender
is seeking papers for two panels for the next MESA conference.

Panel #1: Organizer, Craig Perry, Emory University

Panel Topic: "Domestic Slavery in the Medieval Middle East"

What can we learn by studying the lives of non-elite domestic slaves in the
households of the pre-modern Middle East? This panel will study a form of
slavery that was widespread in medieval Islamicate societies, but that has
received less scholarly attention than other kinds of slaves including
concubines of the elite, eunuchs, slave soldiers, and qiyān (singing slave
women). Particular topics of interest include, but are not limited to, the role
of domestic slaves in the economy and politics of the household; slavery,
gender, and mastery; representations of domestic slavery; slavery and social
status; slaveholding in non-Muslim communities; and slavery laws. The goal of
this panel is both to explore potential sources and methodologies for the study
of domestic slavery and to theorize more broadly the social logic and function
of non-elite slavery in pre-modern Middle Eastern societies.

Please submit your paper abstract (400 words MAX) and a CV for consideration to
Craig Perry <> by Monday, February 3, 2014. If your
paper is included in the panel, you will be required to upload your abstract to
the MESA website before February 15, 2014. You must also have a current MESA
membership by this date in order to submit your abstract.

Panel #2: Organizer, Lisa Nielson, Case Western Reserve University

Panel Topic:  “Music, art and literature: changes and exchanges in the
medieval Islamicate world”

This panel considers how artistic exchanges, borrowings, and hybridization
influenced social and cultural changes in the medieval Islamicate world between
the 7th and 15th centuries. While some of the most visible examples of artisans
and entertainers were slaves, such as singing slave girls (qiyān), the ranks
of artists included free and unfree men, women and cross-gendered individuals.
In what ways did artists, either as symbols or as cultural icons, impact
intellectual discourse?  How and why did social and legal status of artisans
and musicians change? What modes of exchange and collaboration were used in the
development of the arts? In addition to music, visual arts, and literature,
studies that examine craft and skilled work, such as ceramics, metal and
stonework, are welcome, as are those focused on economics of trade, the role
and status of artisans (free, unfree), religious and moral rhetoric, gender
identity and performance, and individual artists. Those projects examining the
effect of artistic exchanges from the standpoint of reciprocity and
collaboration with early medieval Europe, India and China are of interest as

Please submit an abstract of 300 – 400 words to Lisa Nielson at Kindly use the heading “MESA, 2014” in the subject of your
question or submission. Email submissions only.  The deadline for submissions
is Friday, Feb. 7th, 2013, and participants will be notified no later than
February 10th. Participants will be required to upload their abstract to the
MESA website before February 15, 2014. You must also have a current MESA
membership by this date in order to submit an abstract.

For full guidelines regarding abstracts and membership in MESA, please refer

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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