The Frontiers of the First World War: Historiographical Developments and Trajectories

Part One: While World War I was once studied mainly as a military conflict between European powers, the historiography of the war has since expanded to explore its truly global context that extended beyond the battlefield. Partly drawing on the proceedings of “The World During the First World War” symposium (sponsored by Volkswagen Foundation) held in Hanover, Germany Fall 2013 and interviews with some of the participants, this podcast seeks to identify new trends in the study of the World War I period at large and define potential trajectories for researchers focusing on the Ottoman experience. 

Featuring Interviews with:

Stig Förster

Ravi Ahuja
Stefan Rinke
Stefan Reichmuth
Toyin Falola 
Xu Guoqi
Michael Provence
Nazan Maksudyan
Yiğit Akın
Santanu Das
Jennifer Jenkins
Ellinor Morack
Franciszka Roy 

Part two of our podcast explores further areas of potential scholarship on the First World War. Graham Cornwell offers an overview major aspects of the war as experienced in North Africa, and Graham Pitts highlights the value of environmental history approaches through a discussion of Ottoman Lebanon.

Chris Gratien is a doctoral candidate at Georgetown University researching the social environmental history of the Ottoman Empire and the modern Middle East (
Kate Dannies is a doctoral student at Georgetown University researching the history of the modern Middle East
Graham Cornwell is a doctoral student at Georgetown University researching the social and cultural history of the North Africa
Graham Pitts is a doctoral candidate at Georgetown University researching the environmental history of Lebanon (see


Program for "The World During the First World War" Symposium

North Africa during WWI

Driss Maghraoui. "'Nos Goumiers Berbères': the ambiguities of colonial representations in French military novels." JNAS 7.3 (2002): 79-100.

----------. "The 'grand guerre sainte': Moroccan colonial troops and workers in the First World War." JNAS 9.1 (2004): 1-21.

Moshe Gershovich. French Military Rule in Morocco: Colonialism and Its Consequences. New York: Routledge, 1999.

Richard Fogarty. Race and War in France: Colonial Subjects in the French Army, 1914-1918. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2008.

Environment in Lebanon

Ajay, Nicholas. “Mount Lebanon and the Wilyah of Beirut, 1914-1918: The War Years” (Ph.D. diss, Georgetown University, 1973).

Offer, Avner. The First World War: an agrarian interpretation (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1989).

Schilcher, Linda. "Famine in Syria, 1915-1918" in Problems of the Middle East in Historical Perspective: Essays in Honour of Albert Hourani, eds. John P. Spagnolo and Albert Hourani (Reading: Ithaca Press, 1996).

Tanielian, Melanie. “A War for Famine: Everyday Life in Wartime Beirut and Mount Lebanon:1914-1918" (Ph.D. diss, Berkeley, 2012).

These "French soldiers" on the Western front are in fact Tirailleurs, troops from France's colonies in Africa, specifically Senegal and the Maghreb. (Source: Bain News Service, 1914)
Giving wine to Algerian troops (Source: Library of Congress)


Unknown said…
Interesting post.

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