The Ph.D. Program in History

at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York


CFP – Columbia University Graduate Student Conference on the Middle East, South Asia, and Africa

Paradigmatic Conflict and Crisis
A Graduate Student Conference on the Middle East, South Asia, and Africa

Feb. 28 & Mar. 1, 2013| Columbia University in the City of New York


The concept of paradigm opens broad possibilities for the analysis of social and intellectual phenomena across diverse traditions and time periods. Paradigm is commonly but not exclusively viewed as a system of knowledge with a particular power structure, within which a set of beliefs or values plays a dominant and defining role.  Studying paradigms may consist of analyzing major social transformations to reveal the paradigmatic tensions and crises underlying them, or employing paradigms as tools to clarify socio-political events. Furthermore, the very notion of paradigm can be contested and transformed.

The annual Graduate Student Conference at Columbia University’s Department of Middle Eastern, South Asian, and African Studies (MESAAS) is soliciting papers exploring the debates, moments, and spaces in which paradigms undergo crisis and conflict, or challenge the dominant theoretical positions underpinning its very constitution. Papers can focus on any topic within the humanities and social sciences.

Papers may relate to but need not be bound by the following themes:

ñ  Paradigm as Comparative Tool: How do paradigmatic elements within intellectual traditions allow for historical and cross-cultural comparative work?

ñ  Conflict In and Across Paradigms: How is conflict dealt with in a paradigm?

ñ  Paradigm Shifts: When and how do paradigms become outdated?

ñ  Critical Theory as Anti-Paradigmatic: How can critical theory challenge established paradigms or paradigm shifts?

ñ  Paradigmatic Technology: How does the adoption of a given technology challenge, strengthen, or influence the implementation or development of different paradigms?

Students interested in presenting a 20-minute paper should submit a 300-word abstract and one-page CV to our website by January 15th.

Panel submissions are encouraged.

Exceptional papers will be collected into a digital volume under the conference title.

For all inquiries, contact: