Call for Papers

Performing/Picturing Tangier
An International Conference
Chellah Hotel, Tangier, 8-10 February, 2007

Rather than effect a series of deconstructive moves upon Tangier’s semiotic systems, the conference will address the city’s morphology as a place individuals realize through spatial practices. As a crossroads city between Europe, Africa, and the Middle East, traveling to and through Tangier continuously constructs imaginative worlds in the tourist’s gaze that are fueled by memories, images, and stories of the historically renowned “Inter-Zone.” These outside views are functional within the endless process of place-making, as it provides access to the tourist cultures because words, images, and actions all have the ability to build, sustain, or destroy. The ongoing practice of place-making includes visitors’ stories, Tanjawi sense of place, and artistic works that sustain the mythical proportions that have been historically attributed to Tangier. As cultural geographer Yi-Fu Tuan tells us, “a great city may be seen as the construction of words as well as stone.” Our main concern in this third annual conference is to critique the dialectical oscillation between words and stone and between physical places and imagined places as we focus on the city as an archaeological or forensic site of investigation.

Space is open and undefined; when humans attach meaning to space it becomes place. Place is therefore highly individualized, but it is also a recognizable cultural construct of symbolic exchanges and interpretative conventions. It is construed in complex relationships between gaze and object within cultural expectations. Space and place, however, are kaleidoscopic, elusive, and difficult to define for they reflect the surging, shifting, and inchoate character of life itself as a dynamic performative experience. Our journey from “Writing Tangier” and “Voices of Tangier” to “Performing and Picturing Tangier” leads us to approach the city as a palimpsest, by acting out various forms of arché-writing over sites already written upon. The spatio-temporal continuum of Tangier is beyond the dialectics of colonial encounter. Our endeavors to track the traces of Mohamed Choukri, Paul Bowles, Henri Matisse, John Hopkins, William Burroughs, Mohamed Mrabet, Jillali Farhati, Farida Belyazid, Ahmed Berouho, Zobier Benbouchta, and others are part of the performance and picturing of place that contribute powerfully to the place-making of the city. The conference is interested in research on these and related topics that can be suggested as individual presentations or panels:

  • How travel constructs a fictional relationship between gaze and landscape
  • The study, use, and production of ethnographic and mass-market films, postcards, tourist guides, photographs, folklore, ethnomusicology, and other visual representations of Tangier
  • How does Tangier, once an international zone, figure today within the current politics/poetics of globalism?
  • Tanjawi everyday life practices as manifest through the visual and performing arts
  • Le Circuit de Matisse as a site-specific practice
  • The Other Tangier, as produced, transacted and performed between words and stone

Languages: Arabic, French, Spanish, And English. Abstracts are due by 31 August 2006 and should be submitted via e-mail to the coordinators of the conference:

· Khalid Amine, Research Group of Performance Studies, Abdelmalek Essaâdi University, Tétouan, Morocco.

· Andrew Hussey, Department of European Languages, University of Wales, Aberystwyth.

· Barry Tharaud, San Diego State University, U.S.A. and Doğuş University, İstanbul.

· José Manuel Goï Pérez, Department of European Languages, University of Wales, Aberystwyth.

Registration Fee: $55 payable on arrival (includes 2 gala dinners, poster, and two books of published proceedings from the two previous conferences.

Choice of hotels, to be paid by participants, at special conference rates:

Hotel Chellah (***A): single room with breakfast and lunch: $30/night; or

Hotel Minzah (*****): single room with breakfast only: $100/night.

Hotel El Oumnia Puuetro (****): single room with breakfast only: $ 80/night.

N.B. There might be a grant from the U.S. Embassy in Rabat to subsidize airfare for US Speakers. For reservations and further information, please contact the organizers. Speakers from USA might obtain further details from Dr Barry Tharaud.