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Panel CFP for The Canadian Association for the Study of Book Culture (CASBC/ACÉHL) – “Beyond the Oceans: Canada in the World – Book and Print Culture Unbound”

The Middle East and North Africa (MENA) have been sources and/or subjects of reading material in Canada since about 1866, when the first Canadian edition of the Arabian Nights was published in Montreal. Today, a growing number of books, periodicals, webpages, and social media sites produced in Canada are in MENA languages such as Arabic, Persian, Turkish, and Kurdish, in addition to Canada’s official languages of English and French.

This panel will include papers that document, explain, historicize, and/or analyze MENA reading material produced and/or consumed in Canada. Rather than anachronistic criticism, presentations should explain the various manifestations and conceptions of MENA literatures and cultures in and as reading material across Canada. Papers may contextualize these materials and/or discuss their uses by the various linguistic/ethnic/professional/social communities of Canadian readers. Possible questions to consider include:

What materials do Canadians – citizens as well as permanent and temporary residents – read about the MENA? What materials were produced and/or consumed historically?
What materials in Arabic, Persian, Turkish, Kurdish, and other MENA languages are produced and/or circulated in Canada? What are the circumstances of their production/circulation? How do Canadian readers access these materials? What kinds of meaning do they ascribe to these materials?
What kinds of socialization have these texts inspired in the past and/or present?
How does the reading of these materials support and/or hinder the formation of communal/national identities, past or present?
What circumstances have influenced the production, circulation, and readership of print and/or online material in Arabic, Persian, Turkish, Kurdish, etc. in Canada?

This panel is in response to the Congress 2017 theme “From Far & Wide: The Next 150,” and will be submitted to the program committee of CASBC/ACÉHL’s conference, titled “Beyond the Oceans: Canada in the World - Book and Print Culture Unbound.” This conference will take place at Ryerson University (in Toronto) on May 30–31, 2017.

Submissions, including a 200-250-word abstract and a brief CV, should be sent to Rasoul Aliakbari (University of Alberta), panel organizer and chair, at by November 30, 2016.

** NOTE -- The CASBC are also accepting proposals for other panels/papers. CASBC/ ACÉHL defines “book culture” broadly to refer to studies in the history of the book, literary and cultural history, historical bibliography, digital humanities etc.

The conference organizers will consider papers on all periods and places, but priority will be given to papers falling within this year’s theme. Proposals (in French or English) should not exceed 250 words and should include a title and abstract, indicating the research basis of the study as well as the argument of the paper. A brief c.v. (one page) should be supplied. Papers may be in French or English and should not exceed 20 minutes. Panels of three papers will be considered.

Proposals should be submitted by email to Myra Tawfik, University of Windsor, CASBC Program Chair at by December 15, 2016.
Relevant research areas: North America

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