Call for Papers: Fourth Annual Conference of the Iranian Studies Initiative October 19th-20th, 2018

Slavery and Sexual Labor in the Middle East and North Africa

October 19th-20th, 2018

UC Santa Barbara, California, United States

The Fourth Annual Conference of the Iranian Studies Initiative will be held on Friday and Saturday, October 19th-20th, 2018 at the University California, Santa Barbara. The theme of this year’s conference is Slavery and Sexual Labor in the Middle East and North Africa and we welcome proposals for academic papers addressing the institution of marriage, slavery, concubinage, prostitution, indentured servitude or debt slavery, as well as the lives of orphans, divorced women, and widows in the Middle East and North Africa. Papers focusing on the parallels and disjunctures between early modern and contemporary forms of coercive gendered labor practices and sexual servitude in the 19th and 20th centuries are particularly welcome, but all papers related to these subjects will be considered.

The deadline for the call for papers is May 1st, 2018. If you are interested in participating, please send the title and an abstract (250 words) of your paper’s topic, the archives you have consulted, and any theoretical or methodological approaches used in your research. If your paper is accepted, we ask that you provide a draft of your paper by October 15, 2018. We will then request a publishable version of your paper after the conference no later than July 30, 2019 for consideration in an edited volume to be published by I.B. Tauris as part of its series on Sex, Marriage, and Religion in the Middle East.

Three nights of accommodations and meals will be provided by the conference organizers.

Funds for travel expenses may be available, which will be decided on an individual case by case basis.


For questions and paper proposals, please contact:

Eric Massie, PhD Candidate

Conference Coordinator


With Regards,

Janet Afary,

Mellichamp Chair, Director,  Iranian Studies Initiative, UCSB


Manoutchehr Eskandari-Qajar

Director, Middle East Studies Program, SBCC