June 11-12, 2012 the University of New South Wales (UNSW) and University of Western Sydney (UWS)
CALL FOR PAPERS
Since early 2010, the Middle East and North Africa have been rocked by mass protests and upheaval, as millions of people have participated in demonstrations and revolted against the status quo. In what has become known as the ‘Arab Spring’, demonstrators have been demanding change - yet what change means for each country and for each protestor varies significantly. While some are looking for “freedom and democracy”, others are protesting for social justice, and demanding religious, ethnic or civil rights. Consequently, while there are many similarities, there are also significant differences within and between each of these protests.
This conference explores these recent developments in the Middle East and North Africa. We invite papers that discuss the motivations and desires of the protesters across the region, and ask how Western notions of “freedom” and ‘democracy” apply both within individual nations, and across borders.
We ask how much, and what sort of change is possible in these places of protest: What can women hope for in terms of change? Will the rights of minorities be supported? Will freedom of expression emerge and be protected? Are civil and human rights possible in these countries at this time?
We also invite papers that analyse the dynamics of the protest movements, including the importance of youth as a common denominator: What role has social networking played? Is there generational unity? Is youth a linking factor across borders? Is possible for those living in exile in achieving and supporting change in their countries of origin? Do (and should) they have a voice?
Proposals should include a title, a 250 word abstract, a one-paragraph biographical note on the speaker and full contact details. They should be addressed no later than 20th of February 2012 to
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