We call for potential contributors to the conference "Between Realpolitik and Utopia: A Century with the Balfour-Declaration", to take place at Basel University, 1-3 November 2017.
Coordinators and conveners of the conference are Alfred Bodenheimer and Erik Petry (Center for Jewish Studies) and Maurus Reinkowski (Seminar of Middle Eastern Studies), University of Basel, in cooperation with Hans-Lukas Kieser from The Centre for the History of Violence, University of Newcastle, Australia.
The Balfour Declaration is a major stepping stone in the construction of new order of the Middle East after the demise of the Ottoman Empire, but it is also a notion of what Palestine, Europe and the Middle East might and or should – not – have been. The conference will address the various utopian and dystopian aspects and interpretations of the declaration. The Balfour Declaration has multiplied the projective dimensions of Palestine in the European imagination and has made it part of Europe’s history of identity by embedding the Zionist vision into Western imperial ‘Realpolitik’. A main rationale of the conference is to argue that the Balfour Declaration is emblematic for how convoluted the two entities are that we still conceive today as ‘Europe’ and the ‘Middle East’.
For an extended abstract of the conference's rationale please see the attached document.
It is the intention of this conference to bring together researchers from various disciplines and fields who, based on free and substantial research (including archival historical research) can contribute to an innovative and responsible thinking on the complex issue of the Balfour Declaration.
Scholars interested to participate are requested to send by 30 June 2016 an exposé (1000 words) and a cv (1 page) to Maurus Reinkowski and Erik Petry (find email address below).