We are seeking participants for a panel for the Middle East Studies Association Annual Meeting: MESA 2010 “Globalization and Associational Activity in the Middle East and Asia”
Scholars of the Middle East and Asia have continuously underlined the importance of communities and associations in the development of selfhood and in the realization of larger societal goals. This emphasis on the “relational” and the “communal” has been pitted against the more isolated and individualized Western, “modern” self. Yet, processes of globalization have been influencing the taken for granted categories of the communal and the relational, hence requiring scholarship to rethink and challenge the dualities of East and West; local and global; domestic and foreign, the individual and the communal. This panel brings together scholars to critically and empirically revisit associational activity in the region, especially in the light of the current economic crisis, a conjuncture where voluntary associations are celebrated for their capacity to bring both economic development and political democratization. Papers in this panel seek to answer questions such as: What are the effects of globalization upon different types of associational practices and activities such as neighborhood groups, non-governmental organizations and philanthropic goodwill? How do global models of associational activity reshape local, historical and national repertories of civic engagement, social responsibility and a concern for the public good? What happens when global-and even neoliberal- models of associational activity are adopted by local actors and organizations and what types of resistances are deployed in such hybrid formations? What kinds of selves and communities are reiterated, reimagined and performed during the processes of such formations? The papers in this panel take associations not only as bodies of people who share a common interest or purpose, but also aim to highlight the ways in which the act of associating entails real or imagined mental connections, feelings and ideas which are linked to people and places.
Please submit abstracts (200-300 words) to both firstname.lastname@example.org AND email@example.com by January 20th, 2010.
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