The Middle Eastern Studies Department (MESD) of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences (CHSS) at Hamad Bin Khalifa University (HBKU) announced their call for papers ahead of conference on Re-thinking Middle East Studies – Towards Setting New Agendas, which will take place on 20-21 April 2020.

The conference seeks to cast the Middle East beyond reductive daily headlines that focus on conflict and civil war, radicalism and sectarian strife, ethnic and gender violence, and more. The conference will develop a new and more constructive agenda for Middle East studies which recognises the region’s evolving characteristics and challenges, while framing them in the wider context of international dynamics and interactions. In doing so, participants will be encouraged to re-think and re-imagine research methods and other ‘tools’ currently shaping relevant academic debates and studies.

In the build up to the conference, MESD is accepting individual paper and thematic panel submissions for the development of new research agendas for Middle East studies. Thematic areas include but are not limited to refugees, displacement and migration; digital connectivity and the future of work; cultural heritage; and the changing role of traditional and social media. Submissions are welcome from PhD students, early career academics as well as established researchers.

Professor Mohammad Hassan Hakimian, Director of Middle Eastern Studies Department at CHSS, said that all area studies focus on a region’s distinctive characteristics.

However, perceptions that the Middle East is different in an unfortunate manner from the rest of the world have distorted public understanding – not to mention the research agenda – of the entire region. We want content and discussions at next year’s conference to challenge these perceptions.

As Re-thinking Middle East Studies is an interdisciplinary event, we welcome submissions from a broad range of academic disciplines in humanities and social sciences. In return, we promise two days of lively debate and discussion that reflect CHSS determination to bridge disciplinary boundaries.’

The College of Humanities and Social Sciences regularly holds events to highlight its research activities and projects. For more information, visit