Call for papers: Eleventh Nordic Conference on Middle Eastern Studies

“Breaking and Creating Boundaries in the Middle East”
Helsinki, Finland, 14–16 August 2019

Important edit. (28 Jan): Application period for the roundtable and pre-organized panel proposals is extended to 15 February 2019. The deadline for individual paper and poster proposals is also 15 February 2019.

The Nordic Society for Middle Eastern Studies (NSMES) (, the University of Helsinki and the Finnish Institute in the Middle East ( are pleased to announce the call for papers for the Eleventh Nordic Conference on Middle Eastern Studies. The conference is the 20th anniversary celebration of NSMES, which is an independent non-profit association for scholars in the Nordic countries working on the Middle East. It covers all subjects in the humanities and social sciences, from antiquity to the present day. The NSMES conference takes place every third year in one of the Nordic countries, and is also open for participants beyond the Nordic countries. This time the theme for the multidisciplinary conference is “Breaking and Creating Boundaries in the Middle East”.

The Middle East and North Africa have been going through a tumultuous process of change since the uprisings of 2011. In the process, many old social, political and even physical boundaries have been crossed, broken or re-created. The concept of “boundaries” now plays a significant role in social sciences and humanities. In addition to actual physical boundaries, the concept is also related to the study of identity, religion, gender, immigration, minorities and many other phenomena. Paper proposals are encouraged to explore and discuss the social, political, geographical, religious boundaries from all fields and disciplines of the Middle Eastern studies, including – but not limited to – the following fields: Middle Eastern history, anthropology, religion, politics, sociology, language, and literature. Also papers on other relevant themes pertinent to current Middle Eastern Studies are welcome.


The confirmed keynote speakers are Professor Sari Hanafi (The American University of Beirut), Professor Lara Deeb (Scripps College) and Professor Gareth Stansfield (University of Exeter).

Abstract Submission

The deadline for submitting proposals for a roundtable or a pre-organized panel is 15 February 2019.

For a roundtable, please submit a proposal comprising an abstract of about 150 words on the theme as well as the names and institutional affiliations of convener, chair, and panelists. For pre-organized panels, please submit a proposal comprising the names and institutional affiliations of convener, chair, and panelists, as well as title and abstract of about 150 words for the panel itself and for each paper presented. A pre-organized panel consists of a chair plus 3-4 panelists with single papers. Please send the panel proposal to the conference secretary (ella.kaplas[at]

The deadline for submitting proposals for individual papers and posters is 15 February 2019. Please submit your name, institutional affiliation, contact information and the title and abstract of your paper not exceeding 150 words. Please submit the paper proposals via following link. If the link is not functioning, please send your proprosal directly to the conference secretary.

Submission period has now ended. The selected entrants will be informed in the end of March and the registration period will be open until mid-May. Participants are encouraged to book their transportantion and accomondation as soon as the registration opens, since August is high season in Helsinki and hotels will be full. The conference does not offer grants for transportation or accommodation of the participants.