Call for Papers: Human and Cultural Geography in The Ancient Near East

Pittsburgh, Pa

Call for Papers: 
Human and Cultural Geography in The Ancient Near East
(American Oriental Society Annual Meeting 2018 Pittsburgh, Pa)
Submission Deadline: October 1, 2017

Geography is a result of lived human experience. On the larger scale, we see borders as lines of division between different political spaces such as empires, or between geographic regions occupied by distinct ethnographic groups. On the smaller scale, we may consider borders as expressions of human and cultural geography: created not by large-scale political institutions, but by the actions of people and society on a smaller, more daily and experiential basis.

This panel is interested in how these spaces were created, whether through active and deliberate human action, or as a more natural reaction to existing geographic features or dominant cultural circumstances. In considering geography as constructed by human activity and thought, we may reevaluate the ways in which borders and the spaces they bounded were created, maintained, and deconstructed in the ancient Near East. Ultimately, this panel aims to expose a spectrum of geographical boundaries that go beyond the traditional dichotomies of center/periphery, urban/rural, and real/imagined to better understand the role of human agency in the conceptualization of borders. We invite paper proposals representing any approach within the field of ancient Near East studies, including philology, art history, and archaeology.

An abstract of 250 words should be sent to the panel organizers by October 1st. The abstract should include the topic, methodology, main argument, and specific texts or images that will be discussed, if relevant. All potential participants must currently be or register as members of the American Oriental Society and will be required to register for the 2018 annual meeting.

Shana Zaia (University of Helsinki) 
Gina Konstantopoulos (University of Helsinki)

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