Dominant conceptualizations of conflict tend to posit it as a temporal state of abnormality. Within the context of the Middle East and Africa this is further nuanced by discourses of belatedness (e.g. Palestinian negotiation of settler-colonialism) or failed projects of modernist statecraft altogether (e.g. sub Saharan Africa). This workshop begins with a premise that questions these temporal modes of understanding conflict. Positing (post) conflict as a non-linear continuum that marks the articulation of diverse modernity projects in these two regions, the workshop seeks to explore ways in which economies, spatialities, sociality, and subjectivity are produced by and negotiate (post) conflict.
Papers are invited to address the following questions :
Conflict produces new economic forms ranging from militarized to informal economic structures. Perceived as temporary expressions of the grotesque violence and marginality produced at the height of violent conflict, we ask how these “war economies” emerge out of a “before” and reshape new sorts of economies in the “after.” How might these micro studies force us to develop new vocabularies to understand these processes?
War economies are entangled with the production of new subjectivities. Moving beyond a discourse of “men with guns” and “woman as rape victims” how do war economies shape masculinity and femininity? How do notions of family, household, community, space and place rework itself?
What are the implications for studying societies that have produced themselves within a site of perpetual conflict. How might we develop vocabularies in which we move beyond notions of the abnormal? If normality is the site at which social science vocabulary is anchored, then how useful is it to use these concepts for the study of (post) conflict?
War produces massive demographic changes. What are the implications for local productions of place and space? How do relations (economic, political, social, cultural) between the urban and the rural get reconfigured?
What are the relationships between transnational and global trajectories and the remaking of the local social contract?
This workshop is organized by the (Re)Construction of War Torn Communities in the Middle East and Africa (RWCMEA) Working Group. Interested scholars are invited to submit an abstract to Ibrahim Elnur (email@example.com) or Martina Rieker (firstname.lastname@example.org) by June 1, 2004. A 15-25 page research paper based on original research is due August 1 for distribution to participants prior to the workshop. RWCMEA will fund all workshop participants.
Office of African Studies
American University in Cairo
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