Knowledge Frontiers Symposia - Amman, Jordan 2020

Knowledge Frontiers Symposia - Amman, Jordan 2020





Between 26 and 28 January 2020, CBRL Amman partnered with the British Academy to host one of its Knowledge Frontiers Symposia around the theme of ‘Belonging’. The symposia focus on facilitating the exchange of ideas across disciplinary and national boundaries, with the aim of ‘supporting the development of the next generation of talent within the social sciences and the humanities, and promoting interdisciplinary and international research collaboration’. This BA-CBRL Symposium brought together a very diverse group of early career researchers from the United Kingdom and the Levant.

Thirty-seven – well over 40 with the BA and CBRL teams - gathered over the course of three days, delving into various thematic dimensions of the symposium’s organising theme of ‘Belonging’ – its mutability, natures and representations. Sessions were facilitated by two senior UK academics, Charles Tripp (SOAS, retd., BA Vice-President for the British International Research Institutes) and Eugene Rogan (Oxford), together with Sarah Ababneh (Center for Strategic Studies, University of Jordan).

Symposium sessions were also interspersed with networking opportunities for participants, while one day also featured a tour of Amman’s neighbourhoods and street art, guided by representatives from Al Balad Theater, the co-ordinator of the BALADK Festival. This Festival has, every early summer since 2013, gathered the global urban arts community in Amman and Jordanian artists to share and create artistic experiences in various locations in Amman.

Symposium participants became eligible to apply for BA seed funding aimed at fostering collaborative proposals between both regions. The symposium’s concluding hour served as a strict deadline for the seed funding proposal submission. Though winners have yet to be announced, the high number of proposals (25), together with the high quality, diversity and innovation of their subject matters, was seen as indicating the model’s success. The symposium was also seen as a great success for CBRL in terms of raising its profile and visibility to wide circles of early career scholars both UK based and across the Levant.

All photos taken by Khadija Alfaqeer.


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