The Peripheries of World War I - New Methodological and Spatial Perspectives

Donnerstag, 15. Mai 2014
New York / Abu Dhabi
Sonntag, 1. Dezember 2013

On the eve of the First World War's 100th anniversary, the state of our knowledge about this conflict stands at a crossroads. Although the study of this momentous event has been rejuvenated during the last 25 years, books and articles continue to assess familiar aspects of the war with familiar methods. At a time when many countries will be commemorating the war in simplified national terms, there is an opportunity to counter these often reductive commemorations by inviting scholars to develop a more nuanced and global understanding of the First World War.

This series of workshops will bring together scholars who push the boundaries of First World War studies in two fundamental ways.

The first workshop, in the spring of 2014 in New York City, will gather scholars who employ new methods in their investigation of the conflict. We particularly welcome participants who bring a multidisciplinary or comparative approach to their research. Possible topics include (but are not limited to):

• comparative histories of various transnational experiences like mobilization and demobilization, military medical care, and public health

• cultural analyses of the eras diplomatic history further examinining the role of race, gender, and religion

• transnational or global environmental histories of the war

• works about paramilitary violence during and after the war

• studies contextualizing the war in various temporal contexts or global/regional trends (e.g. the "long Great War" in the Middle East).

The second workshop, in the fall of 2014 in Abu Dhabi, will convene scholars whose research deepens our knowledge about groups/populations/regions/countries that were seemingly peripheral to the war or have been peripheral in the extant literature about the war. Papers may focus on:

• comparative experiences of the colonial forces in the war

• experiences of labor battalions during the war (be they African American, Egyptian, Chinese, Armenian, Vietnamese, or Scottish)

• the impact of the war on imperial subjects, on minority populations or population groups that rarely show up in the historical record (e.g. women on the Ottoman home front, smaller charity groups, prostitutes, etc.)

• the impact of globalization's reversal during the war, as felt beyond the grander economies of the main belligerents.

The aim of both workshops is to encourage scholars from a variety of disciplines to form partnerships in order to begin developing a transnational and global understanding and synthesis of the First World War.

Locations: New York University, NYC / NYU Abu Dhabi Institute, Abu Dhabi

Co-Conveners: Valerie Deacon (NYUNY), Martin Klimke (NYUAD), Andrew Patrick (Tennessee State University)

Conference proceedings will be in English.

Please send a paper proposal of no more than 500 words and a brief CV via e-mail to with PERIPHERIES PROPOSAL in the subject line. Participants will be notified by January 15, 2014. The workshops, held in English, will focus on the discussion of 5,000-6,000-word, pre-circulated papers (due April 1, 2014 for workshop 1 / due October 15, 2014 for workshop 2).

Accommodation in New York City (workshop 1) will be provided during the workshop. Travel costs should ideally be covered by participants themselves, but junior scholars, graduate students, and people with limited conference funding can apply for a small number of travel subsidies. Accommodation in Abu Dhabi (workshop 2) as well as expenses for travel will be covered, though you may defray organizing costs by soliciting funds from your home institution. For more information, please contact: Valerie Deacon (, Andrew Patrick (, or Martin Klimke (



Valerie Deacon

Department of History

New York University

RM 614, 53 Washington Square South

New York, NY