The First World War in the Middle East: Experience, Knowledge and Memory.

November 2014, Internationale Konferenz, OI Beirut

Jointly organized by the Orient-Institut Beirut (OIB), the Institut français du Proche-Orient (Ifpo), the History Department of the Université Saint-Joseph (USJ) and the Institute of Palestinian Studies (IPS) 

One hundred years have passed since the outbreak of the First World War.

On the occasion of this commemoration, the Orient-Institut Beirut (OIB),the Institut français du Proche-Orient (Ifpo), the History Department of the Université Saint-Joseph (USJ) and the Institute of Palestinian Studies (IPS) are organising an international conference to be held in Beirut on November 3 and 4, 2014.

The conference aims to question and to rethink the place of this conflict in the history of the Middle East.

Aiming at encouraging new approaches to a well-established field of historical enquiry, the debates of the conference are organised around three interconnected axes:

  • From the perspective of social history and historical anthropology, we want to explore how people experienced the war, how they lived through it and what it meant for their daily lives.
  • From the point of view of a long-term history of science and knowledge production, we consider the impact of the war and of its trans-regional and global dimensions on orders of knowledge and the institutional and informal systems producing it. Of special interest are the emerging nationalist movements, their interactions with the self-reforming Ottoman and later the colonial or Mandatory educational systems, and their long-term effects on shifting notions of science and education in the region.
  • Finally, we want to examine, from the point of view of the sociology of memory, how this ‘Great War’ is remembered in literature, arts, commemorations and celebrations. The aim is to reflect the dynamics of how, when, where and by whom this war has become the object of commemoration, be it private or official, particularly when taking into account the more recent periods of violence in the region.