Refugees and the End of Empire, 29-30 June 2007, De Montfort University, Leicester, UK
The purpose of this conference is to examine the relationship between imperial collapse, the emergence of successor nationalism, the exclusion of ethnic groups with the wrong credentials, and the refugee experience. It will appeal to a wide range of geographical specialisms.
While scholars have recognized the importance of war and the arrival of intolerant regimes in the construction and expulsion of refugees, less attention has focused upon the consequences of imperial collapse. All of the major Empires (broadly interpreted) which ended during the twentieth century, led to successor states which developed new forms of exclusivist national ideologies which identified, and often expelled, sectors of their populations, which did not possess the right ethnic credentials. This process first manifested itself with the collapse of the Ottoman Empire, where successor states in the Balkans ‘exchanged’ populations in the era of the First World War, while the newly nationalist rump Turkey eliminated its Armenian and Greek populations. At the same time, the collapse of the Tsarist Empire also led to mass population displacement. At the end of the Second World War, the fall of the Nazi Empire in Eastern Europe resulted in the expulsion of Germans who had lived in Eastern Europe for centuries, while people who found themselves working in Germany either returned home or sometimes lived in refugee camps for years. The end of the British and French colonial Empires was also accompanied by population ‘exchanges’ and expulsions, especially in the case of India/Pakistan and Algeria, but also in smaller colonies such as Cyprus. In the case of the last of these, refugees emerged over a decade after British retreat. Finally, the end of the Soviet Union and the emergence of successor states with nationalist ideologies led to the creation of new outgroups.
The conference organizers welcome proposals which look at these themes in all of the major cases of twentieth century imperial collapse. Themes of particular interest include: the role of empire in creating distinct ethnic populations; the emergence of exclusivist nationalist ideologies and their views of minorities; the attitude and role of successor states in the creation of refugees; and the refugee experience.
Please send abstracts of around 250 words to Panikos Panayi or Pippa Virdee, by 30 November 2006.
We hope to offer a small number of subsidised places to doctoral students.
Professor of European History,
De Montfort University,
Leicester LE1 9BH,
Dr Pippa Virdee,
School of English, Performance and Historical Studies,
De Montfort University,
Leicester LE1 9BH
01162506341 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Visit the website at http://www.dmu.ac.uk/empire/
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