Thursday, September 26, 2013

Monday, September 23, 2013

Arabic Conference Call for Papers - "Jil Jadid" 2014

Call for papers for Arabic graduate students and recent graduates.

Call for Papers: 4th Annual Jil Jadid Conference @ UT-Austin  
Dates: February 21-22, 2014
Location: The University of Texas at Austin
Abstract Deadline: November 15, 2013
Topic: Arabic Literature and Linguistics
Contact: Thomas Leddy-Cecere,

The Department of and Center for Middle Eastern Studies at the University of Texas at Austin are happy to announce the 4th Annual Jil Jadid Conference in Arabic Literature and Linguistics, a graduate student conference to be held at the University of Texas at Austin, February 21-22, 2014.
Jil Jadid is a graduate student conference that aims to provide a forum for young scholars spread across a variety of disciplines to come together, share ideas and research, and discuss the future of their respective fields as they move forward in their careers and come to represent the eponymous new generation of scholars engaging with the Arabic-speaking world and its cultures.  For the past three Februaries, graduate students from a wide range of universities, both domestic and international, have assembled in Austin to set the tone for Arabic studies in the twenty-first century. The ongoing positive feedback we have received from these past conferences prompts us to once again assemble with the same goal, uniting students from area studies, linguistics, comparative literature and other departments in order to facilitate a productive and interdisciplinary exchange of new ideas.
Fostering fruitful, engaging, and innovative dialogue remains our topmost priority. The conference will feature keynote speeches in both Arabic linguistics and literature, as well as a professional development panel offered by University of Texas faculty.  In addition to individual presentations, the conference will highlight explicit opportunities for participants to discuss their collective vision for the development of their fields. More details will be announced as the conference dates approach.
The 2014 Jil Jadid Conference is sponsored by the University of Texas at Austin's Department of Middle Eastern Studies, Center for Middle Eastern Studies, Department of Linguistics, Program in Comparative Literature, Department of History, and the Graduate School.

All papers treating topics in Arabic literature (both classical and modern) and Arabic linguistics (of all subfields, including applied linguistics) will gladly be considered, in either English or Arabic (with the request that an English summary be prepared for any papers to be presented in Arabic).  In addition to original research, we also encourage state of the field papers that provide a focused overview of specific subfields of Arabic studies and propose new avenues of research in that area.
Papers to be presented at other conferences are more than welcome, as we wish to provide a forum for students to further develop and refine their research.

Unfortunately, this year we will not be able to accommodate virtual presentations via video-chat. We will instead be providing a live online stream of the conference proceedings that will allow those who are not physically able to attend the conference to follow along and contribute by leaving comments and feedback.
Applicants may submit abstracts of no more than a single, standardly formatted page (not including references).
Abstracts may be submitted online at: .
The deadline for abstracts is November 15, 2013. Abstracts should not include identifying information; you must, however, indicate the highest degree you have obtained and your current position (e.g. "M.A., Graduate Student," "Ph.D., Assistant Professor," etc.).  Only submissions from current or recent graduate students will be considered.

Conference Fees and Funding:
Jil Jadid requires no fees of presenters and/or attendees.
Graduate students whose abstracts are accepted will be eligible to apply for a limited number of partial travel grants to defray the costs of attending the Jil Jadid conference. Lodging with local graduate students will be made available when possible.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Access Amazon from My Blog ... So I Can Get Paid ... Um.

Dear readers,

Pre-Post: I really hope this doesn't come off as selfish or attention-seeking. I don't mean to sound that way. Don't at all feel obligated to fulfill my request, but it'd be nice if you do :)

So. Some months ago--whoa, a year ago!--I became what's called an Amazon Associate, which means that if I "promote" an Amazon product on my blog and if you access by clicking a link to Amazon from my blog (like this: And the Mountains Echoed) and actually buy something from Amazon, I get a small portion of the money you pay. I know you're prolly thinking, "WHAT!! Why should you get anything from something I buy?! No way!" But it's really not what you think. You see, you don't have to pay anything extra at all. You just buy whatever you intended or would like to buy, but instead of accessing amazon through Google or directly at, I ask that you access it from my blog. 
Amazon sees that as my attempt at promoting whatever it is that you bought ... or promoting

I've tried to make it easier for y'all to access Amazon from my blog, such as by posting links to Amazon wherever I thought would be useful or relevant (such as when talking about a book or a topic I recommend reading more about), and the left side of the home ( features some books and other Amazon products that you can click on to get to Amazon. You don't necessarily have to buy the thing you clicked on, but as long as you get to Amazon by a click from my blog, Amazon tracks it. No, I don't get your secret or private or ANY other information. I don't even get to know who bought what, just of what was bought for what price and how much I'm making. I'll never be able to link your shopping to you and go "haaaaa haaaa - Amina bought a chair last week."

Example: You feel like shopping at or have a specific book or product in mind that you're going to buy. You ask yourself how you can be of benefit to a fellow human being today and go, "Ahhhh!! Qrratugai!! YES! I'll go be of benefit to her today!" So you come to my blog, and click on ANY link on my blog that'll take you to Say you end up landing on this specific post. Just click this link: And the Mountains Echoed (whaaaaat - It's the least controversial book I could come up with, k? Surely, you don't want me to link up to a book on feminism or Islamic feminism or women's rights and stuff - that's obviously too controversial. I mean, c'mon, we're saying women are people here; of course that's open to debate, you know?). So there, you just accessed Amazon through my blog and whatever you buy after that click, I benefit from it as well. I mean, I get paid a little bit :) Thank you! May you be given much, much more in return. Remember: you're not charged extra for this; it's just that qrratugai here gets something out of it because Amazon thinks that I just convinced you to shop there .... For me as an Amazon associate, it's honestly just a fun way for a graduate student to make a little money, and I'd be grateful if y'all can cooperate. Thanks :) But it's totally okay if you don't want to do this and are thinking, "What the hell. No way. Go away." We're still cool.

All right, that's all. As always, I've lots to blog about but will get on it as soon as this weekend is over and I'm a little less busy than I've been lately.

Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

It is Her Skills, Not the Burka, that Empower the Burka Avenger.

This was written over a month ago when the first episode of the show aired. Apologies for posting it so late.

For the last few weeks or so, Pakistan has been in the news for its latest good deed: the Burka Avenger, an animated children's series featuring a female savior of women's rights, peace, and justice in a village in Pakistan. Jiya, the protagonist, is a school teacher whose mission is to fight multiple  forms of evil facing Pakistan, including obstacles to women's education. She completes her mission through her skills in Takht Kabaddi, a fictitious form of martial art that requires the use of pens and books. Each of the show's thirteen episodes, Haroon, the show's pop-star producer, tells CNN, "covers a different issue affecting Pakistan, including discrimination, child labor, sectarian violence, electricity shortages and protecting the environment," besides the on-going battle for girls' education. While the show has so far received majority-positive feedback, its opponents' main issue is with the superhero's costume: a burka, which she wears strictly to conceal her identity when on a mission; opponents suggest that the show is sending the message that "you can only get power when you don a symbol of oppression [the burka]." What is missing in this sort of criticism is the reality that it is not the burka that empowers the Burka Avenger--it is her skills as a fighter for social justice that empower her. The burka's purpose has little to no religious meaning in this series and serves more as a disguise for the protagonist.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Call for Contributions on "Choosing Mothering? The Gendering of Agency"

Verbatim from the source. All of the below.

The Women’s Studies International Forum has issued a call for papers on a special issue journal entitled “Choosing mothering? The gendering of agency”. The details below are copied from their website :

womens studies international forumThe aim of this Special Issue is to provide an international forum within which to pose and debate issues that arise in relation to agency and choice surrounding maternity.

In the current neo-liberal context in which ‘choice’ is offered to women as a panacea for differential access to power, the aim of this Special Issue is to examine the ways in which women position themselves and are positioned by others, in relation to motherhood. Manuscripts are invited that discuss ways in which women engage with choices ‘offered’ to them and how the status of ‘mother’ is implicated in these. Submissions may include discussions about the constitution of agency in relation to choices about issues such as entering (or not entering) motherhood, being a mother, practicing and performing motherhood in different arenas and accounting for different approaches to mothering.

We invite contributions from those working with a feminist perspective in a range of disciplines. We are interested in submissions that address ontological, epistemological and practical issues around agency and choice-making for women including, but not limited to, the following questions and topics:
  • How is women’s agency in maternal choice-making constituted within and across different cultural, social and interpersonal contexts?
  • How are understandings of (non)maternity implicated in the negotiation of agency for women?
  • Is choice-making without consideration of maternal status attainable?
  • What challenges do conceptualisations of mothering pose for theorisations of agency in designing and conducting feminist research?
As well as traditional formats, submission in non-conventional writing styles and as art or images are encouraged.
To be considered for this special issue, submissions must fit the requirements for submission of the journal.

Please follow guidelines to submit manuscripts for review by 30 November 2013.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Advice to Pukhtun men on how to treat women on social Media

By Nazrana Yusufzai, from her blog:  Advice to Pukhtun men on how to treat women- you know all these awara women on social media


Brother, try to look smart, handsome, make sure your degree don’t come out of the closet- keep your learning-proof brain away of such infections.

Make sure you tell every woman every second of your life how much you respect a woman; this will bring you many women friends in your life. Never feel inferior to women, the feelings of male dominance that you carry from your parents’ village Pateykhan kaley is your honour and dignity.  Feeling equal to woman should not be an option- that is like shaving your chest hairs with piecing knife.

Try being super active on social media, stalk each and every independent, well-educated, strong-willed Pashtun girl, sometimes talking to two or three friends in the same tone as that of a lover. It works to be more popular among the whole group.

Make sure your sister doesn’t use twitter. She belongs to a respectful family. All women on Facebook are just, you know, kharabi khazi [sluts].

The main goal is to criticize women for whatever they do and say and for whatever they don’t say or do. If she talks, tell her she’s too talkative and needs to shut up. If she doesn’t talk, tell her she’s submissive and quiet and needs to speak up for herself.  And don’t forget, when she does finally stand up for herself, tell her she has an attitude and is a bitch. Remind her that all she needs in life is a husband to bring her back to her Pukhtun senses. Keep your life goal in mind, which is to make every strong-willed and educated Pukhtun woman’s life on social media hell. Pukhtun women don’t belong on social media and they should keep this in mind, you know.

 You should be arrogant and have a higher ego than Mount Everest, not a problem if you cant handle it when you lose your argument. Scream like crazy and tell her she has forgotten her roots.
Flirt with them any chance you get but do not marry her! I repeat brothers: DO NOT MARRY HER! Where is your pukhtuniyat if you are going to marry such bitches who speak up on social media? They insult you and me each time they open their mouth in the name of intelligence. It’s not intelligence my brothers, it is a dishonour to us all!

Never forget to share the sexist jokes around. Mock them as much as possible but remember to do it with some humour so that people think you’re just playing around. Believe me brothers, they are so stupid they think you’re just playing around just because you told them you are! Women are stupid and ignorant and should always be reminded that they are inferior to us. Today’s women think they are better than us! It helps when you quote God even if you’ve to lie. We’ve a lesson to teach these awara khazi and it’s our god-given right to put them in their rightful natural place. 

If you forget these pointers the next time you’re on social media, just be sure to obey the main rule: social media belongs to us, men, it is not a place for women. What Pukhtun women need to understand is that this is for their own good; we are only trying to protect them. To keep them away, make fun of them, tease them, harass them, stalk them, fight with them, criticize them. If you find this to be your weakness, just remember my brothers: would you want your sister, your precious honour and property, to be on social media speaking for herself? That’s a slap in our honorable faces! Nowhere in Pukhtun history has this ever happened before and it is our responsibility to make sure it stays like this. Our traditions are at stake here, brothers. Fight them bitches and whores on social media if you have any ghairat!

God save us all from such whores.

             By a clean-shaved Mullah

Call for Proposals (Music Conference): Go! Music and Mobility 2014 Pop Conference in Seattle

A music conference!

Call for Papers: Go! Music and Mobility

2014 Pop ConferenceApril 24–27, 2014, EMP Museum [Seattle, Washington]

Deadline for 300-2ord proposal submissions: November 15, 2013. 

We turn to music to put the world in motion. Music on mobile phones, music over the airways, communication by talking drums: these sounds have accompanied the voluntary and involuntary movement of people, alleviated work and pulsated leisure, animated borderlands and virtual spaces with patterns that root and are made material. As rites of charivari and Pink Floyd songs demonstrate, when music stops conveying mobility we bang on pots and walls.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Call for Papers: Issues of Gender within the Horror Genre

A call for papers on issues of gender in the horror genre! 
Those interested in submitting a paper should email the title, an abstract or completed work, as well as a brief (70-100 words) bio, to the address listed below. Please format the essay in Word, version 2002 or later. The deadline for submissions is November 15th 2013. Suggested word length is between 2000-5000 words. Compensation will be offered to accepted submissions. [Note from me, Orbala: I think the email address to which submissions should be sent is But I'll confirm and get back to y'all asap.]

Call for Papers: Issues of Gender within the Horror Genre 

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Call for Proposals (Conference): Gender, Bodies, and Technology

Another conference--this one gender-oriented--for anyone interested.

Proposals are invited for the third biannual interdisciplinary conference:
"Gender, Bodies & Technology: Performing the Human," May 1-3, 2014
The Inn at Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, Virginia

Sponsored by the Women's and Gender Studies Program at Virginia Tech
Proposal Deadline: October 1, 2013
Gender, Bodies, & Technology is an initiative within Women’s and Gender Studies at Virginia Tech that aims to creatively and intellectually explore the multiple, proliferating, and gendered dimensions of technologized bodies and embodied technologies. Through our initiative and biannual conference, we seek to demonstrate, theorize, and perform the discursive and material nodes around which gender, bodies, and technology both cohere and fracture: how, for example, do the specter and reality of transvaginal ultrasounds index a historically specific female body? What is the relationship between expanded combat roles for female soldiers and the U.S. military’s escalating use of “unmanned” drone warcraft? How should we interpret airport body scanners and restroom architecture that threaten and displace transgender persons? 

We invite proposals from scholars in the humanities, social and natural sciences, feminist science studies, visual and performing arts, life sciences, and STEM fields for papers, panels, workshops, new media, art, and performance pieces that explore the intersections of gender, bodies & technology in contexts ranging from classrooms to the military, and from health care to the media.
Our confirmed keynote speakers include:
  • Dr. Jennifer Robertson, Professor of Anthropology at the University of Michigan
  • Micha Cardenas, performance artist and media theorist based at the University of Southern California
  • Dr. Shaowen Bardzell, Assistant Professor of Informatics at Indiana University
We invite papers, workshops, and panel proposals that address the Gender/Bodies/Technology interface. Though not limited to the following, topics and themes might include:
  • Gender and the technologies of institutions; the reconfiguration of public and private spheres
  • Disability and technologies of expression/representation; enabling and constricting roles of technology
  • The intersectional dimensions of online and digital space; visibility and invisibility issues
  • Feminist appropriations of technology; technology as liberating vs. reifying social force
  • GLBT and queer media
  • Technology and evolution – post- and trans-humanism; bio-cultural change and the gendered dimensions of human plasticity
  • Gender, bodies, and artificial intelligence
  • Gendered technologies of the self; bodies and gender as objects of technological intervention
  • Technological aspects of reproduction and personhood; maternal capacity; neo-eugenics
  • Social and other new media and their relationship to gendered bodies; social media and sexual violence
  • Genetic and other biological imaginaries made available by biotechnology; gender and nanotechnology
  • The GBT configuration in popular media
  • Avatars, augmented and virtual realities, and the promise of genderless bodies
  • Gender as code; gender, bodies, and computation
  • New feminist materialisms; the technological materiality of gender
  • Technological failures; technophobia and gender
  • The (bio)technology of transgender, intersex, and other forms of gender variance
  • Race, ability, class and the politics of visibility in virtual bodies
  • Gender and digital literacy; the gendered natures of technicity, technophilia, and expertise
  • Neuroscience, genomics, and the production of sexual difference
  • Performance, new media and other creative expressions: engaging/enacting/destabilizing conventions of embodiment and technology
  • Gendered innovations in technological design: gendered objects and design
  • Technological production and control of classed, racialized, aged, disabled and gendered bodies
  • New media, digital representation and virtual gendered environments
  • How technology links (embodied) individuals and enacts (gendered) worlds
  • Technologically-mediated warfare, gender, and combat
  • Gender and the “non-human”; robots, animals and environmental expressions of gendered worlds
  • Technologies of development and sustainability; eco- and environmental feminism
  • Activism, participatory decision-making and issues of technological citizenship
Our conference theme, “Performing the Human,” is an invitation for embodied creative and intellectual effort. We are committed to complementing traditional paper presentations from the social sciences, STEM, and humanities fields with scholarship and performance from the creative arts. We encourage innovative uses of technology and creative session formats and we welcome early contact by email if space and/or technology requirements might present logistical challenges.
Proposals will be reviewed and notification of the outcome will be made by November 15, 2013.
For more information or questions please contact:
Christine Labuski/GBT Coordinator and Conference Co-Director
Women's and Gender Studies Program
Department of Sociology
Virginia Tech
McBryde Hall (0137)
Blacksburg, VA, 24061 USA

The link to this call as well as to the proposal submission form is:

Monday, September 2, 2013

Call for Papers: Hashtag Publics (edited collection)

I've been going through my listservs to see which conferences I might be interested in attending or presenting at, and I just came across this really cool and relevant one (they're all relevant, though, of course). It's called Hashtag Publics and is about the whole business of hastagging and their relevance to particular, say, phenomena or news, including movements and protests and whatnot.

As the last line below states, interested participants are requested to send a 750-word abstract, collection of keywords, and a 150-word bio to the editor, Dr. Nathan Rambukkana (, by 1 Nov. 2013. Drafts will be due June 1st 2014,  and final versions by December 1st  2014.

Here's the complete call for papers.

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