ASOR Funding for Regional Lectures

Exciting New Funding Opportunity from ASOR

The American Schools of Oriental Research (ASOR) has recently decided to allocate funds in support of members who are organizing lectures and events throughout the year. The decision is prompted by an interest in increasing ASOR presence in events throughout the year and in promoting ASOR’s mission of public outreach.

Preference will be given to proposals for special programming at the regional meetings (including co-sponsoring a regional lecture event) that enhance ASOR membership and visibility, as well as to proposals for lectures/events beyond the regional meetings that promise to attract an audience of potential new ASOR members. Continue reading

16th Annual Graduate Symposium-call for papers

The Department of Near and Middle Eastern Civilizations’ Graduate Students Association (University of Toronto) presents…

The 16th Annual Graduate Symposium—Open Call for Papers
Near and Middle Eastern Studies in the Midst of Revolution
March 5-6, 2012
Deadline: January 9, 2012

The Near and Middle Eastern Civilizations Graduate Students Association of the University of Toronto invites proposals for the 16th Annual Graduate Symposium to be held on March 5-6, 2012. Since 1997, the NMCGSA Symposium has provided the opportunity for promising graduate students to share their original research with the broader scholarly community in a conference-like forum, and to publish their presentations as proceedings. By annually bringing together specialists in archaeology, history (both modern and ancient), anthropology, comparative literature, religion, philosophy, art, and political science, the symposium provides a unique opportunity for interdisciplinary discourse focused on the study of the Near and Middle East. The 2012 symposium aims to highlight this diversity in order to foster communication and exchange across disciplinary boundaries. While we encourage submissions that are related to the recent Arab Spring movements, we are nevertheless open to any variety of topics that pertain to the realm of Near and Middle Eastern Studies. We are also open to reviewing unorthodox proposals.

Submitting a Paper: Presenters are asked to submit an abstract of 250 words by e-mail attachment no later than January 9, 2012. Submissions should also include the following information in the body of the email: presenters name, program (M.A, Ph.D.), year of study, research focus, university/department, complete address, telephone number, email address, title of paper, and audio-visual requirements. Presentations must not exceed 20 minutes. The abstracts will be reviewed by committee and presenters will be informed of their acceptance no later than February 8, 2012. For purposes of anonymous adjudication, please do NOT include your name or other identification on the abstract attachment. If your paper is being submitted as part of a proposed panel or considered under a specific theme, please include the panel title or the proposed theme under the title of the paper on the abstract.

In order to foster greater scholarly dialogue, partial funding will be made available to five graduate students from North American universities to assist with travel costs. For eligibility please visit the symposium web site.

Please send us your submissions via the following e-mail address:


Voodoo Dolls of the Ancient Near East

On Saturday, November 21st, from 6-8 PM, the American Schools of Oriental Research will close out its annual meeting in New Orleans with an outreach session entitled “Voodoo Dolls of the Ancient Near East.” It’s free and open to the public, including our friends in town for the Society of Biblical Literature annual meeting. The session will be somewhere inside the Astor Crown hotel at the corner of Canal and Bourbon. Here’s the lineup:

  • Michael M. Homan (Xavier University of Louisiana), Presiding
  • Sallie Ann Glassman (Island of Salvation Botanica/La Source Ancienne Ounfou), “Vodou Spirits and
    Sacred Vodou Flags” (20 min.)
  • Gary O. Rollefson (Whitman College), “The Glory Belongs to Our Ancestors: The Neolithic ‘Ain
    Ghazal Statues and Plastered Skulls” (20 min.)
  • Christopher A. Faraone (Univeristy of Chicago), “Voodoo Dolls in the Greek and Roman Worlds: An
    Update” (20 min.)
  • Sara A. Rich (Catholic University, Leuven), “Manipulated Miniatures: Haitian and Mesopotamian
    Figurines Defy Human Destiny” (20 min.)
  • William G. Dever (University of Arizona, Emeritus), “The Judean Pillar-base Figurines: Mothers or
    Mother-Goddesses?” (20 min.)
  • Shawna Dolansky (Northeastern University), “Re-Figuring ‘Fertility’ Figurines: Fetishistic Functions of
    the Feminine Form” (20 min.)
  • ASORMeetingVoodooDolls

    For more information, please email Michael Homan.

    WAC Ramallah Conference

    Posted by Morag Kersel on behalf of the World Archaeological Conference

    True to its foundational principles, the World Archaeological Congress will hold its first “Middle East” meeting to focus on the powerful relationship between archaeology, heritage and politics. The archaeology of the West Bank and its surrounding region is enormously significant as the location where the three monotheistic faiths, Judaism, Christianity and Islam — all trace their origins. Yet the archaeological and cultural heritage of this region suffers constant and extensive damage from political and ideological struggles to control the region.

    Today as Palestine moves closer to official statehood, WAC decries the often destructive politics that define Israeli-Palestinian relationships. WAC notes the on-going damage to the archaeological record but also the potential of a shared cultural heritage to build towards peace. WAC calls for participation in this strategic InterCongress to demonstrate how archaeology can serve political ends for the greater good.

    The focus of this InterCongress is on structural violence: the insidious structures and the stark inequalities that perpetuate conflicts. Structural violence is built into western countries’ relations with much of the rest of the world, preventing most non-western countries from becoming economically and culturally ‘equal’ to the West. Often structural violence is hidden and works without overt physical infringement, making it all the more effective.

    As anthropologists, archaeologists, cultural heritage professionals, and concerned local community members, WAC asks what role archaeological and cultural heritage research has in overcoming these ‘in-built’ obstacles? Must we engage against structural violence outside of archaeological practice, or can archaeological practice confront and impact the ravages of structural violence?

    Sessions and panels will be held on August 9th and 10th. August 11th and 12th are reserved for workshops, “hands on” experiences and tours of the region by regional cultural heritage non-government organizations. Closing sessions and consideration of InterCongress resolutions will take place on August 13th.

    Participants are encouraged to propose creative formats to facilitate critical consideration and discussion of the topics at hand. Proposals for sessions of various forms: read papers, panels, poster sessions, roundtable discussions, or other formats, should be sent to the Program Committee ( by the deadlines indicated below. Sessions may be proposed by individuals or by groups. All sessions, regardless of format, will be provided a 2-hour block of time to meet. Session abstracts of 400 words should include the contact information for the organizer(s). Paper abstracts of 200 words may be sent to either the session organizers or to the Program Committee (

    A Selection of Sessions:

    - Marginalia and Structural Violence in Past Societies
    - Looting, Landscape and Law
    - Structures of Dominance in the Levantine Late Iron Age
    - The Bones of Our Ancestors: The Treatment of Human Remains as a Mechanism for Tolerance or for Intolerance
    - Beyond Causality: Tensions of Time and the Relationships between Instances of Violence and Institutionalized Violence
    - The Future of Palestinian Cultural Heritage

    Sessions & Panels - Friday, May 15th 2009
    Papers - Friday, June 12th 2009

    Early Bird registration deadline: May 30, 2009

    For further information see: