Call for Papers – Al-Andalus in Motion: Travelling Concepts and Cross-Cultural Contexts’

Al-Andalus in Motion: Travelling Concepts and Cross-Cultural Contexts’

Istanbul Medeniyet University, 15-16 November 2018

The history of Iberia, as both an originator and a product of global colonization, constitutes a field of study for interrogating fundamental concepts of contemporary liberal-democratic societies. The ‘Iberianate venture’ embraces the ‘Al-Andalus’ syndrome (Islamic Andalusia as a model of tolerant co-existence between Christians, Muslims and Jews), the Iberian ‘Black legend’ (repressive Inquisitorial Catholicism, imperial brutality, economic backwardness), and Sefarad (an ambiguous place of home and exile for Iberian Jews). Within the framework of the ‘Traveling Concepts’ strand of the Language Acts & Worldmaking project, this conference will focus on the many ways in which Al-Andalus becomes a figure of thought, a means by which societies, minority groups, and individuals past and present represent and critically engage with questions of religious pluralism, intercultural contact and national identity.

Proposals for papers are invited from across the disciplines with a focus on the cross-cultural circulation of Andalusian and Sephardic ideas and concepts across geographies and histories. Submissions are welcome on any topic related to Al-Andalus and its afterlives including, but not limited to:

  • The languages, cultures, literatures and music of Al-Andalus and its diasporas;
  • Memory and identity in the Andalusi and Sephardic diasporas and its diverse contexts of settlement;
  • The trajectory of an ideological fascination with Muslim Spain/Al-Andalus as a hybrid space, a porous frontier between East and West, Islam and Christendom;
  • Sephardic and Andalusi heritage industry and cultural tourism;
  • Alhambrismo and the Moorish style in architecture and the decorative arts; material culture, Orientalism and Neo-Orientalism;
  • Language encounters between Al-Andalus, Iberia and Sefarad: oralities, scripts, texts, translations;
  • The circulation of ideas and representations of Al-Andalus from early modern days to the present, in Europe, Latin America, Turkey, and the broader Islamicate world, and their cultural, ideological and political uses;
  • Al-Andalus in fantasy and worldbuilding games and virtual reality;
  • The cultural and political traction of the chronotopes of Al-Andalus in the Christian, Muslim and Sephardic worlds;
  • Travel and travellers in Al-Andalus/Sefarad/Iberia across time and space;
  • Moros y cristianos festivals, Al-Andalus fairs, public history and historical re-enactment;
  • Al-Andalus as a combat concept in War-on-Terror times.

Abstracts of 250-400 words on these or similar topics should be submitted using the online application form at

Important Dates

Abstract Submission                                        August 31, 2018

Confirmation of acceptance                         September 10, 2018

Final program                                                    September 30, 2018
Conference Dates                                            November 15-16, 2018

İlmi Etudler Derneği
Aziz Mahmut Hüdayi Mh. Türbe Kapısı Sk. No: 13 Üsküdar İstanbul Turkey

Language Acts and Worldmaking ( is a flagship project funded by the AHRC Open World Research Initiative, which aims to regenerate and transform modern language learning by foregrounding language’s power to shape how we live and make our worlds. Travelling Concepts takes the Iberian Peninsula as both the originator and product of a polycentric process of global colonization, and its history as a workshop for questioning how language constructs the world. In a journey that takes us from Brazil to China, and through multiple languages, we investigate the ideological work performed by the vocabularies that historically cluster around Iberia, whether embedded in individual words, phrases or extended literary forms (narrative, lyric, history). Concepts such as ‘global’, ‘culture’, ‘civilisation’, ‘tolerance’, ‘Europe’ and the binary East/West are central to the way Iberian history has been imagined both inside and outside the Peninsula, from the Middle Ages to the present day.

ILEM-Scientific Studies Association ( was founded in 2002 with a view to training and supporting scientists and intellectuals engaging with the challenges of the contemporary world. Through the organisation of academic, cultural, and public engagement events and publications, ILEM aims to contribute to the generation and dissemination of knowledge across the social sciences, arts, literature and theology in dialogue and critical engagement with the wealth of ideas and scholarship of the Islamicate traditions.

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