The Gingko Conference series — in memory of Mark Linz — is a ten-year project that aims to bring together MENA-focused scholars and public figures around particular topics. The conference series is designed to complement the Gingko Library; it’s the library that’s looking for a three-month intern:
The inaugural conference, set to take place in London from December 6-7, will feature a raft of speakers, including translator Max Weiss (who translated Nihad Sirees’s The Silence and the Roar and Samar Yazbek’s Woman in the Crossfire, among other titles), author John McHugo (Syria: From the Great War to Civil War), and novelist Alaa al-Aswany (The Yacoubian Building, The Automobile Club).
The first conference will focus on the effects of WWI on the MENA. Attending advisors include the AUC’s Khaled Fahmy, Oxford’s Eugene Rogan, and Tufts’ Leila Fawaz.
According to organizers, these conferences will feature not just scholars, but “public figures that are engaged with issues concerning the MENA region.”
The conference website says the series aims to “advance education concerning Middle Eastern and North African thought through annual transnational, multicultural, interfaith conferences. By promoting research and by publishing related material we aim to enhance and disseminate knowledge for the public benefit, to foster dialogue between people of different ethnicities and cultures, and promote mutual understanding based upon shared interests and concerns.”
Al-Aswany will also be launching his book Democracy is the Answer. It would surely be interesting to go and ask al-Aswany some questions about how he conceives xenophobia, and democracy, among other things. Although presumably it won’t be quite so spirited as his Paris appearance last October.
Conference registration is open, and you can learn more at the website and blog. Conference sessions will also be streamed live.
More about the internship: Also on the blog. Apply by Sept. 15.