Conferencing the International

Conferencing the International

A Cultural and Historical Geography of the Origins of Internationalism, 1919-39 

'Conferencing the International' was a major five-year AHRC funded project (2015-2020).

It examined liberal, imperial and radical forms of internationalism as manifested in their conferencing spaces between the wars.

Gandhi at the Round Table Conference 

Mohandas Gandhi at the Round Table Conference in London, 1931

Drawing from archives across three continents, the project reconstructed the local, national and global geographies of three important groups of interwar conferences:

  • The Round Table Conferences
  • The Pan-African Congresses
  • The International Studies conferences organised by the League of Nations' International Committee of Intellectual Cooperation (ICIC)

Key aims

The key aim of the project was to closely examine the new breed of international conferences that emerged in the post-1918 world so as to investigate what internationalism was, how it was experienced, and what it achieved.

The key research questions were: 

  1. How could the different forms of internationalism that emerged after WWI be understood through their spaces of international conferencing? 
  2. How were international conferences influenced by the cities in which they took place and how were these events linked to wider relational networks? 
  3. How were international conference environments created: how were venues and buildings equipped, staff prepared, and conditions established, and how were interactions between speakers and audiences facilitated, reported and received?
  4. How were international conferences experienced: how were spaces created and policed, how can we move beyond published records to explore the sociality of entertainment, music and dining, and how can we recreate their multi-sensory character by reference to their sounds, smells, tastes and associated social intimacies?




Conferencing the International

The University of Nottingham
School of Georgraphy
Nottingham, NG7 2RD

telephone: +44 (0) 115 8468402