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Professor Jordi Tejel, (Institut d'Histoire, Universite de Neuchatel) presents the talk "States of Rumours: Information Orders in the Turkish-Syrian Borderland, 1929-1945"

Part of the IAIS Visiting Speakers Series

Dr Tejel was a Post-doctoral Fellow (2006-2008) at the School of Oriental and African Studies (London) and at the School for Advanced Studies in the Social Sciences (Paris). He was then Lecturer at the University of Fribourg and Research Professor (2010-2016) at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies (Geneva) where he led a research project on “minority” conflicts in the Middle East. Since September 2017, Dr Tejel is Adjunct Professor at the University of Neuchâtel (History Department) where he leads a research programme funded by the European Research Council (ERC, Consolidator Grant) titled ‘Towards a Decentred History of the Middle East: Transborder Spaces, Circulations, and Frontier Effects in the Middle East (1920-1946)’.

Event details


This talk will recall that the study of rumours offers a means to examine popular politics, mentalities and behaviours, allowing historians to take into account those without a voice into the historical narrative. Yet, rumours can also be spread by elites, and more importantly, rumours arisen from the subaltern and the elites might shape and reshape each other. In that regard, the talk will show how borderlanders along the Turkish-Syrian frontier as well as state and border authorities produced rumours that reflected the fears, hopes and mentalities of the interwar period – an era of extreme fluidity and uncertainty–, making borderlands a privileged site to observe the politics of governance, the construction of national identities, notions of state stability and, last but not least, individual agency.

His most recent books include 'Syria's Kurds. History, Politics and Society' (Routledge, 2009), 'Writing the Modern History of Iraq: Historiographical and Political Challenges' (ed. with Peter Sluglett, Ricardo Bocco, and Hamit Bozarslan; World Scientific Press, 2012), 'La Question kurde: Passe et present' (L'Harmattan, 2014), and 'Les Kurdes en 100 Questions' (with Boris James; Tallandier, 2018).

Tea and coffee will be served in the IAIS Common Room from 17:00.  All are welcome to attend and registration is not required.

Dr Jordi Tejel


IAIS Building/LT1&2