The Making of Jerusalem: Constructed Spaces & Historic Communities

Deadline: 15 December 2013
Open to: any scholar with a particular interest in Armenian Studies
Venue: 3-4 July 2014 in Jerusalem


The Calouste Gulbenkian Library of the Armenian Patriarchate of Jerusalem invites scholars to apply to participate in the Conference “The Making of Jerusalem: Constructed Spaces and Historic Communities” taking place on 3-4 July 2014 at the Armenian Patriarchate in the Old City of Jerusalem. The Conference is supported by the Armenian Communities Department of the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, Lisbon, and the St. Sarkis Charity Trust, London.

Jerusalem is one of the most contested cities around the world with a rich and complex history. With its web of sacred sites, quarters, and neighborhoods, it represents a polyglot of historical communities. Today’s Jerusalem is a testament to its temporal, physical and demographic transformations over the centuries.  The purpose of this conference is to explore various aspects in the making of the city while focusing on historic communities and their concept of – and relationship with – space (be it sacred or secular).

The organizers encourage inter-disciplinary approaches from different fields such as history, the social sciences, art, literature, religious studies and different area studies; particularly Armenian Studies and its actual and potential interplay with various disciplines as well as other area studies.

The conference aims to remain true to the different temporal phases in the history of Jerusalem while putting the emphasis on the Early Modern and Modern periods, including the contemporary period. That is to say, there is a particular interest in the post-1517 era, using the Ottoman conquest of the city as a starting point.

 Topics and themes might include:
  • Transformations of Jerusalem’s quarters
  • Cross-cultural interaction among the different historical communities
  • Tradition of pilgrimage to the sacred sites
  • Representation of the Holy City and its communities in texts and literature
  • Inter-communal relationships and plurality: coexistence and conflict
  • Ethnic, religious and social boundaries
  • Shared sacred sites and their management
  • Marginalized communities and neighborhoods in the making of the city
  • Refugees and their relationship with existing communities
  • Impact of wars (e.g. WWI, WWII and others) on communal dynamics
  • Emergence of nationalism(s) and its association with or impact on Jerusalem.


This call is open to any scholar with a particular interest in Armenian Studies.


The accommodation and flight costs of Conference speakers will be covered.


If you would like to participate in the conference, submit a title, an abstract (400-500 words) and your short biography (200 words) by 15 December 2013, to the following email address: [email protected]

Papers will be selected by the Conference Organizing Committee and its Advisory Board, comprised of an international group of scholars. The languages of the Conference are English and French. If your paper is selected, you will be asked to submit a draft essay of 6,000-8,000 words by 1 June 2014. The drafts will be circulated among Conference participants in advance. The intention is to publish the Conference proceedings as an edited book.

For further information, please see the official website HERE.

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