Imperial Legacies of 1919

Country: USA

City: Texas

Abstr. due: 31.12.2018

Dates: 19.04.19 — 20.04.19

Area Of Sciences: History and archeology; Law;

Organizing comittee e-mail: imperial1919unt@gmail.com

Organizers: University of North Texas

 

Journalist and author Shrabani Basu will provide a distinguished lecture on Indian soldiers related to her recent work: For King and Another Country (2015). Prior to the conference, she will also host a screening of Victoria and Abdul, a film based on her book of the same name. Historian of the British Empire Dr. Susan Kingsley Kent will provide the keynote address. Her esteemed works include Aftershocks: Politics and Trauma in Britain, 1918-1931 (2009); The Women's War of 1929: Gender and Violence in Colonial Nigeria (2011) and The Global Influenza Pandemic of 1918-1919 (2012).

 

Conference Description

            The year 2019 is the perfect opportunity to analyze the global consequences of war and peace. That year marks the centenary of the Treaty of Versailles, which set the terms for peace after the First World War. Unfortunately, the meaning of “peace” was dictated largely by European Empires with limited visions for avoiding future conflict, not only in Europe but around the world. This conference will commemorate the 1919 centenary by hosting an international 2-day conference that explores the on-going legacies of war and imperialism.

            Shifting our lens to colonial spaces and debates, “Imperial Legacies of 1919” explores the multiple and contending meanings of 1919. In South Asia, for example, the year 1919 was not known for international peace treaties but rather the 1919 Amritsar Massacre during which a British officer commanded troops to open fire on an unarmed crowd. This gave leading figures such as Mohandas Gandhi the moral imperative to fight against colonialism. At the same time, the year 1919 connotes important moments in anti-colonial revolutions in places like Ireland and Egypt. Meanwhile, strikes and labor activism intensified around the world in response to the Bolshevik revolution (1917) and the return of soldiers to the home front. Soldiers, veterans, and civilians coped with wartime traumas, postwar disabilities and demobilization well beyond 1919.

            The terms of peace and creation of the League of Nations mandates led to the dismantling of the German, Ottoman, Austro-Hungarian and Russian empires. This meant redrawing international borders, including in the Near East, in what became known as the “Middle East” in the United States. Aerial warfare in the League of Nations mandates and during the Third Anglo-Afghan War (1919) targeted civilians with ongoing violence across the imperial world. Pan-Asian, Pan-African, Pan-Islamic and anti-colonial activists attempted to find alternative sources of unity to challenge European imperialism.

While the year 1919 holds an important place in world history, issues such as economic inequality, unstable border relations, religious and linguistic identities, veteran and civilian relations, gender inequality, and the long-term traumas of war remain harsh realities for people around the world. This conference will be a timely reflection on pressing global issues that link past and present.

Paper and Panel CFP (Deadline December 31, 2018): The conference organizers welcome individual paper or full panel submissions from junior and senior scholars at any stage of their academic career. We welcome proposals for both conventional 3-4 person panels and those that offer an unconventional approach to panel organization. Papers and panels may be on any region, theme, and topic related to “imperial legacies of 1919” but we especially welcome reflections on the following themes:

  • Borderlands, Labor, and Migration
  • Gendering War and Peace
  • War Psychology, Health, and Trauma
  • The League of Nations Mandate System
  • Crypto-Colonialism
  • Environment and Empire
  • Capitalism and Imperialism
  • Language and Identity
  • Anti-colonial and peace movements
  • Food, war, and empire
  • War Reporting, Media, and Memory

Conference Web-Site: https://networks.h-net.org/node/73374/announcements/2454986/call-papers-imperial-legacies-1919