A major international conference re-examining the origins, conduct and consequences of the First World War in the Middle East is to be held at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst from April 20th-21st 2016.
Historians from the around the world will gather at the British Army's officer training academy to examine the complexities of a conflict whose consequences are still felt in the region.
The aim is to widen discussion from the European experience of 1914-18, relating the Great War to the broader period of conflict that affected the Ottoman Empire from 1911 to 1923.
Significant Centenary anniversaries in 2016 include the defeat of a British/Indian force at Kut; the outbreak of the Arab revolt against Turkish rule, and the Sykes-Picot agreement between Britain and France for dividing the Ottoman Empire.
The conference, entitled The Great War in the Middle East 1911-23, is a joint venture between the War Studies Department of the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst and the Changing Character of War Programme at Oxford University.
The organisers explain: "This was a region in which the great imperial powers of the early twentieth century struggled for control, and the resulting conflict unleashed powerful nationalist, imperial, religious, and ethnic dynamics that continue to both fascinate historians and to shape the region to this day.
"The conference will address these inter-related factors, and their role in the breaking and making of empires and nation-states in the Middle East. In doing so, the breadth of papers and discussions will integrate military, social, cultural, and political histories together to provide a broader history of the Middle East and the First World War."
If you wish to attend please email Dr James Kitchen, Senior Lecturer in War Studies at RMA Sandhurst, for a copy of the conference information pack, booking form and the security form: firstname.lastname@example.org
The conference registration fee is £100 - reduced to £75 for postgraduate students and early career researchers (book by February 19th to secure reduction).
Accommodation and dinners can also be booked as optional extras.
10.30 – 10.40 Welcome and Opening Remarks
RMAS Commandant and Director of Studies
10.40 – 12.30 Panel 1: Global Strategy and the Middle East
Chair: Matthew Hughes (Brunel)
*James Renton (Edge Hill) – The British Idea of the Middle East and its Consequences
*Hervé François (Historial de la Grande Guerre) – France
*Christopher Read (Warwick) – Russia
*Peter Lieb (ZMSBw, Potsdam) – German Policy towards the Middle East in 1918
12.30 – 13.30 Lunch
13.30 – 15.30 Panel 2: Beliefs and War
Chair: John Darwin (Oxford)
*Adrian Gregory (Oxford) – Western ‘Crusading’ in the Middle East
*Roberto Mazza (Limerick) – Alone, with the Enemy or With God? The Christian Churches of Palestine during the War
*Yucel Yanikdag (University of Richmond) – Ottoman Jihad
*John Slight (Cambridge) – Jihad Beyond the Ottoman Empire
16.00 – 18.00 Panel 3: Military Operations and Adaptation
Chair: James Kitchen (RMAS)
*Kaushik Roy (Jadavpur) – Learning and Fighting: The Indian Army in Mesopotamia and Syria, 1914-1918
*Aimée Fox-Godden (Birmingham) – ‘From Experience Gained in France’: Disseminating and Adapting Western Front Lessons in the Middle Eastern Theatres, 1914-1918
*Metin Gurcan (Bilkent) – Gallipoli
19.00 Formal Conference Dinner
Old College Dining Room
(Optional – must be booked separately)
Thursday 21 April 2016
09.30 – 11.00 Panel 4: Imperial Home Fronts and ‘Total War’
Chair: Roberto Mazza (Limerick)
*Leila Fawaz (Tufts) – Civilians and Soldiers in the Levant 1914-1918
*Mario Ruiz (Hofstra) – Martial Law, Rural Labourers, and the Egyptian Home Front, 1914-1918
*Oliver Bast (Manchester) – ‘The Rape of Persia’? – World War I in Neutral Iran as a Humanitarian Disaster
11.30 – 13.00 Panel 5: Tactics and Combat in the Middle East
Chair: Robert Johnson (Oxford)
*David Murphy (Maynooth) – The Arab Revolt, 1916-18: Sideshow or Major Campaign?
*Nikolas Gardner (RMC Canada) – Tactics and Morale in Indian Expeditionary Force ‘D’, 1915-1916
13.00 – 14.00 Lunch
14.00 – 15.30 Panel 6: Building and Challenging Post-War Empires
Chair: Peter Lieb (ZMSBw, Potsdam)
*James Kitchen (RMAS) – Egypt 1919: The British Army and Counter-Revolutionary Operations
*Robert Fletcher (Warwick) – Imperial Frontiers
*Michael Provence (UCSD) – Ottoman Military Culture and Anti-colonial Insurgency in Greater Syria
16.00 – 17.30 Panel 7: Representations of the First World War in the Middle East
Chair: Adrian Gregory (Oxford)
*Justin Fantauzzo (Memorial University, St John’s) – Amongst Gyppos, Jews, Arabs, and Abdul: Imperial Soldiers and the Levant in Inter-war Fiction
*Nadia Atia (QMUL) – Murder in Mesopotamia: Agatha Christie’s Life and Work in the Middle East
*Jenny Macleod (Hull) – Memory/Representation of Gallipoli
*Gizem Tongo (Oxford) – Ottoman Art of the First World War
19.00 Buffet Dinner
Victory College Dining Room
(Optional – must be booked separately)
Source: Department of War Studies, RMA Sandhurst
Images courtesy of RMA Sandhurst
Posted by: Peter Alhadeff, Centenary News
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