The World in World Wars

Experiences, Perceptions and Perspectives from Africa and Asia


The volume situates itself within the growing field of research on the global social history of the World Wars. By investigating social and cultural aspects of these wars in African, South Asian and Middle Eastern societies it aims at recovering both the diversity of perspectives and their intersections. Drawing substantially on new sources such as oral accounts, propaganda material and artistic representations, the publication investigates the experiences of combatants and civilians on the frontline and in the rear of the front. It studies spontaneous and organized responses manifested in public debates, propaganda activities, and in individual and collective memories. Questioning conventional periodizations and discussing both wars together, the book analyses broader implications of the wars for African and Asian societies which resulted in significant social and political transformations.

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Heike Liebau is a historian/linguist who studied in Taschkent and received her PhD from University of Halle (Germany). She is presently a research fellow at ZMO in Berlin and works on the impact of print in colonial India as well as on Indian experiences of the First World War.

Katrin Bromber received her Ph.D. in African Linguistics from the University of Leipzig (Germany) and her habilitation degree from the University of Vienna (Austria). She specialized in Swahili Studies and currently works on sports in Ethiopia and the Gulf States. Since 2001 she has been affiliated to ZMO in Berlin.

Katharina Lange PhD in 2002 (University of Leipzig) is an anthropologist who studied in Tübingen, Leipzig, and Reed College / USA, and received her PhD in 2002. She has conducted fieldwork in Syria, Jordan, and Egypt and currently works on oral and written historical narratives in northern Syria. She is a research fellow at the ZMO in Berlin.

Dyala Hamzah is research fellow at the ZMO in Berlin. She holds a M. Phil in philosophy (Sorbonne) and a PhD in History and Islamic Studies (Freie Universität Berlin, EHESS Paris).

Ravi Ahuja is a social historian of labour, infrastructure and war in colonial India. He is presently professor of Modern Indian History and the director of the newly founded Centre for Modern Indian Studies at the University of Göttingen.
The World in World Wars: Experiences, Perceptions and Perspectives from Africa and Asia


Indian Soldiers’ Experiences in France during World War I: Seeing Europe from the Rear of the Front, Claude Markovits
Front Lines and Status Lines: Sepoy and ‘Menial’ in the Great War 1916-1920, Radhika Singha
Military Service, Nationalism and Race: the Experience of Malawians in the Second World War, Timothy J. Lovering
The Corrosiveness of Comparison: Reverberations of Indian Wartime Experiences in German Prison Camps (1915-1919), Ravi Ahuja
The Suppressed Discourse: Arab Victims of National Socialism, Gerhard Höpp (with a prologue and an epilogue by Peter Wien)
Egypt´s Overlooked Contribution to World War II, Emad Helal


Kaiser kī jay (Long Live the Kaiser): Perceptions of World War I and the Socio-Religious Movement among the Oraons in Chota Nagpur 1914-1916, Heike Liebau
Correcting their Perspective: Out-of-area Deployment and the Swahili Military Press in World War II, Katrin Bromber
The First World War According to the Memories of ‘Commoners’ in the Bilād al-Shām, Abdallah Hanna
Ambiguities of the Modern: The Great War in the Memoirs and Poetry of the Iraqis, Dina Rizk Khoury
Ardour and Anxiety: Politics and Literature in the Indian Homefront, Santanu Das
Radio and Society in Tunisia during World War II, Morgan Corriou


Peripheral Experiences: Everyday Life in Kurd Dagh (Northern Syria) during the Allied Occupation in the Second World War, Katharina Lange
Military collaboration, Conscription and Citizenship Rights in the Four Communes of Senegal and in French West Africa (1912 - 1946), Francesca Bruschi
“Our Victory Was Our Defeat”: Race, Gender and Liberalism in the Union Defence Force, 1939 – 1945, Suryakanthie Chetty
The Impact of the East Africa Campaign, 1914-1918 on South Africa and beyond, Anne Samson
From the Great War to the Syrian Armed Resistance Movement (1919-1921): The Military and the mujahidin in Action, Nadine Méouchy
Still Behind Enemy Lines? Algerian and Tunisian Veterans after the World Wars, Thomas DeGeorges
The Creativity of Destruction: Wartime Imaginings of Development and Social Policy, c. 1942-1946, Benjamin Zachariah

Historians, specialists in area studies, anthropologists interested in social history of the World Wars.