The First World War in the Middle East: Aftermath and Legacies

The In Flanders Field Museum, the Turkey Studies Network in the Low Countries, Power in History: Centre for Political History (University of Antwerp), and the Hannah Arendt Institute are jointly organising a three-day interdisciplinary conference on the experience and aftermath of the First World War in the Middle East. From the UU, assistant professor of Transimperial history Ozan Ozavci is involved in the curation of the exhibition For Civilisation: The First World War in the Middle East.

First World War in the Middle East

The precarious geopolitical balance in the contemporary Middle East cannot be understood without considering the circumstances of Ottoman collapse during and immediately after the First World War. The dramatic implosion of this age-old imperium that, during the long nineteenth century, had uneasily struggled to ward off foreign imperial intrusion and lessen its dependence on European capital, was accompanied by unprecedented levels of (genocidal) violence, both on and off the battlefields. The colonial reordering of the region by the victorious Allied Powers in the aftermath of the war proved equally momentous. It spawned multiple local resistance movements, some of which were brutally defeated, while others morphed into new nation states. It created the conditions for future conflict, some continuing to smoulder to this day.


Submissions should include: name, main affiliation,
paper title, abstract and a short bio (max. 100 words).
Applicants are invited to submit a 600-word abstract
before March 15, 2022 wherein the central aims,
relevant historiographies and primary sources are
clearly outlined.



Flanders Fields Museum
Ypres, Belgium


  • Proposal submission deadline – March 30, 2022
  • Notification – April 30, 2022
  • Conference: September 15-17, 2022


Keynote Speakers

Elizabeth F. Thompson
American University, Washington D.C.
Nazan Maksudyan
Freie Universität Berlin

Scientific Committee

Maartje Abbenhuis University of Auckland
Houssine Alloul University of Amsterdam
Marnix Beyen University of Antwerp
Christophe Busch Hannah Arendt Institute
Dominiek Dendooven
In Flanders Fields Museum/University of Antwerp
Pieter Lagrou Université Libre de Bruxelles
Ozan Ozavci Utrecht University
Roschanack Shaery-Yazdi University of Antwerp
Henk de Smaele University of Antwerp
Ismee Tames NIOD/University of Amsterdam
Pieter Trogh In Flanders Fields Museum
Uğur Ümit Üngör NIOD/University of Amsterdam
Alp Yenen Leiden University

Call for Papers

This conference welcomes paper proposals that provide new perspectives on how this global war unfolded in the Ottoman lands and its borderlands, the cataclysmic consequences it engendered in the making of a new geopolitical order, and how its many legacies reverberate up to the present day, written by historians, art historians, sociologists, anthropologists, archaeologists, literary scholars, and political scientists. The aim is to take stock of the war’s various legacies in politics, art, literature, poetry, popular music, and commemorative practices.

Do make sure your abstract is in by 30 March.

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