Call for Papers: The Environment in the Middle East and North Africa

Special Issue of the International Journal of Middle East Studies: The Environment in the Middle East and North Africa

Guests editors: Tessa Farmer and Jessica Barnes with IJMES editors Akram Khater and Jeffrey Culang

From arid cities to irrigated fields, hot deserts to Mediterranean mountains, the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) encompasses a range of environments for thinking through the relationships between nature and society, people and animals, human and nonhuman worlds. Yet, while research on various aspects of the material world has a long history in the scholarship of the MENA, research on the environment as such has been relatively limited. Reflecting growing interest in the environment as a topic of concern, this special issue of IJMES will bring together scholarship from anthropology, geography, sociology, Science and Technology Studies (STS), and related disciplines on current environment-related themes in the region.

Deadline: November 15, 2016

The editors invite manuscript submissions that examine cultural, political, and social dimensions of the environment in the contemporary MENA. They are particularly interested in papers that are based on in-depth ethnographic fieldwork. The following are some of the key questions that this research may address. How does attention to the environment shape new understandings of knowledge production and expertise? How are categories of scale, from the global to the regional, national, and individual, embroiled in and produced through environmental engagements? How can we investigate the body and its fluid articulations with environmental materials? How do various religious conceptions and moral imaginaries come into view when examining socionatures in urban, periurban, and rural locales? What new angles do environmental issues offer for viewing long-standing sociopolitical conflicts at local and national levels? How do ideas of the “environment” and “environmentalism” function in local and national political projects? What role does the environment play in how nation-states articulate their histories and futures? How is “care” for the environment performed?

In drawing together a set of rich, empirically based papers, this special issue will not only shed important light on how we understand environmental change in the MENA, but also speak to central questions within anthropology, geography, sociology, Science and Technology Studies (STS), and related fields. The issue will push literature on the region forward by decentering narratives about conflict, religious fundamentalism, confessional systems, and debates about civilizational failures, and reorienting the focus onto the social, political, and cultural dimensions of human engagements with the natural world.

The deadline for submissions is 15 November 2016. Authors should follow the regular guidelines for submitting an article manuscript to IJMES, which are detailed here: http://ijmes.chass.ncsu.edu/docs/DetailedSubGuidelines.pdf. Please indicate in your cover letter that your submission is intended for the special issue. All special issue articles must be accepted individually through the IJMES peer review process.