The Grand Entrance, Royal Military Academy Sandhurst (Photo courtesy of RMA Sandhurst)

The Great War in the Middle East - Sandhurst conference April 2016

Posted on centenarynews.com on 20 January 2016
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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: james.kitchen101@mod.uk

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.

Conference Programme

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