CALL FOR PAPERS :: INMENAS First Online Networking Event

Emerging Perspectives on the Middle East and North Africa from Ireland

Date: 15-16 November 2020


The Irish Network for Middle Eastern and North African Studies (INMENAS) invites scholars based in both Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland to present their work at its first online networking event. INMENAS is a new collective of academics from several universities on the island of Ireland, whose objective is to create an inclusive, multidisciplinary network for scholars in Middle Eastern and North African (MENA) studies. As we witness the interest in MENA studies growing in Ireland, we think it is time to consolidate relationships between individuals and institutions. We regard this as a vital task for our community: this networking event aims to map who we are and where we work, and what topics are prevalent among Ireland-based scholars. We want to foster opportunities for informal and formal peer-to-peer mentorship, including individuals at different stages of their career. INMENAS is particularly interested in strengthening the voices of early-career scholars, postgraduate and undergraduate students. To enhance opportunities for multilateral engagement, scholars participating in the event will be asked to present a short description of their work, instead of delivering longer presentations based on written papers.

By Middle East and North Africa, we understand the lands, peoples and countries that include the Maghreb, the Sahel, the Mashreq; the Levant, the Near East and South-East Mediterranean; Iran, the Gulf and its multiple trade roads, reaching Central Asia and South-East Asia. While we acknowledge the colonial legacy in the structuring of our field of study and in the construction of the “MENA region” as a territorial and cultural entity, our understanding aligns with its mainstream and most common definition. Nevertheless, we emphasise the cross-regional, cross-continental, and cross-cultural pollinations that have shaped the contemporary definition of the region.

Consistently with our mission, the goal of our first networking event is to enlarge and strengthen a new network for Ireland-based scholars of MENA studies, reinforcing existing academic relationships and introducing ideas on current projects to other fellows. Due to the ongoing pandemic, the conference will take place entirely online and will be held via Zoom. Those interested in participating will have the opportunity to showcase their work and get feedback. They should be involved with work and issues related to MENA, such as, but not limited to, historical and contemporary matters in geography, politics, scientific/infrastructural developments, culture, race, gender, international relations, technology, law, peace and conflict, literary and artistic production, and environmental issues. Scholars from all disciplines are welcome, and presentations from early career researchers and research students are strongly encouraged. INMENAS plans to have a bigger, in presence and “traditional” launching conference in the future.

The format of the presentations will differ from canonical written paper-based oral presentations. Presentations will be kept to 10-15 minutes each and should share an overall picture of the presenter’s past projects (ideally 3 minutes), present work (ideally, 7 minutes) and academic aspirations/future projects (ideally, 5 minutes), followed by a Q&A session. For this first online networking event, we will accept proposals from scholars and students based on the island of Ireland, while scholars and students based elsewhere will be able to attend as auditors. Please send abstracts of maximum 350 words in PDF format to by 25 October, 2020. Updates about the event will be posted on our webpage



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