In my current and future research, which will lead toward my next book project I focus on an exciting new direction in the history of Humanitarianism. This project explores transnational philo-Christian networks extant in Britain in the latter third of the nineteenth century and during the first half of the twentieth century. These networks were composed of Britons as well as German, French, and American expatriates who variously expressed emotions of empathy, sympathy, hate and pain toward the predicament of the Christian communities (Armenian, Bulgarian, Serbs) suffering in the final decades of Ottoman rule. These networks aimed to bridge the gap between those distant communities (spatially, ethnically, and racially) and the British public through a discourse of “Christian emptions.” Despite national, Social-cultural, and allegedly racial differences, these networks discursively imagined the Christian communities as belonging to the same Christian denomination as Britons. The question at the core of my project is how this transnational, yet British oriented, philo-Christian networks operated on behalf of Ottoman Christians: what ideas, values or emotions guided their activities? How did these values, ideas, and emotions enter the discourse of international or state interests (Realpolitik)?
In another research I delve into the themes of “migration and borders” as I aim to bring a less studied dimension of the scholarly perceptions of historical migrations into the forefront. My work engages with several significant English and German scholars active in the second half of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Specifically, this project will highlight how a group of scholars viewed certain “migrational periods,” such as the alleged Aryan migrations, the Germanic wanderings into the realms of the Roman Empire (fourth-fifth century) and the Muslim conquests of the seventh century. The scholars whose work I examine applied diverse concepts and labels to describe these historical migrations. My research will contribute to contemporary discourse on migration since it raises the relevant question of how a certain “dominant ethnicity” views an “other” through the lens of migration. Furthermore, the project’s concentration on the way in which a historical narrative is adopted as part of the attempt to form an imagined homogeneous community, has great salience for current discussions. Hence, the research proposed shows how these scholars’ writings on historical migrations tended to construct their own national, racial and cultural communities.