Blog: Revisiting the 1917 Stockholm Peace Conference: Indian Nationalism, International Socialism, and Anti-Imperialism

A recent blog by Ole Birk Laursen on the University of Exeter’s Global and Imperial Forum discusses how the centenaries of the Russian revolutions (1917) and the end of the First World War (1918), are connected through the abandoned Stockholm Peace Conference and, given their anti-imperialist narratives, how they impacted the colonial world. Despite the attendance of Indians, Egyptians, Persians and Turks in Stockholm, the scant historical inquiries into this might-have-been moment tend to neglect how such anti-imperial ambitions were tied to world peace.

Ole Birk Laursen (Research Affiliate, the Open University) is a historian of Black and South Asian people in Britain and Europe with a particular focus anti-imperialism and anarchism. In addition to book chapters and journal articles on Indian nationalism, his book The Indian Revolutionary Movement in Europe, 1905-1918 is forthcoming with Liverpool University Press (2019).

WW1 Centenary blog: Tagore in the time of war 1913-1919, by Sneha Reddy

Ideas and influence of poet and Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore during the first world war
Marking 100 years of Tagore’s lectures, delivered in Japan and USA, published in 1917 under the title ‘Nationalism’

‘Although Tagore is best known for his poetry, he was also an accomplished novelist, artist, dramatist, essayist and made prolific music compositions. His work gained international prominence just as the winds of nationalism and mutual distrust swept across the European continent and morphed into a conflict in 1914. The poet saw the oncoming war as an assault on humanity and explored its political and cultural consequences through his writings. European intellectuals and literary figures who witnessed the war’s brutality at their shores sought ‘insights coming from elsewhere’ and for many, Tagore’s voice ‘fit the need splendidly’ (Sen 2011).’

Full article here.

Sneha Reddy is a first-year PhD student at the School of International Relations in the University of Saint Andrews, Scotland. Her research focuses on French North African and British Indian soldiers in the First World War in the Middle East. She is on twitter @sneha_tumu

#TheOxfordSomme

On 18th November 2016, to mark the 100-year anniversary of the end of the Battle of the Somme, Academic IT are creating an online (Twitter) memorial to those from the University who died in action or from wounds fighting on the Somme in July-November 1916. This forms part of the University’s First World War Centenary Programme and we need your help!

The memorial will be based on the names listed in the University’s Roll of Service. Although the Roll can tell us key details about the many men who gave up their lives, for various reasons it is not exhaustive. Therefore, we are calling out to all college, library and faculty staff who might be able to help us ‘fill in these gaps’. We are looking for information about:
* the Oxford students from Germany or other Central Powers,
* the Oxford students from the Allies, and
* the members of staff who were not matriculated at the University.

Please email sarah.wilkin@oii.ox.ac.uk (@WW1Centenary) and follow #TheOxfordSomme We look forward to hearing from you!

LexiQamus; An Online Tool for Deciphering Illegible Words in Manuscripts in Arabic Letters

A new resource has been created, which aims to solve illegible words in Ottoman Turkish manuscripts. It currently only explores words in Ottoman Turkish, but Arabic and Persian words will be included in the database soon. However, it can already find words in these language due to the large size of the database.

In order to find the illegible words, it is necessary to add the legible letters to the boxes and then put a * for illegible ones. It then provides a list of possible words that match the criteria, going through a list of approximately 170 thousands words. The words and phrases come from more than 15 prominent dictionaries.

Further information can be found here.
The resource can be found here.

Views of an antique land: Imaging Egypt and Palestine in the First World War

Supported by the Lottery through the Heritage Lottery Fund Our Heritage programme, this University of Cardiff project will focus on collecting and making accessible images of Egypt and Palestine as they would have been seen by people during the First World War.

Much of the commemoration of the First World War has focussed on the Western Front and so gives the impression that the war was entirely one of mud and trenches with very little movement. However, the war in Egypt and Palestine was much more mobile and often fast moving, it was also fought in hot and dry conditions and posed a whole range of challenges to those who fought there. It is also a surprise to many that such a great number of personnel did actually serve in Egypt and Palestine at some point during the war with units regularly being withdrawn from the Western Front to serve in the area before returning to Europe later on. Egypt also served as a staging post for the Dardenelles Campaign and Thessalonika.

The aim is to collect photographs taken by service personnel, postcards, lantern slides and stereoviews. The project is not collecting the actual views but rather scans of them which, with the owners permission, will be uploaded to a dedicated website where anyone interested in seeing what their ancestors saw or who is interested in how the ancient monuments, cities, towns and villages looked during the First World War can get that information.

For a full overview of the project, see here.

New blog for Oxford’s WWI Centenary ‘Continuations and Beginnings’ website

Hanna Smyth, who is completing her DPhil on the relationship between Commonwealth War Graves Commission sites and identity, recently contributed to the University of Oxford’s WWI Centenary ‘Continuations and Beginnings’ website. Her blog, WWI Memorials of the British Empire: Identity and Memory on the Western Front, can be accessed here.