Call for Panelists for the 2021 MESA Conference: Ethnic Violence, Imperial Vision, and National Churches in the Ottoman Empire

Ayca Baydar's picture

We are organizing a MESA panel that will be held in Montreal October 28-31, 2021. Our panel titled “Empire’s Eleventh Hour: Ethnic Violence, Imperial Vision, and National Churches in the Ottoman Empire” focuses on the nationalization of the religious and ethnic minorities at the end of the Ottoman Empire. The dissolution of the Ottoman Empire in the 19th and early 20th century converted religiously and ethnically diverse societies into homogenous nations. Although Christians and Muslims had coexisted for centuries closely interacting with each other, the Ottoman Empire became the center of the competing nationalist agendas. With the waves of nationalism during the transition of the Empire to the nation-states, the churches also had to integrate into national units. The main themes of this panel are the nationalization of churches, and the role of the churches in the mobilization of the masses during wartime; the Muslim-Christian conflict at the end of the Ottoman Empire, which finally lead to the evacuation of the Anatolian Christians. The questions we address: How the churches and the religious communities adopted the national identity and the nationalist discourse. How national authorities used the religious centers to assimilate or accommodate the minorities? To what extent the nation-states attempted to co-opt religious and administrative authorities in the war zones? Did homogenization of Anatolia and the Balkans go hand in hand with the religious conflicts? What were the parallelisms between the political and religious polarization? Please email a maximum 400-word abstract and your affiliation by February 12, 2021 to