A selection of recent publications from our members, as well as a brief summary of the 2021 workshop’s associated volume, to be published by Gingko Library in 2023.

Dangerous Gifts: Imperialism, Security, and Civil Wars in the Levant, 1798-1864

Ozan Ozavci offers the first genealogical analysis of western interventionism in the Levant whilst freeing the Eastern Question from the monopoly of Great Power politics and foregrounding the experience of Levantine actors.

More by Ozan Ozavci

Jews, liberalism, and antisemitism

Ozan Ozavci’s chapter on Russian writer Vladimir Jabotinksy discusses the tensions between antisemitisim and ‘other liberalisms’ within non-Western contexts.

How the West Stole Democracy from the Arabs: The Syrian Congress of 1920 and the Destruction of its Historic Liberal-Islamic Alliance

Dedicated to ‘all Syrians’, Elizabeth F. Thompson’s account of the Syrian-Arab Congress draws upon an array of untapped primary sources and offers a groundbreaking account of brief unity – and of its destruction.

More by Elizabeth Thompson

How the Failures of the 1919 Versailles Peace Treaty Set the State for Today’s Anti-Racist Uprisings

Thompson argues that the racism that recently became the target of protest across the globe is rooted in the tragic choices of leaders, made a century ago.

Comrades on Elephants: Economic Anti-Imperialism, Orientalism, and Soviet Diplomacy in Afghanistan, 1921–23

In this article, Sam Hirst analyzes early Soviet diplomacy in Afghanistan (1921-1923) and argues that the early 1920s were a formative moment in which the Bolsheviks’ interactions with states like Afghanistan, Iran, and Turkey shaped ideas about economic development and imperialism that would influence Soviet engagements with the Third World.

Order and Compromise: Government Practices in Turkey from the Late Ottoman Empire to the Early 21st Century

Edited by Marc Aymes, Benjamin Gourisse, and Élise Massicard this book questions the historicity of government practices in Turkey from the late Ottoman Empire up to the present day. By combining in-depth case studies with an interdisciplinary conceptual framework, this collection helps apprehend the morphology and dynamics of public action and state-society relations in Turkey. 

Click here for the French version of the book

Click here for the Turkish version of the book

‘A Turk Named O’Brien’: Bedtime Stories of the Early Turkish Republic from the Memoirs of Sevim Sertel O’Brien

James Ryan‘s article examines the unpublished memoirs of Sevim Sertel O’Brien, a journalist and daughter of prominent journalists and intellectuals Sabiha and Zekeriya Sertel. Ryan argues that the memoirs can be used as a way to reconsider the function of nostalgic remembrances of this period amongst Turkish immigrants and exiles, and as an example of how harsh experiences of this period were softened in the search for a usable past.

Sovereignty under the League of Nations Mandates: The Jurists’ Debates

Leonard Smith‘s article is an extrapolation from his book Sovereignty at the Paris Peace Conference of 1919 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2018). This article explores how the lack of consensus over the location of sovereignty in the League of Nations Mandate created an absence at the centre of the mandate system, an absence which the politics of the interwar period would have to fill.

Greeks in Turkey: Elite Nationalism and Minority Politics in Late Ottoman and Early Republican Istanbul

Dimitris Kamouzis provides a thorough historical analysis of Greek elite nationalism in Istanbul during and in the aftermath of the Greek-Turkish War (1919-1922) and critically assesses the application of the minority clauses of the Treaty of Lausanne in Turkey after 1923.

Forthcoming from Dimitris Kamouzis

They Shall Not Perish! The Greek Refugee Crisis of 1922 and International Humanitarian Organizations  

The aim of this book is to highlight a significant aspect of the post-1922 relief and settlement history of the Asia Minor Greeks, namely the aid of western humanitarian organizations – especially the American Red Cross, the Near East Relief Committee and the British Save the Children Fund . 

Sa demeure est enveloppée d’allégresse et défendue par les sentences de Mahomat’ : la villa monégasque d’un diplomate iranien au début du XXe siècle

Leila Koochakzadeh‘s chapter (in Amélie Balayre, Claire Le Bras, Marie-Cécile Pineau et Nathan Rousselot’s Le diplomate en représentation (XVIe-XXe siècle) ) looks at one of the aspects of the materiality of diplomatic representation, through the case of the villa Daneshgāh, the personal residence of the the representative of Iran at the League of Nations Arfa’ ol-Dowleh.

Forthcoming from Leila Koochakzadeh

Towards a cultural history of Iranian diplomacy and foreign policy making from the Safavids to the Islamic Republic

Due to be published as a thematic issue of The International History Review, Leila’s joint project with Oliver Bast contributes towards the cultural history of diplomacy of Modern Iran.

Ottoman Albanians in an era of Transition: An Engagement with a Fluid Modern World

Known in subsequent generations as heroes of Albanian nationalism, the Ottoman-Southern Albanian (Tosk) activists studied here by Isa Blumi demonstrate how a self-selective constituency challenged the Ottoman government to adapt to a changing world.

More by Isa Blumi

Ottoman Refugees, 1878-1939: Migration in a Post-Imperial World

Imperial Equivocations: Britain’s Temperamental Mobilization of the Caliphate, 1912-1924,” Rivista italiana di storia internazionale, vol. IV, no. 1 (forthcoming)

Flexible Sovereignties of the Revolutionary State: Soviet Republics Enter World Politics

In this co-authored paper, Etienne Peyrat deals with the diplomatic innovations of the early Bolshevik regime and the way multiple sovereignties were staged and instrumentalized by Soviet leaders, notably in relations with the Middle East. 

The biography as institutional can-opener: An investigation of core bureaucratic practices in the early years of the League of Nations Secretariat

Haakon Ikonomous contributing chapter to this edited volume focused on the Ottoman Greek international civil servant Thanassis Aghnides, who ended up playing an important behind-the-scenes role in facilitating and monitoring the forced Greco-Turkish population exchange. The chapter emphasizes how a biographical perspective can be used to investigate how bureaucrats were recruited and worked within International Organizations.

Recovering Armenia : The Limits of Belonging in Post-Genocide Turkey

Lerna Ekmekçioğlu offers the first in-depth study of the aftermath of the 1915 Armenian Genocide and the Armenians who remained in Turkey. First published in 2016, the Turkish translation is now available.

Forced Migration as Nation-Building: The League of Nations, Minority Protection, and the Greek-Turkish Population Exchange

Sarah Shields argues in this article that the forced migration has its roots in the centuries-long legacy of European fantasies about the brutality of ‘the Turk’, while at the same time satisfying the contemporary desire of an emerging Turkish-nationalist elite, which seized on the ‘exchange’ as a way to consolidate its new state and legislate a foundational Turkish identity.

Forthcoming from Sarah Shields

“Flags and Blood: European Jews, Refugee Restrictions, and Rioting in 1929 Palestine,” conference volume, Brill, 2021.

“The Vatican and the 1929 Riots in Palestine,” Archivum Ottomanicum.

The British Empire and the Armenian Genocide: Humanitarianism and Imperial Politics from Gladstone to Churchill

This book considers the first attempt to intervene on behalf of the victims of the massacres and to prosecute those responsible for ‘crimes against humanity’ using newly uncovered archival material. In looking at the British response to the events in Anatolia, Michelle Tusan provides a new perspective on the genocide and sheds light on one of the first ever international humanitarian campaigns.

Mr Five Per Cent: The many lives of Calouste Gulbenkian, the world’s richest man

Jonathan Conlin‘s definitive biography of an Ottoman-Armenian amira, diplomat and oil magnate (1869-1955) who created the Turkish (later Iraq) Petroleum Company.

More by Jonathan Conlin

An Oily Entente: France, Britain, and the Mosul Question, 1916-1925

Jonathan Conlin’s research article reinterprets the “Mosul Question” as one not of inter-state rivalry, but of corrupt (and corrupting) manipulation of Britain, France and other states by an emerging oil cartel.

The First World War and its Aftermath: The Shaping of the Modern Middle East

Edited by T. G. Fraser this volume considers topics ranging from the war’s effects on women, the experience of the Kurds, sectarianism, the evolution of Islamism, and the importance of prominent intellectuals like Ziya Gökalp and Michel ‘Aflaq.

The Makers of the Modern World

Edited by Alan Sharp, this 32-volume biographical series addresses all of the players at the Paris Peace Conference, from Georges Clemenceau (France) and Woodrow Wilson (USA) to Wellington Koo (China) and Epitácio Pessoa (Brazil).

Edited volume

An international group of historians and curators introduce a range of new perspectives on the 1922-3 Lausanne conference and its impact. Chapters consider the peace rhetoric and humanitarian initiatives invested in the proceedings, as well as the ways in which visual satires reported them to international audiences.

The population exchanges are situated relative to earlier and subsequent peacemaking efforts, but also made immediate and present, in an essay discussing the material heritage dislocated communities took with them as they were forced from their homes. Further chapters bring into focus the “absent presences”, Kurdish, Arab and other communities refused formal accreditation.

The forthcoming volume will be published in 2023.

DERSO AND KELÈN’S CARICATURE OF THE SIGNING. Source: courtesy of Peace Palace Library, The Hague

In addition to foregrounding these inter-sectoral diplomatic dynamics at Lausanne, we offer a ‘contrapuntal’ reading of the episode, exposing the “absent presences”, the unheard as much as the heard, their manifold interests, expectations, frustrations and resentments.

From the Foreword by the editors