Industry and Industrialism in the Late Antique and Early Islamic Near East

A Conference at the University of Chicago

Sponsored by The Oriental Institute, with generous funding from Prof. Guity Nashat.

 Co-Sponsors: International House Global Voices Program; The Franke Institute for Humanities; The Center for Middle Eastern Studies; The Booth School of Business; Department of Economics; Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations; and Department of History.

October 18-19, 2018

Coulter Lounge, International House  - 1414 East 59th Street, Chicago, IL


The "Industry and Industrialism" conference is open free of charge to the general public and in particular to all interested members of the University of Chicago community.  

The conference is organized as follows: a number of scholars who work on questions of Industry in the Late Antique and Early Islamic Near East have agreed to prepare academic papers for the conference.  These papers will be submitted in advance and pre-circulated to all who register for the conference, along with an Abstract.  Except for the Plenary Address, papers will not be read aloud at the conference; rather, each paper will be the focus of a 45-minute session, during which an assigned respondent will make brief opening remarks, commenting on key issues raised by the paper, points that may merit further discussion, etc..  After the opening comments, the author then gets the chance to make a short reply, after which discussion is opened to the other invited authors and to the attending audience.  Experience has shown that this procedure substantive and sustained discussion of the points raised in each paper, and provides the authors with excellent feedback they can then use when revising their papers for final publication in the conference volume.

Registration (free) by attendees is not required, but it is strongly encouraged so that those registering may receive pdf copies of the papers and abstracts in advance.  (Printed Abstracts, but not the full papers, will be available at the conference for those who have not registered in advance.)  Registration also gives the organizers a sense of how large an audience to anticipate, and to plan accordingly.

TO REGISTER: Simply send an e-mail, with "INDUSTRY REGISTRATION" in the subject line, to Fred M. Donner at  Please include in your message your first and last name, e-mail address, academic affiliation (or "independent" if you have none), and whether you expect to attend on October 18, October 19, or both days.

A tentative schedule for the conference is posted elsewhere on this web page.