Small Nations and Colonial Peripheries in World War I: Europe and the Wider World (CfP)

Senegalese soldiers in Belgium (Battle of Aisne)
We’ve already dealt with the problem of the connection between center and peripheries in the Great War and we’ve already raised the question whether such a distinction may be today regarded as senseless one. Even the smallest nations and the colonies which supported the opposite imperial forces during the WWI played in fact a not negligible role, even regarding the mere quantitative terms of the war economy. If we then turn to the social and cultural aspects, these (seemingly) “peripheral protagonists” disclose important insight into the epochal changes which characterizes the period and provide – at some stage better than the “central actors” of the conflict – new perspective for a transnational and comparative analysis and discussions. In order to promote the debate on this topic a workshop will be organized in June 2014 at the History Department of the National University of Ireland, Galway. Paper Proposal are welcomed till the end of February. You can find below the complete CfP with a list of the themes which should be discussed. 

Call for Papers for an International Workshop on
Small Nations and Colonial Peripheries in World War I:
Europe and the Wider World
National University of Ireland, Galway
Friday 13th-Saturday 14th June 2014

The purpose of this workshop is to provide a forum of debate for transnational and comparative
approaches to the history of small European nations and Europe’s colonial peripheries in World War I in the context of the epochal changes brought by the collapse of large imperial states. Our aim is to reach a more nuanced understanding of the complex relationship between the peripheral regions of Europe and her empires and Europe’s metropolitan core through the comparative and transnational analysis of the contribution of European, Asian and African peripheries to the war effort in World War I. 

Prof. Michael S. Neiberg, an eminent scholar of World War I, will deliver the keynote address. Prof.Neiberg has written extensively on the multiple theatres and global reach of the War, most notably in Fighting the Great War: A Global History (Harvard, 2006) and Dance of the Furies: Europe and theOutbreak of World War I (2011). 

Scholars are invited to submit papers on themes focusing on social, political, or economic aspects ofEurope’s small nations and colonial regions during World War I. 

Themes covered may include the following:
• Colonial troops serving in Europe
• Troops of ethnic European minority populations serving in Europe
• Troops of ethnic European minority populations serving in overseas colonies
• Experiences of populations of independent small nations in Europe
• Experiences of populations of ethnic minorities within European multiethnic states
• Experiences of indigenous and settler populations of European overseas empires
• Official attempts to mobilise popular support across all ethnic groups in Europe and in the overseas colonies
• Support for or resistance to such mobilisation efforts and their different outcomes

Papers may address the following geographical regions:
• Peripheries of European multi-ethnic empires in Europe
• Peripheries of European belligerent powers to the east and south of Europe
• Europe’s overseas colonies 

The workshop is an initiative of Róisín Healy, Enrico Dal Lago, and Gearóid Barry at the History Department, NUI Galway, and will be held in June 2014 in order to mark the beginning of the commemorations for the hundredth anniversary of the start of World War I.

Prospective participants should send a paper title and a 300-word abstract, accompanied by a 1-pageCV to by the deadline of 28 February 2014. They will be notified ofacceptance by mid-March 2014.