The Intersection of Equine Culture and History
in Europe, the Middle East, and North Africa
The proposed panel invites papers addressing the intersecting points of horses and horse culture the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) with their European counterparts, through history and anthropology. Horses were invaluable in warfare, hunting, and diplomacy. Their breeding, training, and trappings generated legends about horse culture in the Mediterranean still influential to this day. While horses are no longer used in the same ways today as they were from the Middle Ages through the Early Modern period, people all over the MENA and Iberian regions continue to use and
celebrate their horse cultures. Spain maintains a mounted police horse division, celebrates the horse through festivals in Jerez de la Frontera and Seville, and continues to use horses in mounted bullfighting. In Morocco, the Salon du Cheval is beginning to garner world renown as an exhibit of traditional Moroccan horsemanship (tbourida or fantasia). Horse racing, while slightly diminished due to political turmoil, continues in every country from Morocco to Lebanon. Princess Haya of Jordan, the former president of the International Equestrian Federation (FEI), strongly encouraged the expansion of the FEI, and brought in $150mil of commercial revenue to the federation, which oversees international horse events. Aside from the Arab contribution to equestrian sports, the five-year EU ban on exportation of horses from Egypt has greatly diminished the opportunities for horse breeders in the country, stifling the horse economy. In Jerusalem, horse shows have become a non-political way of sharing a love of horses in the conflict-riddled region.
The horse in this region pervades almost every aspect of culture and history, but this panel asks: how did the contact between Arab and European cultures affect each other in terms of horse breeds, riding styles, equipment, and general knowledge. This panel will examine this interchange of equestrian cultures past and present. Papers focusing on single countries, regions or comparative studies examining multiple locales or countries are welcome, as are papers from any single or combined disciplinary perspectives.
Authors are asked to submit a paper title, abstract (no more than 300 words), their professional or institutional affiliation, and contact information. Academic, non-academic, or other professional authors are invited to apply. In cases of co-authored works, only one submission (including the same information for each author) should be made. Papers will be accepted in English only. The deadline for abstract submissions is midnight 5 November 2017. You will be informed of the result by 10 November 2017.
If the proposal is accepted, you will be required to register with WOCMES by 15 November, 2017, although acceptance of the panel by WOCMES is not assured. Please consult the WOCMES website http://wocmes2018seville.org/web/index.php/en/ for further information about conference and registration procedures.
The organizers intend to publish the papers in a collective book, so strong preference will be given to authors/speakers who will subsequently be prepared to submit their papers by 30 September 2018.