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Call for papers for a Middle East Studies Association (MESA) Annual Meeting panel "Missionaries and Du'at in Transnational Perspective: Cross-Border Exchange, Locally Embedded Struggles and Cultural Transformation Since the Nineteenth Century" (New Orleans, 10-13 October 2013) This panel explores processes of cultural transformation in the Middle East from the nineteenth century to the present day. The focus is on missionaries within, to, and from the region in relation to the spread of ideas, practices and institutions across borders. Missionaries are to be understood as actors of any faith engaged in projects of outreach to people either within or beyond their own faith communities, with a view to bringing about changes in their religious belief and practice. While papers focusing on Christian missions are very welcome indeed, the panel organisers are also keen to include research relating to missionary actors from other faith backgrounds. The geographical and political borders in question include the boundaries of localities, regions and continents, and empires, emirates and national states. Questions of interest include but are not limited to: - how missionary projects have themselves been shaped by cross-border connections and local contexts - how local actors have brought their own worldviews to bear in their engagement with new ideas and practices conveyed by missionaries - how cultural transformations catalysed by missionary actors have related to processes of social and political struggle in the local and national contexts within which they operate In grappling with such issues, the panel will provide insights with broader application to understanding the intersecting roles of local traditions, cross-border exchange, and the agency of an array of actors in processes of cultural, social and political change. At least one paper is already in place, examining the part played by actors from across the Middle East, South Asia and beyond in shaping syllabuses in use since the early 1960s at the Islamic University of Medina, a Saudi state-backed missionary project offering Salafi-oriented religious instruction to students from around the world. We are looking to recruit up to three further papers. If you are interested in being involved in this panel, please send a 400-word abstract to Mike Farquhar (firstname.lastname@example.org) no later than 5 February, and be prepared to register with and submit to MESA no later than 15 February. For more information about the conference, see http://www.mesa.arizona.edu/annual-meeting/call-for-papers.html