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Conf/CfP - Crossings: Negotiating Borders and Boundaries in the Eastern Mediterranean, 29-30 April 2017, University of Oxford

Publish Date: Feb 02, 2017

Deadline: Feb 24, 2017

Event Dates: from Apr 29, 2017 01:08 to Apr 30, 2017 01:08


Venue: Radcliffe Humanities Building, University of Oxford
Keynote speakers: Yiannis Papadakis (University of Cyprus) and Clare Azzopardi (Malta)

A postgraduate student committee from the University of Oxford’s Modern Languages Faculty (Sub-faculty of Byzantine and Modern Greek) and the Oriental Institute (Modern Middle East Studies) invites abstract submissions from postgraduate students to participate in a two-day conference in order to consider the question of how borders and other forms of boundaries were created, negotiated or challenged in the Eastern Mediterranean throughout the 20th and 21st centuries.

Participants are particularly encouraged to think of borders and boundaries not only in geographical terms, but also as a more general category denoting limits – be it the limits of genre, identity or culture. What continuities and ruptures are invoked in the making of borders and boundaries? How are they delimited, and what are their markers, if any? What is it that crosses borders (people, products, stories) and what stays behind? What cultural processes take place as a result of such crossings? How do the crossings manifest themselves in our everyday? Do the traditionally perceived binaries between self and other still hold at the liminal spaces of crossings? The conference calls postgraduate students to explore these questions through the lens of history, geography, politics, anthropology, sociology, media studies, translation, literature, performance and visual arts, cultural and religious studies, and other relevant disciplines.

Possible topics include, but are not limited to:

  • State borders, geographical boundaries, and transitory spaces
  • Cultural and religious minorities and multicultural identities
  • Sites of memory and cultural heritage as spaces of cultural negotiation
  • Crossings through time: uses of the past in the present
  • Crossings in literature, film, theatre, music and visual arts
  • Translation, transliteration, and translingualism across literary traditions
  • Bodily boundaries and the politics of gender and sexuality
  • The role of media, Internet, and social networks
  • Transcultural and transnational networks and the processes of globalization

The conference will run over the period of two days on 29-30 April, 2017. It will feature a number of panels where students will present their papers and keynotes by Yiannis Papadakis and Clare Azzopardi, exploring the conference theme from multiple perspectives.

Students from all backgrounds and disciplines are encouraged to apply.
Paper abstracts (up to 300 words) must be submitted as an e-mail attachment to by Friday, 24 February 2017 (in the body of the email please also indicate your name, the degree for which you are registered, your university and e-mail address). Papers should be in English and should not exceed 20 minutes. Those who submit proposals will be notified by early March whether their submissions have been accepted.

The Conference is organized thanks to a grant by the TORCH-AHRC Graduate Fund, and is supported by the Sub-faculty of Byzantine and Modern Greek, Oxford, The Middle East Centre at St. Antony’s College, Oxford, South East European Studies at Oxford (SEESOX), and the Onassis Foundation.

The conference conveners are Kristina Gedgaudaitė (Modern Languages) and Suja Sawafta (Oriental Studies).


The conference will feature two distinguished speakers from the region:

Dr. Yiannis Papadakis (University of Cyprus)

Yiannis Papadakis is Professor of Social Anthropology at the Department of Social and Political Sciences, University of Cyprus. He is author of Echoes from the Dead Zone: Across the Cyprus Divide (I. B. Tauris, 2005, also translated in Greek and Turkish), co-editor of Divided Cyprus: Modernity, History and an Island in Conflict (Indiana University Press, 2006) and Cypriot Cinemas: Memory, Conflict and Identity in the Margins of Europe (Bloomsbury, 2014), and editor of a 2006 special issue of Postcolonial Studies on Cyprus, among others. His published work on Cyprus has focused on ethnic conflict, borders, nationalism, memory, museums, historiography, history education and cinema. His more recent work explored issues of trust, migration and social democracy in Denmark.
Clare Azzopardi (Malta)
Clare Azzopardi is an award-winning writer who writes for both children and adults. She is the Head of Department of Maltese at the University of Malta Junior College and for the past several years has been an active member of Inizjamed, an NGO whose mission is to promote literature in Malta and abroad. With Inizjamed, she has co-organised literary festivals and workshops, often in collaboration with Literature Across Frontiers (LAF). Her work has been translated into several languages and has appeared in a number of collections. Her play L-Interdett Taħt is-Sodda was published in French (Éditions Théâtrales, 2008) and in Arabic (I-ACT, 2009). Azzopardi has also published 2 books of short stories for adults, both of which won the National Book Prize for Literature – Il-Linja l-Ħadra (The Green Line) and Kulħadd ħalla isem warajh (The names they left behind). 


Please contact us at should you have any questions.

Conference conveners:
Kristina Gedgaudaite, DPhil Candidate, Modern Languages (Greek)
Suja Sawafta, DPhil Candidate, Oriental Studies (Modern Arabic Literature)

Accomodation and Catering Officer:
Ioanna Papaki, University of Oxford Alumni

Social Media Officer:
Spyros Chairetis, DPhil Candidate, Modern Languages (Greek)

For more information please click "Further Official Information" below.

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