Call for Papers for CMES Workshop: Inter-Asian Cold War Linkages, November 12-13, 2021

January 14, 2021
CMES building north elevation

The Center for Middle Eastern Studies (CMES) at Harvard University is pleased to announce a call for papers for a workshop and special issue journal publication examining the theme of inter-Asian Cold War linkages, with a focus on the Middle East and North Africa (MENA).

Over the past three decades, the study of the Cold War moved away from a narrow focus on the Soviet-US struggle toward one embracing a more holistic and global scope. Growing scholarship on the “Cold War in Asia” as well as the variegated ideational and political linkages—anti-colonial, pan-Asianist, Marxist, Islamist—that have tied different parts of the Global South reflect this overall development. While such work has proliferated in recent years, scholars specifically exploring linkages between the Middle East on the one hand, and East and South Asia on the other remain relatively sparse. The latter have generally been limited to high-profile episodes of anti-colonial or communist solidarity typified, for instance, by Maoist China’s circumscribed political and military support for the Palestinian and Dhofari revolutions. More recent works have moved beyond these grand episodes by relying on newfound access to archival and multi-lingual sources. Some examine how various regimes leveraged their ties with the Middle Eastern and South or East Asian other in service of nation and state building. A few explore the roles played by exilic diasporas and religious communities—the Uyghur and Sinophone Muslim networks of Turkey and the Hejaz, Arab foreign experts, and guerrilla-trainees of Maoist China—on the development of these linkages.

The Inter-Asian Cold War Linkages Workshop is issuing a call for papers from scholars and graduate students engaging with this theme from multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary perspectives, particularly those utilizing multilingual archival sources. We welcome submissions, in English, exploring intellectual discourses, state diplomacy, cultural production, scientific and technical exchanges, and non-state transnational networks and ideational solidarities (Communist, anti-Communist, Islamist, pan-regional) during the Cold War (1940s-1980s). Possible contributions include research exploring how intellectuals conceived inter-Asian connections and political/cultural/scientific developments during this period; how revolutionary and counter-revolutionary movements influenced one another; and how states carried out their foreign policies or propaganda outreach at the inter-Asian level. Non-US based scholars and those who ground their work in one or more politico-cultural and linguistic context are especially encouraged to apply.

How to Participate

Interested applicants should email a 500-word abstract and direct any questions to The deadline for abstracts is February 20, 2021. Authors chosen to present papers will be notified by March 1, 2021. Applicants whose papers are accepted will be required to submit their first workshop drafts (7,000 words) by 12pm EST on September 25, 2021 and their final journal draft by 12pm EST on January 12, 2022. Workshop participation is contingent on submitting the presented paper for consideration for a special peer-reviewed journal issue on Inter-Asian Cold War linkages. Participants will have about two months from the day of the workshop—January 12, 2022—to revise and submit final drafts for the journal’s consideration. Details of the submission process will be provided at the conference. CMES will cover economy-class roundtrip travel and 2–3 days lodging in Cambridge. All participants will receive a $300 honorarium upon submitting their final drafts.

Workshop Date: November 12–13, 2021

Abstract Deadline: February 20, 2021

Notification Date: March 1, 2021

First Draft Deadline: September 25, 2021

Final Draft Deadline: January 12, 2022