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Migration from the Levant, 1800-2000

Deadline:

October 31, 2011

Event Date:

April 20, 2012 - April 22, 2012

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North Carolina State University, 20-22 April 2012

The Mashriq and the Mahjar:
Migration from the Levant, 1800-2000

Organisers, Akram Khater, John Karam, Andrew Arsan


It has now been two decades since the publication of Albert Hourani and
Nadim Shehadi’s edited volume The Lebanese in the World, the first
comprehensive attempt to track the dispersal of Eastern Mediterranean
men and women through the world in the nineteenth and twentieth
centuries, and its effects on the lands of their birth. In the
intervening years, the study of modern Eastern Mediterranean migration
has blossomed into an intellectually fecund and ever-expanding field.
This growth has coincided with the “transnational turn”, which has
spurred on historians and social scientists to look beyond the confines
of the nation-state with a renewed enthusiasm for world history and with
a focus on the interconnections forged between various regions of the
globe by circulation of people, goods, and ideas. These developments
have not just encouraged further study of Eastern Mediterranean
migration; they also offer scholars the possibility of arriving at a
new, and more refined, understanding of the Middle East and its
entanglements with the rest of the world.

Organised to mark the twentieth anniversary of Hourani and Shehadi’s
path-breaking effort, this conference seeks to take stock of recent work
on migration from present-day Lebanon, Syria and Israel/Palestine, to
open up fruitful discussion, and to chart paths for future research. It
will bring together scholars working in different disciplines to
consider the connections, comparisons, and contrasts between migrants’
experiences in different periods and locales. With this in mind, we
invite scholars working on any aspect of migration from the Levant over
the last two centuries to contribute theoretically innovative and
empirically grounded papers that might enhance our understanding of the
multifaceted process of movement. Though the central focus of the
conference will be on those who left the lands which now make up
Lebanon, we would welcome contributions on migration from present-day
Syria and Israel/Palestine.

Possible topics might include:
– The political and intellectual history of migrant communities
– The role of gender, race, and class in structuring these communities,
and their relations to their hosts
– The transformation of religion and religious institutions and
practices through migrations
– The social and economic history of these communities, their
occupations, and everyday habits
– Literary and political representations of the diasporic experience
– Return migration and relations to the Middle East

The conference will be held from April 20-22 2012 at North Carolina
State University under the auspices of the Khayrallah Program for
Lebanese-American Studies.

Please send abstracts of 250-300 words, including name, contact details,
and institutional affiliation as a word or PDF document by 31 October
2011 to the conference organisers:

Akram Khater, North Carolina State University akram_khater@ncsu.edu
John Tofik Karam, DePaul University, jkaram2@depaul.edu
Andrew Arsan, Princeton University, aarsan@princeton.edu

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