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Call for Papers: SERMEISS Spring 2020 Islam and Law Workshop

The Southeast Regional Middle East and Islamic Studies Society (SERMEISS) invites scholars, including advanced doctoral students, to submit paper proposals for its 2020 spring meeting, which will be held March 6-8, 2020 at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia.

The spring 2020 meeting will focus on “Islam and Law,” and paper proposals should be broadly related to that theme.

SERMEISS is an interdisciplinary organization interested in all areas of Middle East and Islamic Studies.

For the Spring 2020 meeting, SERMEISS will use a new workshop format in which accepted papers will be considered for inclusion in a future proposal for a special issue of a high-impact interdisciplinary Middle Eastern studies journal. A senior scholar specializing in Islam and Law will write the special issue’s introduction and oversee editing its contributing essays.

We invite paper abstracts from any discipline in the humanities or social sciences that address any topic related to Islam and Law in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. Papers may address, for example:

  • Islam’s role in the historical, cultural, or theological origins of law and law-making.
  • Islam’s role in shaping law, legal institutions, and legal processes.
  • Islam’s role in influencing the interactions or dynamics that occur between citizens, legal officials (e.g. judges, lawyers, police), and legal institutions (e.g. courts, prisons, constitutions, bar associations, government ministries, the state).
  • Islam’s role in specific, understudied legal issues or policy dilemmas like human rights, civil liberties, family law, criminal law, financial law, civil law, constitutions, ethnic/religious minorities, women’s rights, adoption, inheritance, alimony, etc.
  • Islam’s role in international law, including topics like international courts, international institutions, territorial or maritime disputes, arbitration, mediation, treaties, and diplomacy.

Paper proposals must include a title, a detailed abstract (of no more than 300 words), the author’s scholarly discipline, and contact information (including department and institutional affiliation). Please also indicate whether you are a faculty member or doctoral student, since the latter will be eligible for the Herbert L. Bodman Award for best graduate paper presentation.

To submit a paper proposal, please send your materials in a single file to Curtis Ryan (ryanc@appstate.edu) by Friday, October 4.

Paper proposals will be vetted by a conference committee. The number of participants in the workshop will be limited (usually SERMEISS accepts about 8 papers). Each workshop session will last 40 minutes and will include the presentation and discussion of one paper. Presenters will submit a draft copy of their papers at least two weeks before the meeting, so that these can be circulated among confirmed conference attendees for comments and feedback. Decisions regarding the inclusion of papers in a proposal for a special issue of a journal will be made following the workshop and will be based on paper quality, thematic coherence, space, and other factors.

Regardless of whether or not you will be submitting a paper proposal, please plan to join us at the SERMEISS meeting at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia.

About Ali Teymoori

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