Call for Papers: The Levant and Europe: Shipping and Trade. Networks of People and Knowledge

Axel Corlu Discussion
2nd International Conference of The Levantine Heritage Foundation

2 – 4 November, 2016 Europe House and the Hellenic Centre, London

In November 2016, the Levantine Heritage Foundation is organizing its second interdisciplinary conference, entitled “The Levant and Europe: Shipping and Trade – Networks of People and Knowledge,” in London, at Europe House and the Hellenic Centre.

Building on the success of the groundbreaking first international conference on Levantines in Istanbul, 2014, this conference will emphasize the theme of trade as the central dynamic in the creation of a Levantine world, with complex economic networks giving rise to equally complex social, cultural, political, and material interactions and syntheses.

Although the Levant has been part of Eurasian trade networks for millennia, it played an increasingly central role, and provided a formative geocultural space for exchanges, during the creation of the modern world: the economic expansion of capitalism, accompanied by imperialism, nationalism, and the movement of people through the Levant shaped the Middle East as we know it. The essential “engine of history” in most of these historical dynamics was trade, providing the material exchanges and networks, which in turn generated an array of social and cultural interactions.

Confirmed Keynote Speakers:

Elena Frangakis Syrett, Professor of History, Queens College & Graduate Center, City Unversity of New York.

Sibel Zandi Sayek, Associate Professor, Department of Art and Art History, The College of William and Mary

Emrah Safa Gürkan, Assistant Professor, Faculty of Political Science and Public Administration, Istanbul 29 May University

Topics of consideration for the proposals will include, but not be limited to: – Trade networks and institutions; – Consular, diplomatic and commercial interactions – Banks, manufacture, and shipping; – Individual or family histories that reveal aspects of the Levantine world; – Movement of people, migrations, establishment of immigrant communities; – Flows of technology, political movements, ideologies, and other sociocultural forces.

We invite proposals for panels as well as individual presentations. Proposals should include title and abstracts (limited to 400 words), and provide the name(s) of the presenter(s), institutional affiliations where applicable, mailing address, telephone number, and email address. Presentation duration is 20 minutes. The language of presentations will be English. The deadline for sending a proposal is Feb 1, 2016.

For abstract submission please email

For enquiries please email

Registration will open in February 2016 at

All proposals will be blind reviewed by members of the LHF Conference Committee. Notifications will be sent to applicants in March 2016. Following the example of the forthcoming publication of the peer-reviewed book based on the first conference in Istanbul, there are plans to publish another book based on this conference.

Two travel grants (up to £500) are available to PhD students who will be selected to present at the conference. Students wishing to apply for a grant should submit their CV together with their abstract proposal.

The Levantine Heritage Foundation (LHF), UK, is a non-profit membership association, which promotes research, preservation and education in the heritage, arts and culture of the different ethnic and religious communities of the wider Levant region of the Ottoman Empire between the 17th and 20th centuries. The Ottoman Levant comprised most of present-day Balkans, Greece, Turkey, Syria, Lebanon, Israel and Egypt, and its influence extended far beyond the borders of those countries. The Ottoman Empire was made up of many different ethnic groups, including Turks, Arabs, Greeks, Armenians, and Jews. They were joined over the centuries by traders and diplomats from every part of Europe, from England to Dalmatia, Catholic, Protestant and Jewish, many of whom settled in the region and intermarried with the local population. In recent years, it has become common to refer to these European settlers in Ottoman lands as “Levantines.” However, research into the cosmopolitan world of the Levantines is still in its infancy, and much remains to be discovered about their way of life and their legacy. For further information visit:

Contact Info: 

For abstract submission please email 

For enquiries please email
Registration will open in February 2016 at