Özgür Ögütcü (Gerda Henkel Doctoral Fellow)
From Empire to Nation State. A Comparative Analysis of the Emergence of Airspace in the 1920s-1950s Middle East
From Empire to Nation State.
A Comparative Analysis of the Emergence of Airspace in the 1920s-1950s Middle East.
Currently, research on airspace and aviation in the Middle East is a very limited field. My project seeks to contribute to this field by using archival and interpretive methods to examine the emergence of airspace in the Middle East during the transition in the 1920s-1950s from British colonial rule to post-colonial nation states.
The aim is to investigate how airspace came into existence as a spatial category and as a politicised notion, which reactivated colonial and imperial structures in post-colonial contexts. The working hypothesis is that airspace played a significant, but thus far overlooked role in the making of nation states, borders and existing power structures in the Middle East. Focusing on the airspace above Egypt, Mandatory Palestine, Transjordan, and Iraq, my project will examine notions of airspace and implementations of air policies as represented in British colonial documents as well as in Arabic-, Hebrew-, and English-language daily presses and periodicals.
Within a theoretical and methodological framework, which draws upon global history studies and post-structuralist feminist theory, the primary source material will be contextualised beyond Eurocentric, nationalistic notions of history-writing, and instead be analysed from a global, multi-local perspective. In this way, my research will contribute to existing scholarship on airspace, aviation, and imperial and post- colonial power structures in the Middle East.
First Supervisor: Prof. Dr. Ulrike Freitag