The Egyptian Revolution of 1919: The Birth of the Modern Nation: Call for papers


The Egyptian independence movement in 1919 led to the recognition of Egyptian sovereignty in 1922, an Egyptian constitution in 1923, and Saad Zaghloul’s appointment as the first prime minister of a government elected by suffrage in 1924.

To mark the centenary of the revolution, the British Egyptian Society (BES), the Council for British Research in the Levant (CBRL) and the London Middle East Institute (LMEI) at SOAS University of London are holding a conference on 27-28 March 2019.

Conference themes
The conference will include presentations by Egyptian and international historians and commentators on the causes and events of the revolution and on themes which may include:

  • Egypt in the wider context of post Ottoman political development in the Arab World
  • How the Independence Movement arose and how it was organised
  • The role of women in the Independence Movement
  • The impact on Egyptian Society and minorities and on the Sudan
  • The transition to parliamentary democracy
  • The strategy and tactics of the protests
  • The impact on the arts, literature and painting
  • The British approach and the Milner Commission
  • The historiography of the 1919 revolution
  • The revolution and its influence on the next hundred year

The above list is not exhaustive and is meant to be indicative.

The conference will be organised in different sessions consisting of moderated panel sessions from peer-reviewed submissions and presentations by invited speakers. There will also be sessions with keynote speakers.

Participants and Presenters
The conference will aim at those with an interest in the post Ottoman period in the region, British Egyptian relations, modern Egyptian history, and developments in Egypt over the last hundred years, including historians, students, politicians and government, diplomacy and the general public. It will seek to throw new light on the events of 1919 and their impact on Egypt, Britain, and the wider world.
The criteria for the selection of submissions are:

(i) focus on the topic and addressing relevant themes (see above for an indication of relevant themes);
(ii) quality of work and analytical rigour 
(iii) contributors’ track record in research in the field

The conference will cover travel and lodging costs of those presenting a full paper. We plan to publish a selection of the presented papers at the conference.

Instructions for Submission
Please provide the following:
(i) An abstract of the paper being proposed for presentation (maximum of 500 words).
(ii) Short CV(s) of the author(s).
Please email to:

Key Dates

  • The deadline for abstract submission is 30/06/2018. Please email your abstract to
  • Decisions on abstracts will be communicated by 31/07/2018
  • Full papers are required by 11/01/2019

British Egyptian Society (BES)
BES was set up in 1990 to further British Egyptian relations outside politics. It holds regular public meetings, lectures, debates and events in the UK in support of this aim and has contributed grants in support of Egyptian scholars and of Egyptian museum specialists and conservators on attachment to the British Museum. It has held two major international conferences in collaboration with LMEI: ’50 Years since Suez: From Conflict to Collaboration’ at SOAS in 2006 (proceedings published by Saqi) and ‘Education the Best Investment’ by simultaneous broadcast between Cairo University and SOAS in 2012.

The London Middle East Institute (LMEI)
The aim of the LMEI, through education and research, is to promote knowledge of all aspects of the Middle East including its complexities, problems, achievements and assets, both among the general public and with those who have a special interest in the region. In this task it builds on two essential assets.
LMEI is based in London, a city which has unrivalled contemporary and historical connections and communications with the Middle East including political, social, cultural, commercial and educational aspects. Secondly, the LMEI is at SOAS, the only tertiary educational institution in the world whose explicit purpose is to provide education and scholarship on the whole Middle East from prehistory until today.

Council for British Research in the Levant (CBRL)
CBRL is the UK’s academic hub for the humanities and social sciences in the near Middle-East. CBRL is an independent, not-for-profit charity that conducts, supports and promotes a wide range of world-class research – from Palaeolithic archaeology to contemporary social science. CBRL’s history dates to 1919 with the founding of the British School of Archaeology in Jerusalem. Today, CBRL has an office in London and two regional research institutes: the Kenyon Institute in East Jerusalem and the British Institute in Amman as well as a strong regional network that includes Jordan, Israel, Palestinian Territories, Lebanon, Cyprus and the Syrian diaspora. CBRL publishes two peer-reviewed international journals; Levant and Contemporary Levant and holds regular lectures, workshops and conferences at its international research institutes, at the British Academy in London and in partnership with UK academic institutions.

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