AIMS Annual Conference (Oran, Algeria), Call for Papers, Due March 15th

Call for Papers

Students, universities and knowledge production in the Maghrib

Annual conference of the American Institute for Maghrib Studies (AIMS)
Organized by the Centre d’Études Maghrébines en Algérie
30 June – 1 July 2018
(CEMA), Oran, Algeria

Context and significance
The sector of higher education is amongst the priorities of Maghribi countries and since independence it has undergone remarkable development, both scientifically and structurally. This development can be seen through the diversification of teaching programmes, national and international exchanges and a growing variety of socio-economic partners. This conference proposes to provide a state-of-the-art on the shifting relationship between students, universities and knowledge production in the Maghrib, from the mid-twentieth century to the present.

Research to date has tended to fall into three broad categories, each with its own chronological focus and preferred disciplinary approaches:

First, there has been a focus on students as political actors in nationalist politics in the colonial period, and then in opposition forces during the first decades of independence.[1] Second, scholars have studied universities as an illustration of state modernization policies and a theatre of political struggles.[2] Third, the links between universities and knowledge production have been examined, by looking back at past production and by formulating proposals for the reform of this institution.[3]

This conference seeks to bring together these questions from public debate and academic traditions and establish a research agenda for the coming years in the Maghrib. Participants will be encouraged to consider the Maghrib as a whole when thinking and writing about students, universities and knowledge production, examining what new questions might emerge from considering other case studies, seeking out connections across the region and going beyond explicit or implicit narratives of national exceptionalism.[4]

The aim of this conference is to share experiences, datasets and research methodologies in a multidisciplinary framework, favoring comparisons across chronological timeframes and geographical spaces. In doing so, we hope to stimulate creative thinking about the complex relationship between students, universities and knowledge production that will in turn reinforce rigorous academic research. Holding a conference on this theme will signal the significance of the questions which it raises, and provide an impetus to academics to play a more visible role in public interventions.

Conference participants are invited to engage with the following sub-themes:
Nation-building and relations between the university and the nation-state: cultural policy, curriculum and language. Students as political elites and state-builders. Students and protest movements.
University circulations (of students, professors, ideas): how do circulations take place and what are their impacts?
Transformation and its challenges: the political economy of research and education, the impact of the diversification of higher education. The impact and significance of the emergence of alternative actors of knowledge production.
Globalization: challenges of knowledge production and Maghribi universities within the context of an increasingly globalized research community. Implementation of the LMD (Bachelors/Master/Doctorate) system.
The university as forum: the university as a social space and place of knowledge.

Scientific Committee (provisional)
Dr. Idriss Jebari
Dr. Karim Ouaras
Dr. Robert Parks
Dr. Malika Rahal
Dr. Natalya Vince

Organising Committee (provisional)
Pr. Abdelbaki Benziane
Dr. Idriss Jebari
Dr. Karim Ouaras
Dr. Robert Parks
Dr. Malika Rahal
Dr. Natalya Vince
Mme Hayet Yebbous-Bensaïd

Proposals of 300 words should be sent to before 15 March 2018, accompanied by a CV (including the name, institutional affiliation and a list of academic publications of the researcher). An acknowledgement of receipt will be sent to researchers as soon as all the required documents have been received.

The selected participants will be informed by 30 March 2018.

A final version of the paper (which should last 20 minutes) should be sent by 30 May 2018.

For further information, please contact

[1] C. M. Henry, UGEMA : Union Générale des Étudiants Musulmans d’Algériens (1955-1962), Témoignages, (Éditions Casbah, 2010) ; S. Segalla, The Moroccan Soul: French education, colonial ethnology and Muslim resistance, 1912-1956 (University of Nebraska, 2009).
[2] J. P. Entelis, ‘Ideological change and an emerging counterculture in Tunisian politics’, Journal of Modern African Studies 12:4 (1974); P. Vermeren, Ecole, élite et pouvoir au Maroc et en Tunisie au 20e siècle (Alizés, 2002).
[3] F. Siino, Science et pouvoir dans la Tunisie contemporaine (Karthala, 2004); C. Boutieri, Learning in Morocco : Language politics and the abandoned educational dream (Bloomington, 2016); M. Cherkaoui, La production scientifique en sciences humaines et sociales au Maroc 1960-2006 (RD Maroc, 2009) ; D. Guerid, L’Exception algérienne: la modernisation à l’épreuve de la société (Casbah, 2007).
[4] Collaborations between historians at CRASC (Oran), Mohamed V (Rabat) and Diraset, Etudes Maghrébines (Tunis) have demonstrated the advantage of cross-national comparisons, e.g. S. Bargaoui & H. Remaoun, Savoirs historiques au Maghreb: construction et usages (CRASC, 2006).

Harry Frank Guggenheim Foundation / Centre d’Études Maghrébines à Tunis (CEMAT) Social Sciences Research Methodology Training Workshop for North African Scholars


The Centre d’Études Maghrébines à Tunis (CEMAT) and the Centre d’Études Maghrébines en Algérie (CEMA) are pleased to announce the 2018 Harry Frank Guggenheim Foundation (HGF) Methodological and Proposal Development Training Workshop series for North African Scholars.  For registration details, visit the above link.

The two three-day workshops will bring together 12 young Algerian, Libyan, Moroccan and Tunisian scholars researching the relationship between violence and a number of areas of inquiry including social change, political action, and economic development. Selected participants will work with international experts to hone the research design on a research project in its early stages of development. While the first workshop will focus on the essential elements of research methodology and design, the second installment will revolve around, discussing ways to incorporate these essentials into the research design of individual research projects, as well as developing a proposal.

Algerian, Libyan, Moroccan and Tunisian scholars under the age of 40 working on how violence broadly intersects with the themes discussed above are strongly encouraged to apply. The workshop will be held in English.

The first workshop will take place in Tunis from January 26 – January 28, 2018. All expenses related to travel; accommodation and catering will be covered by CEMAT for selected participants

Candidate Application Deadline: December 7th, 2017

Youmein Creative Media Festival: 48 Hours in July

July 16-17, 2016

We were thrilled to co-host the second edition of the Youmein Creative Media Festival this past weekend, from July 16-17. The Youmein Festival brought together artists and creative thinkers from across Morocco, France, the United States, Belgium, and Palestine to discuss and produce art centering around the topic of “crisis” or “أزمة”. Artists were challenged to create pieces reflecting on “crisis” within the 48-hour timespan of the Festival.

On Saturday members of Youmein, TALIM, and the public convened for a roundtable discussion featuring Driss Ksikes, a Moroccan journalist and playwright, and Hicham Bouzid, co-director of Arty Farty’s Think Tanger project.

(l-r) Hicham Bouzid, Driss Ksikes, George Bajalia. All photos by Omar Chennai
(l-r) Hicham Bouzid, Driss Ksikes, George Bajalia. All photos by Omar Chennai

The presenters initiated the discussion with their own ideas and perspectives, and the audience participated with discussion and questions. The interactive panel discussion took place in a multitude of languages, Darija, French and English, reflecting the diversity of knowledge and experiences of the participants.

Continue reading “Youmein Creative Media Festival: 48 Hours in July”

Mediterranean Crossroads: The 2016 AIMS Conference

CFP-Mediterranean Crossroads: Spanish-Maghribi Relations in Past and Present

contentpages_topAnnual Conference 2016
Mediterranean Crossroads: Spanish-Maghribi Relations in Past and Present

May 14-15, 2016 at the Legation

Submissions Deadline January 10, 2016

CALL FOR PAPERS: (Spanish-pdf) (Arabic-pdf) (English-pdf)

Map_of_Morocco_and_Iberia_(1783)We are seeking participants for the 2016 AIMS Annual Conference Mediterranean Crossroads: Spanish-Maghribi Relations in Past and Present. This interdisciplinary conference will take place in Tangier, Morocco, on 14 and 15 May 2016. The aim of the conference is to reconceptualize the relations between North Africa and the Iberian peninsula during the modern era (18th-21st century). Despite the significance of this geographical nexus centered on the Strait of Gibraltar, contemporary scholarship on this pivotal topic is underdeveloped and deficient, creating absences where there should be narratives of engagement and connectivity. Some of the questions we shall be asking are: What are the various aspects of this shared relationship, what are the sources of its specificity, and how has it shaped ideas and events in the western Mediterranean historically and today? Our objective is to deploy an array of methodologies to elucidate new ways of thinking about the region as a crossroads of human activity. Continue reading “CFP-Mediterranean Crossroads: Spanish-Maghribi Relations in Past and Present”

2016 AIMS Conference “Mediterranean Crossroads: Spanish-Maghribi Relations in Past and Present”

All of us at TALIM are very excited to host next year’s AIMS conference May 14-15, 2016. The theme, “Mediterranean Crossroads: Spanish-Maghribi Relations in Past and Present” is perfect for Tangier! Please see attached announcement and details about participation.


Request for proposals: 2016 AIMS Annual Conference in Tangier, Morocco

The American Institute for Maghrib Studies is seeking proposals for its 2016 annual conference. The annual AIMS conference is a signature event that brings together delegations of scholars from the US, Tunisia, Algeria, and Morocco, as well as individual scholars from Mauritania and Libya.


Continue reading “Request for proposals: 2016 AIMS Annual Conference in Tangier, Morocco”

CFP: AIMS Workshop on Linking Public Opinion and Political Action

Call for papers: AIMS Workshop on Linking Public Opinion and Political Action
May 30 – June 1, 2015 – Tunis, Tunisia

homepage_topWe invite applications for the 2015 Annual Conference of the American Institute for Maghrib Studies to be held May 30 – June 1, 2015 in Tunis, Tunisia.  This year the conference will be a workshop on the theme of “Linking Public Opinion and Political Action.”  The workshop aims to strengthen our understanding of the link between public opinion, elite behavior and outcomes.

There is often a gap between public attitudes and political outcomes. For instance, public opinion surveys show widespread support for democracy in Egypt, Morocco, Tunisia and Libya, but this support has not translated into smooth transition processes toward democracy. Similar gaps are found with regard to service provision, foreign policy and other outcomes, and the distance between preferences and outcomes varies across time, between countries and sub-regionally.
 There are several potential explanations for these gaps. It may be that elites remain unaware of public sentiment even when relevant polls exist, or they distrust the information that reaches them. It may also be that some segments of the public are more relevant than others, and elites respond to their interests. Or, potentially, that pressure from those with political connections or other competing interests overrides public concerns – at least in some places, at some times. Continue reading “CFP: AIMS Workshop on Linking Public Opinion and Political Action”

Tangier: Guides and Gateways


Cover by Robert McDonald, Tangier: The Golden Gateway (Tangier: Mediterranean American Press, 1952). Collection TALIM Research Library.

The following is a guest post by Emma Chubb, who made a presentation on her subject to a group of American, European, and Moroccan researchers and interested members of the public at TALIM on June 17.  Emma Chubb is a doctoral candidate in art history at Northwestern University (Evanston, Illinois USA) and is a 2013-14 American Institute for Maghrib Studies (AIMS) fellow in Morocco.

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Guides and Gateways

I spent much of last fall reading through TALIM’s collection of guidebooks and tourism magazines published between the 1940s and 1970s. Perhaps it was because I too was a newcomer to Tangier, but these guides fascinated me. Some folded out like maps, mixing quirky tips for the European or American traveler to Tangier with black-and-white photographs and brightly colored illustrations. Continue reading “Tangier: Guides and Gateways”