International conference: Demographic Transition in the Middle East and North Africa: Disciplines in Dialogue (Amman, 14-16 janvier 2012)

14 January, 2012 - 09:00 - 16 January, 2012 - 18:00

International Conference

Demographic Transition in the Middle East and North Africa: Disciplines in Dialogue

University of Jordan, Amman, Rum Auditorium

14-16 January 2012

International Conference co-organized by:

  • British Institute in Amman
  • Faculty of Science of the University of Jordan
  • French Institute for the Near East (Ifpo)
  • University of Bern

and sponsored by the:

  • d’Alembert Fund of the French Foreign Ministry
  • Council for British Research in the Levant-British Academy
  • Cultural Section of the French Embassy in Amman
  • Swiss National Science Foundation
  • University of Bern
  • University of Jordan

Conference website :

Day 1, January, 14th, 2012

9:00: Registration of participants

9:30: Welcoming addresses by:

  • H. E. Professor Adel Tweissi, President of the University of Jordan
  • Alain Aumis, Cultural counsellor, French Embassy in Amman
  • François Burgat, Director of French Institute for the Near East (Ifpo)
  • Carol Palmer, Director of the British Institute in Amman, Council for British Research in the Levant (CBRL)


10:00-10:45 Édouard Conte (Bern): A dialogue of disciplines: different methods, common questions

Coffee break 10:45-11:15

Session 1: Epistemologies of reproduction and transmission

11:15-12:00 Adam Kuper (London): Cousin marriage in Victorian England

12:00-12:45 Waleed Gharaibeh (Amman): Subsistence economy, population history and genealogy in the Near East

12:45-14:00 Lunch break

14:00-14:45 John Casterline (Columbus): Fertility decline in the Arab region

14:45-15:30 Carol Palmer (Amman): Demographic transformation through the prism of a life history

Coffee break 15:30-16:00 

16:00-16:45 Irène Maffi (Lausanne): Reproduction is “good to think”. Field observations from Jordan

16:45 - 17:30 General discussion

Dinner 20:00 


Day 2, January, 15th, 2012


Session 2: Ontologies of nasab

9:15-10:00 Stefan Leder (Beirut): Discourses and practices of nasab today

10:00-10:45 Édouard Conte (Bern): Intisâb: elective affinities and the construction of pedigree

Coffee break 10:45-11:15

11:15-12:00 Saskia Walentowitz (Bern): Dynamics of nasab in a gender-balanced Berber community

Session 3: Alliance, Consanguinity, fertility

12:00-12:45 Édouard Conte (Bern) A review of research on consanguinity and fertility in Iran

Lunch break 12:45-14:00

14:00-14:45 Alison Shaw (Oxford): The persistence of transnational consanguineous marriages among British Pakistanis

14:45-15:30 Marwan Khawaja (Beirut): Consanguinity and fertility among Palestinians

Coffee Break 15:30-16:00

16:00-17:00 Badal, a film by Ibtisam Mara’ana

17:00-18:00 General discussion

Dinner 20:00 

Day 3, January, 16th, 2012


Session 4 Marriage and Demographic Processes

9:15-10:00 Fida Adely (Washington, D. C.): Marriage crisis in Jordan: courting, match-making and gendered transformations

10:00-10:45 İsmet Koç (Ankara): Sociodemographic aspects of marital unions in Turkey

Coffee break 10:45-11:15

11:15-12:00 Jamila Bargach (Rabat): Journeys of love and despair for unwed mothers in Morocco

Session 5: Migration and Demography

12:00-12:45 Mehmet Ali Eryut (Ankara): Internal migration and fertility in Turkey

Lunch break 12:45-14:00

14:00-14:45 Jalal Al Husseini (Amman): Migrating in a void: the dynamics of the Palestinian refugee migrations in the Middle East and beyond

14:45-15:30 Philippe Fargues (Florence): Demography, migration, and revolt in the South of the Mediterranean

Coffee Break 15:30-16:00

16:00-18:00: General discussion and conclusion