HomeArt and History Museums in the Middle East as places of social and political production

HomeArt and History Museums in the Middle East as places of social and political production

Art and History Museums in the Middle East as places of social and political production

Les musées d’art et d’histoire au Moyen Orient comme lieux de productions sociales et politiques

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Published on Tuesday, September 12, 2017


This panel aims at studying how works of art are defined in Middle Eastern museums and how this definition encompasses their political project. We would like to study how museums are perceived, socially and politically, including on a commercial level, by local and international audiences.



This panel aims at presenting papers contributing to the development of a social and political history of Museums (whether they are linked or not to monuments and archeological sites) in the Middle East. The papers will analyze how works of art are selected, classified, and the way they are exposed, by defining the actors of this process (curators, researchers, artists, tourism professionals, public officials…) on a local, national, and international scale. They will account for the impact these choices have on the very definition of these objects, the social representations and identitary constructions that sustain this process (Anderson 2006, Hobsbawm and Ranger 2012), and how works of art contribute to the affirmation of a discourse about the past, serve to create or preserve a tradition, or to the definition of a political project (Richard 2016, Kazerouni 2017). To do so, papers will address the question of target audiences and compare it with the actual visitors of these museums, together with these visitors' perception of the institution (Jelidi 2013). They will pay particular attention to the production of objects for sale inspired by the museums, aimed at a local, diasporic, or foreign audience, and to the impact that the gathering and exposition of museum collections have had on the artistic and craft production. Through the confrontation of different cases, our aim is to distinguish different models of museums and to discuss the hypothesis of their inspiration by imperial references (Ottoman, French, and British) (Poulot 1997), creating local museum traditions.

Submission guidelines

The call for papers closes on 8 January 2018.

Proposals should consist of a paper title, a (very) short abstract of <300 characters and an abstract of 250 words.  On submission the proposal, the proposing author (but not any co-authors listed) will receive automated email confirming receipt. If you do not receive thisemail, please first check the login environment (click login on the left) to see if your proposal is there.  If it is, it simply means confirmation got spammed or lost; and if it is not, it means you need re-submit, as process went wrong somewhere.

Proposals will be marked as pending until the end of the Call for papers. Convenors will then be asked to make their decisions over the papers proposed to their workshop by 20 January 2018 and to communicate those to the proposers, marking them up within the login environment (Cocoa). Papers which are neither accepted nor rejected, but marked for 'transfer', will then be considered by the Conference Committee to see where else they might fit in the conference programme. There is no guarantee that such papers can be re-housed. We aim to resolve all transfers by 22 February 2018.

Paper proposal form (https://nomadit.co.uk/rai/events/rai2018/conferencesuite.php/paperproposal/6080)


  • Benedict Anderson, Imagined communities : reflections on the origin and spread of nationalism, Londres/New York, Verso, revised edition, 2006.
  • Eric Hobsbawm et Terence Ranger, L'invention de la tradition, nouvelle édition augmentée, Paris, Editions Amsterdam, 2012
  • Alexandre Kazerouni, Le miroir des cheikhs : musée et politique dans les principautés du golfe Persique,Paris, PUF, 2017.
  • Charlotte Jelidi (dir.), Les musées au Maghreb et leurs publics : Algérie, Maroc, Tunisie, Paris, 2013, IRMC-La Documentation française.
  • Dominique Poulot, Musée, nation, patrimoine : 1789-1815, Paris, Gallimard, 1997
  • Thomas Richard, Du musée au cinéma : narrations de guerres au Moyen-Orient, Paris, LGDJ, 2016.


  • Thomas Richard (Université Clermont-Auvergne Centre Michel de l'Hospital) 

  • Alain Messaoudi (Université de Nantes)


  • the British Museum, Clore Centre and SOAS, Senate House
    London, Britain


  • Monday, January 08, 2018


  • histoire des musées, muséographie, usage politiques du passé


  • Alain Messaoudi
    courriel : alain [dot] messaoudi [at] univ-nantes [dot] fr

Information source

  • Alain Messaoudi
    courriel : alain [dot] messaoudi [at] univ-nantes [dot] fr


CC0-1.0 This announcement is licensed under the terms of Creative Commons CC0 1.0 Universal.

To cite this announcement

« Art and History Museums in the Middle East as places of social and political production », Call for papers, Calenda, Published on Tuesday, September 12, 2017, https://calenda.org/415543

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