February, 06 to February 05, 2016
Conveners: Astrid Meier (OIB), Abdallah Said (Université Libanaise), Souad Slim (University of Balamand), Stephen McPhillips (University of Copenhagen)
In recent years, there has been a renewed interest in rural societies amongst historians of the Middle East alongside that of other disciplines such as archaeology, anthropology, development studies, political studies, art history, literature etc. In many regions of the Middle East, history continues to be written from an urban perspective, with the historiography of Lebanon standing out in many ways as an important exception. As recent events have made clear, there is a need to counter this neglect of rural economies, politics, societies, culture and religion in scholarly debates in order to understand the issues of nation- and state-building in the region.
The initiators of the discussion group posit that a cross-disciplinary approach promises new insights into the workings of rural and urban societies as well as keys to understanding state formation in the eastern Mediterranean and their historical trajectories. Interested in diverse aspects of rural life over a long-term perspective, we would like to discuss with our colleagues and their students recent approaches to rural history and open a forum for debate of new research angles and projects.
A monthly meeting is planned with two scholarly presentations and ample time for discussion. We shall discuss the working languages of the discussion group during this meeting, but they could be Arabic, English and French.
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