Turkish Labour History

CFP: International Review of Social History
Call for Papers on Ottoman and Republican Turkish Labour History

Supplement to the International Review of Social History (2009)

Editors: Touraj Atabaki and Gavin Brockett

In recent years historians of labour have begun to shift the focus away from western Europe and from advanced capitalist countries to regions previously defined as "peripheral". This reflects a broader scholarly interest in non-Western social history at a time when historians seek to take analyses beyond standard nationalist narratives and to explore popular experiences of nation-state creation in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. In many cases it is now historians raised in these countries who are exploiting new sources and setting the agenda for future research. They do so cognizant that while they may address aspects of a particular nation's history, labour history necessarily incorporates a wide variety of phenomena which are inherently trans-national in nature.

In this Supplement to the International Review of Social History we draw attention to recent developments in the state of labour history as it relates to the Ottoman Empire and Republican Turkey. Of late historians have devoted considerable attention to workers and their histories: initially the interest was in Ottoman labour history, but now research into Republican Turkish labour history is also beginning to appear in print. An emphasis upon labour history is particular valuable to on-going scholarly effort to counter the simplistic "decline paradigm" as it has been applied to the Ottoman Empire, as well as to efforts to overcome the narrow nationalist historical narrative that for so long has stood for Republican Turkish history. As an important dimension of social history, the study of labour history contributes to an overall concern to trace continuities between empire and nation-state, while at the same time to recognize those developments specific to each polity. The labour history of the Ottoman Empire and Republican Turkey thus also plays a major role in the overall analysis of non-western forms of modernization and industrialization.

A critical aspect of the emerging social history of the Ottoman Empire and Republican Turkey is the creative exploitation of hitherto unused sources that permit new interpretations of the past. Labour historians in particular are uncovering a wide array of revealing sources and applying to them sophisticated theoretical approaches. Both sources and approaches raise important questions concerning various aspects of labour history: the identification and roles of specific occupational groups; shifting relationships between labour groups and the state; the conjunction of gender and labour; the relative importance of labour in major urban centers as well as that in provincial towns and cities; the contribution of labour groups to the political process; the role of workers in collective action and public protest; and the importance of occupation to other dimensions of popular identity such as religion and ethnicity.

Call for Papers
The International Review of Social History invites scholars to submit abstracts for papers relating to Ottoman and Republican Turkish labour history. We seek papers that reflect recent and original research, and which seek to make an important contribution to the fields of social and labour history. Papers might focus on the whole geographical range of the Ottoman Empire or on Republican Turkey, or on continuities between the two. We also encourage studies which address trans-national aspects and connect developments in the Ottoman Empire or Turkey with those in other parts of the world. While theoretical sophistication is important we are particularly interested in those papers which are devoted to more than theory: we encourage the close analysis of new sources which can contribute to our understanding of the history of labour in the Ottoman and Republican Turkish contexts.

Structure of the Supplement
The Supplement will include eight to ten individual papers covering various aspects of Ottoman and Republican Turkish labour history. An introduction will situate the Supplement within the context of recent developments in labour history in general as well as of developments related specifically to the social history of Ottoman Empire and Turkey.

Deadline for sending proposals with brief outlines of articles is 1 February 2008. Please send your proposal to [mailto]irsh@iisg.nl[/mailto], including your affiliation, and e-mail and postal address.

Time schedule
1 February 2008: deadline proposals with brief outlines of articles by authors March 2008: Letter of acceptance (or rejection) of proposals September 2008: deadline first draft of articles November 2008: Letter by the editors to authors about necessary revisions January 2009: Second draft of articles April 2009: Final version of manuscript to copy editor December 2009: Supplement is published.