At the Crossroads – The Middle Eastern and the North Atlantic World during the Interwar Years

At the Crossroads – The Middle Eastern and the North Atlantic World during the Interwar Years

Anna Bundt, Leon Julius Biela (Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena)
Vom - Bis
08.02.2021 - 15.03.2021
Leon Julius Biela, Historisches Institut, Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena

Call for papers by advanced students and early-stage researchers for an edited volume on the Middle Eastern and the North Atlantic World in the interwar period, combined with a workshop in fall 2021. With the project, we wish to contribute to further research on the entangled history of the Middle Eastern and the North Atlantic World by analyzing the years between the World Wars which we understand as a decisive and formative period for the entangled history of both regions.

At the Crossroads – The Middle Eastern and the North Atlantic World during the Interwar Years

For both the North Atlantic and the Middle Eastern World the years between the World Wars were a decisive and formative period. This applies to the diverse entanglements, exchanges, and connections between the regions and their inhabitants as well. The most obvious connection, which is also covered best by scholarly research, is the imperial powers’ intrusion in the Middle Eastern World during the First World War and the partition of the region into new polities subsequent to the fall of the Ottoman Empire. This emphasis in the historiography, however, creates a one-dimensional image since the connections of the regions in the interwar years were far more complex and cover a wider range of perspectives. This has to be taken into account in order to understand the development of the regions and their entanglements up until the present day.

Our volume, therefore, intends to go beyond an analysis of imperialism as a historiography of North Atlantic actors’ actions within the Middle Eastern World, without disregarding it. Instead, we wish to focus on those manifold relations, connections, and exchanges which have not received sufficient scholarly attention yet. By doing so, we aim to gain a broader understanding of the joint and entangled history of both regions. Hence, we are particularly interested in the influences of the Middle Eastern World on the North Atlantic World. Possible research topics for our volume include but are not limited to:

- Migration and diasporas, i.e. North Atlantic communities in the Middle Eastern World, particularly Middle Eastern communities in the North Atlantic World.
- The migrants’ and expats’ lifeworld, their role as cultural brokers in social networks between their place of residence and their origin, the stories behind their migration and diaspora, and how they deal with their cultural heritage in a new environment.
- A cultural history perspective, examining the exchange of concepts, ideas and cultural characteristics, e.g. in arts, architecture, literature, intellectual discourses, fashion etc.
- New perspectives on orientalisms and deconstructions of the concepts of the ‘Middle East’ and the ‘West’.
- Mutual perceptions, including the perception of the North Atlantic World and its cultures in the Middle Eastern World and vice versa.
- Meaning of mutual perceptions for actions and modes of contacts.

Integration of both regions into global, international and transnational networks and arenas.

- The League of Nations, the mandates system, and international law in relation to both regions: To what extent were they instruments of imperial rule and in what way they were arenas in which actors from the Middle Eastern World could raise and assert their own agendas?
- Other kinds of global, international or transnational networks, for instance, networks of trade, media and information exchange, or organized crime, are also welcomed for submission.

Neither the Middle Eastern, nor the North Atlantic World, have ever been monolithic regions but have always been diverse ones, shaped by inner tensions. Our volume intends to use these concepts as analytical, geographical categories while also keeping in mind their inner diversity. Simultaneously, we are open to proposals analyzing and relating the constructive nature of these concepts as well as to proposals historicizing them.

Our call is addressed to advanced students of history and related disciplines with their own research projects as well as early-stage researchers currently working on their doctoral theses. We are seeking to give them opportunities for networking with peers and more visibility in the world of academia with a publication in our volume. In addition to the publication, in fall 2021 there will be an online workshop to discuss the first version of the manuscripts. The language of the volume and workshop will be English.

We encourage advanced students and early-stage researchers from outside Germany to contribute to this project. The costs of the publication and workshop are covered by the Honours-Programme for Future Researchers of the Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena.

We ask all interested to send an abstract of 300–500 words (preferably in English) on their proposed paper to Anna Bundt ( until 28 February 2021.

Schedule: 15 March 2021 deadline for the abstracts; until 15 April 2021 feedback by the editors and selection of the abstracts for the volume; 31 August 2021 deadline for the first version of the manuscripts; Fall 2021 workshop; after the workshop finalization of the manuscripts; publication of the edited volume intended in late 2022 / early 2023.

In case of restrictions caused by the global pandemic interfering with the work on the manuscripts, this deadline may be subject to change.


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