CfP: Borders and Beyond in the Middle East since 1914: Legacies, Changes, Continuities

York St John University, York, UK
17-18 June 2016 (associated social and cultural events on 16th and 19th June)

Keynote Speakers include Priya Satia (Stanford University); more to be confirmed.

This international interdisciplinary conference will examine the effects of World War 1 and the post-war settlement in the Middle East, especially those which are still felt today e.g. state borders, migrations, secular and religious ideologies and movements, and struggles over power. The centenary of the 1916 “Sykes-Picot agreement”, which fed into the post-1918 politics of the region, provides a prompt to reflect on these themes, but does not limit the range of topics for discussion.

With its associated exhibitions and cultural events, the conference will provide a timely opportunity to re-examine the history of this period from many different perspectives and consider the extent of its consequences for the present, and implications for the future. It will also be an opportunity for scholarly work on the Middle East over the last century to be heard and discussed by a wider audience, and for participants to share non-academic as well as academic perspectives on past, present and future in the Middle East.

The conference will encourage the exploration of:
* issues such as gender politics, oil, imperialism, borders, mandates and state formation, local, national, and international elites, and local, national and communal histories of the region
* the impact of early twentieth century developments on subsequent histories and perceptions of ethnic, religious, social and communal diversity in the region
* cultural, political, and ideological aspects of these topics within and beyond the Middle East.
* histories and/or contemporary experiences of York/Yorkshire connections with the Middle East

Potential contributions to the conference may thus come from many disciplines; these might include geography, cartography, ethnography/anthropology, political science, war and peace studies, international relations, archaeology, science and/or engineering, religious and philosophical studies, the arts, cultural, media, and literary studies, statistics.

The conference will include both plenary sessions and panels. All sessions will be designed to give ample time to discuss presentations with a common theme. Proposals for papers or other forms of presentation are invited from all disciplines and areas. Selected papers will be considered for inclusion in an edited volume of conference proceedings.

Paper proposals should be for presentations of no more than 15 minutes; we are happy to consider proposals for contributions in other formats. Panel proposals should be for 2/3papers dealing with common themes.

Proposals, which should provide [1] a title, [2] an abstract of no more than 250 words, [3] the proposer’s name and contact details, should be sent to by Friday 23 January 2016 at latest. Proposers will be informed of decisions about their proposal by early March.

Further details about the conference, including registration fees, concessions, etc. will be available shortly.

Organising committee: John Bibby, Joanna de Groot, Ian Horwood

Sponsors: York St John University; Institute for the Public Understanding of the Past, History Department, University of York; also associated with the York Festival of Ideas.