Iraqi Studies: Past, Present, and Future
February 28 - February 29
This two-day conference brings together a diverse group of established and emerging scholars working on the history of modern Iraq from the Ottoman period to the present to interrogate Iraqi studies; taking stock of its past, reflecting on the present, and looking towards its future. Studies of modern Iraq have grown qualitatively and quantitatively in recent years. There is now a critical mass of innovative scholars in the US, Europe, and the Middle East who work on Iraq and are exploring new lines of inquiry in a number of different directions. It is common to see Iraq-themed panels and round tables at international conferences. Given this volume of scholarly activity connected to modern Iraq, it is an opportune time to critically reflect on and examine Iraqi studies and its status as a burgeoning sub-field of Middle East Studies.
We aim to discuss research trends, to identify promising new questions and sources, to exchange experiences and insights, and to encourage networking across period-specializations and field boundaries. Each panel will comprise a discussant and several speakers. A keynote panel of senior scholars will critically reflect on the state of Iraqi studies. Confirmed speakers for the Keynote Panel: Dr. Dina Khoury (George Washington University); Dr. Orit Bashkin (University of Chicago); Dr. Eric Davis (Rutgers University); Dr. Sara Pursley (New York University).
Among the questions we seek to explore are: How do we define Iraqi studies? What various methodological approaches inform our study of Iraq? Is Iraqi studies an inherently nationalist endeavor? How do different frameworks support or break with nationalist conventions? How has Iraq’s recent turbulent history affected how scholars access sources to study the country, its geography, its people, its history, its literature, etc.? How can we move past the sectarian and ethnic narratives of understanding the Iraqi past and present?