Follow Us

CFP for a series of panels being organised by the Christians in the Middle East Research Workshop for WOCMES 2018.

WOCMES 2018 Seville, August 2018

Christians in the Middle East Research Network Call for Papers

After the success of the Christians in the Middle East (CME) Research Network organised panels at previous WOCMES conference in Barcelona, 2010 and Ankara, 2014, we are arranging another set of panels for WOCMES-5 in Seville in July 2018. The theme of the panels will be ‘Power, Agency and Christians in the Middle East: Historical and contemporary perspectives’.

In June 2011, Anglican Archbishop Rowan Williams described Christians in Bethlehem as a “marginalised minority”, echoing countless other voices which assert the relative powerlessness of Christians throughout the Middle East. Williams assertion illuminated the experiences of some Christians who face discrimination, marginalisation and persecution. However, this is only part of the story, as other Christians, including some in Bethlehem, enjoy certain structural privileges that nuance the idea of a marginalised minority. Furthermore, the term ‘minority’ is often rejected by Middle Eastern Christian communities themselves.

We invite papers to explore the concepts of “power” and “agency” as experienced by Christians in the Middle East, historically (from 1800) and presently. Papers can employ diverse disciplinary perspectives to analyze the complex way that Christians navigated the various manifestations of power, ranging from familial, local, regional, national, and international structures. We seek papers that move the discussion beyond binary framings to illuminate the complex web of entanglement of power and agency. Topics may include, but are not limited those listed below. We encourage submissions from an interdisciplinary perspective as well any relevant discipline.

  • ● Transnational powers
  • ■ Mission institutions
  • ■ Humanitarian relief organizations
  • ■ Jobs: Banking/educational/oil
  • ■ Diaspora organisations
  • ■ Churches
  • ● Global/regional order
  • ■ Arab League
  • ■ United Nations
  • ■ Western states
  • ● The State in the Middle East
  • ■ Ottoman/Qajar (shifting position; institutionalization of identity)
  • ■ Mandate states (role within; minorization; opportunities for migration)
  • ■ Independent states (role within; nationalism, activism)
  • ■ Authoritarian regimes (C.f. retrenchment in contemporary Egypt and Syria)
  • ■ Weak/failing states (responses to challenges/collapse of state authority e.g Lebanon, Iraq, Syria)
  • ● Within religious communities
  • ■ C.f. neutrality/cooption v-a-v state,
  • ■ Religious legal structures (millet; personal status; waqf)
  • ■ Clergy-lay relations
  • ■ Hierarchies and roles within church/community (patriarchal roles, gender, generation, migrants)
  • ● Social institutions
  • ■ Sports
  • ■ Cultural institutions
  • ■ NGO
  • ■ schools
  • ● Personal/Familial
  • ■ Family networks and migration
  • ■ Personal Status Laws

Please send an abstract of 250-300 words for a paper of 15-20 minutes, as well as brief biographical details, to Dr. Fiona McCallum by 10th November 2017.

Submissions will be reviewed by the Panel Convenors Dr Christine Lindner, Dr Mark Calder and Dr Fiona McCallum and successful panellists will be notified within two weeks of the deadline.

Further information on WOCMES-5 is available on the WOCMES-5 website (

Dr Fiona McCallum

School of International Relations

Arts Faculty Building

University of St Andrews

St Andrews

KY16 9AX

Tel: +44(0)1334 462940