Levantine Heritage conference in London
The Levantine Heritage Foundation will organize its second interdisciplinary conference, “The Levant and Europe: Shipping and Trade – Networks of People and Knowledge,” between Nov. 2 and 4 in London’s Europe House and the Hellenic Center.
Building on the success of the groundbreaking first international conference on Levantines in Istanbul in 2014, the conference will emphasize the theme of trade as the central dynamic in the creation of a Levantine world, with complex economic networks giving rise to equally complex social, cultural, political, and material interactions and syntheses.
Although the Levant has been part of Eurasian trade networks for millennia, it played an increasingly central role and provided a formative geocultural space for exchanges during the creation of the modern world, as the economic expansion of capitalism, accompanied by imperialism, nationalism and the movement of people through the Levant shaped the Middle East.
The essential “engine of history” in most of these historical dynamics was trade, providing the material exchanges and networks, which in turn generated an array of social and cultural interactions.
“We have three days of interesting papers by international authors focused on the historic trading roles and networks of Levantines,” said LHF Chairman Quentin Compton-Bishop. “Our London conference follows soon after the very well attended conference in Istanbul on the Levantines of Beyoğlu. Our growing events program is a testament to the international interest in the heritage and contributions of these diverse communities. The networking at our conferences is one of the key attractions for both researchers and Levantine descendants, both seeking to learn more and exchange information about the Levantine past and heritage.”