Call for Papers: The Forgotten Peace? The Lausanne Conference and the New Middle East, 1922-23

Call for Papers: The Forgotten Peace? The Lausanne Conference and the New Middle East, 1922-23

Workshop: Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation Delegation in France, Paris, June 2020
Conference: Gingko Library, London, July 2023

Lausanne was “the longest lasting and most successful of the post-First World War settlements,” to quote Keith Jeffery and Alan Sharp. Between November 1922 and July 1923 plenipotentiaries of the Entente Powers, Turkey and Bulgaria convened on the shores of Lake Geneva to shape the political, economic and demographic future of the post-Ottoman Middle East and Balkans. Despite its significance for regional and transnational history, the Lausanne Peace Conference has hitherto received relatively little attention from scholars.

With the generous support of the Gingko Library of London and the Gulbenkian Foundation in Lisbon the convenors propose to form a small team of 12-15 scholars –of Diplomatic, Political and Business History; International Relations; Middle East Studies; Migration Studies; International Law– to collaborate on a volume devoted to the Conference and its impact. This volume will be published by the Gingko Library in 2023, and launched at a special conference in London. Scholars invited to participate will be expected to attend a workshop at the Gulbenkian Foundation’s Paris branch in June 2020, at which drafts will be discussed in an inter-disciplinary spirit, with feedback from established scholars in the relevant fields. Transportation and accommodation will be provided, and the workshop language will be English.

The convenors view the upcoming centenary of Lausanne less as an opportunity to provide the missing equivalent to existing studies of Versailles, and more as an opportunity to transcend traditional diplomatic history, reintroducing the non-state actors (such as multinational companies, banks, political parties, NGOs and the media) whose influence on the deliberations at the Hotel Beau Rivage was evident to contemporary observers, yet which has been neglected by historians as of peripheral interest. Lausanne shifted borders and unleashed unprecedented population exchanges, but it also changed how capital, goods and information moved between east and west, as well as within the Middle East.

Some of the topics which suggest themselves include:

  • imperial and indigenous political strategies and calculations
  • population exchanges
  • the Straits and international law
  • the role of banks and multinational companies
  • oil, mining, railway, lighthouse and infrastructure concessions
  • the Ottoman Debt
  • trans-local biographies of political, commercial and financial figures active at Lausanne
  • wider political and economic repercussions
  • media discourse and representations
  • public memory and commemoration

Please send proposals (200-500 words) with a one-page CV by 11 January 2019 to the convenors: Dr Jonathan Conlin (jgwc2@soton.ac.uk) and Dr Ozan Ozavci (h.o.ozavci@uu.nl) Informal enquiries are welcome. Authors of proposals will be informed of the convenors’ decision on their submission by 15 February 2019 and the final programme will be released on 30 March 2019.

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