Survey: ‘Reflections on the Centenary of the First World War: Learning and Legacies for the Future’

Between 2014 and 2018 Britain, together with many other nations, is commemorating the centenary of the First World War – the first ‘total’ war of the 20th century – the legacies of which live on in a range of institutional, educational, geographic, political, social and cultural forms. At the outset of the centenary, a particular ‘cultural memory’ of the war dominated in Britain, one described by the then Education Minister Michael Gove as a ‘Blackadder myth…designed to belittle Britain and its leaders’ (Daily Mail, 2 January 2014).
Funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC), over the course of three years (2017 – 2020), this project sets out to both evaluate the extent to which the range of commemorative activities undertaken since 2014 has engaged with, challenged, or changed this ‘myth’, and the experience and outcomes of projects that are built on academic-public engagement and the co-production of knowledge, especially those involving the AHRC World War One Engagement Centres.

The three main aims of this research project are:
– to evaluate activities during the centenary period of the First World War in the United Kingdom in order to trace and analyse shifting patterns of cultural memory;
– to evaluate these activities in order to assess how successful they have been in involving diverse members of the community in their production and reception;
– and to consider the lessons and legacies of these projects for a range of stakeholders involved in planning for future anniversaries and events.

To complete the survey and find out more about the ‘Reflections on the Centenary of the First World War’ project, please visit:
http://reflections1418.exeter.ac.uk
@reflections1418
Download poster: Reflections on the Centenary of the FWW – Survey A4 Poster

For all enquiries about the ‘Reflections on the Centenary of the First World War’ project, please contact the Project PI, Professor Lucy Noakes: l.noakes@essex.ac.uk

Research is conducted under the guidelines of the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC). All survey responses will be highly confidential and the anonymity of all respondents is assured.

The ‘Reflections on the Centenary of the First World War’ project is run by Professor Lucy Noakes (University of Essex) alongside Dr Emma Hanna (Kent), Professor Lorna Hughes (Glasgow), Dr Catriona Pennell (Exeter), and Dr James Wallis (Essex).

New book: Dear Miss Walker. Gallipoli, Egypt & Palestine 1915-1918, Wartime Letters from Distant Fronts

A new book by Toddy Hoare will be published by Helion & Company on 15 April 2018.

Reginald Hoare commanded the 4th Queen’s Own Hussars from 1905 to 1909 and was a senior brigadier-general at the start of the First World War, commanding a brigade of Yeomanry regiments including the Royal North Devon Yeomanry, which his late brother had commanded after leaving the Royal Navy, the Royal Devon Yeomanry, the Somerset Yeomanry, the Ayrshire Yeomanry, and the Fife and Forfar Yeomanry, with other attachments. Throughout the war he continued to raise, train and fight this brigade at Gallipoli, in Egypt and Palestine, and finally on the Western Front in France during the second half of 1918, where he was wounded and invalided home in September. Before Gallipoli he wrote to Miss Walker, who was the daughter of a polo friend, and the correspondence continued up to their eventual wedding in October 1918 on his discharge from hospital. Dear Miss Walker includes a background to his pre-war soldiering and exchanges with a bumptious young subaltern, W S Churchill, who was in his winning regimental polo team. Through the social exchanges of the writer and recipient and their backgrounds leading up to their wedding this book provides an interesting social perspective, as well as a vivid insight into the fighting at the respective fronts and the doings of senior ranks on active service. Further insights have been gleaned from the respective Regimental Histories that were written after the First World War, and included where appropriate. Most of the photographs that illustrate this volume were taken by Reginald Hoare himself. Sadly he never spoke about his experiences to his children, so no other record or source relating to his campaigns exist.


Photographs reproduced with permission from Toddy Hoare. Copyright: Toddy Hoare.

CfP: The end of the empires. Formation of the post-war order in Central and Eastern Europe in 1918-1923

The Historical Institute of the University of Wrocław and the Institute of National Remembrance in Wrocław are honoured to invite you to participate in an international conference titled The end of the empires. Formation of post-war order in Central and Eastern Europe in 1918-1923, to be held in Wrocław on 22-23 November 2018. The starting point for the discussion will be the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I and the restoration of Poland’s independence. The organizers also intent to focus on the state-forming processes of nations forged from the ruins of the Russian and Austro-Hungarian Empires in the context of shaping the eastern border of the Polish state.

World War I resulted in the final collapse of the “Viennese order”, which not only necessitated a search for other paths to consensus, but also created conditions for the new states that emerged on the foundations of the 19th-century processes involved in forming nations. The defeat of the occupying forces gave Poland the independence it longed for, but the “awakening” of nations that remained part of the First Republic led to a revision of existing relations and adoption of a full spectrum of attitudes ranging from cooperation and acceptance to conflict. Internal transformations in Russia and Germany, which became either enemy or an ally in the independence aspirations of the young republics, played a tremendous role. International conditions and the positions of Western states were also crucial.

During the sessions we propose focusing on the following issues:

1) in the face of a new order in Europe:
– Germany’s defeat, the collapse of the Russian Empire and the Austro-Hungarian Empire;
– “fighting for independence”; the process of building new state structures against the backdrop of the international situation;
– the impact of international law on transformations in Central and Eastern Europe: (the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk, Wilson’s Fourteen Points, the Treaty of Versailles, the Treaty of Riga, meetings of the Council of Ambassadors);

2) new states and their internal problems:
– political aspects (conflicts resulting from different concepts and modes of action, building a state apparatus);
– military aspects (fighting for state borders, supplying armies, military cooperation);
– economic aspects ((re)construction of the economic basis for the functioning of the state);
– social aspects (attitudes of the population, the issue of national identity, everyday life);

3) implementation of independence aspirations and relations between states:
– political aspirations and conceptions for shaping the borders of the state and relations with new neighbors;
– the attitudes of Russia and Germany towards the changes taking place on the map of the Eastern Europe;
– cooperation between nations in the struggle for their own state and regional security.

The issues listed above are intended to suggest the main directions of discussion and provide inspiration to attendees, but other proposals related to the central theme of the conference are also welcome.

Further information: https://endofempires19181923.wordpress.com/

There is no conference fee, and conference materials, meals (lunches, coffee breaks, official dinner), and accommodations will be provided. In addition, travel costs will be co-financed for lecturers from abroad.

Your proposal (in English, Ukrainian, Polish or Russian) should be submitted by 15 April 2018 via the registration form below: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSeKutrxYvhBzGXFP9k-GyX3dTGtqCtOUM1DdqRttoCUyI-3QA/viewform?usp=sf_link

We reserve the right to reject an application.

Academic Advisory Board:
Prof. Piotr Cichoracki, University of Wrocław, Poland
Prof. Stanisław Ciesielski, University of Wrocław, Poland
Prof. Krzysztof Kawalec, Institute of National Remembrance, Poland
Prof. Leonid Zaszkilniak, Ivan Franko National University of Lviv, Ukraine

Please do not hesitate to contact us in case of any questions: rozpad.imperiow1918.1923@gmail.com

Organizing Committee:
Prof. Grzegorz Hryciuk
Prof. Robert Klementowski
Prof. Filip Wolański
Magdalena Gibiec
Dorota Wiśniewska

CfP: The Archaeology of War

Australian National Maritime Museum, Darling Harbour, Sydney
22 and 23 June 2018

2018 marks the centenary of the end of the First World War, and the end of a four-year round of commemorative and other historical events associated with 1914–1918. While centenary moments have sparked the funding of commemorative monuments, exhibitions and other events, there has been comparatively little public engagement with the archaeology of sites associated with war. In June 2018 the Australian National Maritime Museum will host a conference to investigate the relationships between public remembrance and archaeology. The conference will look at the role of archaeology in a variety of conflict-related themes, including the repatriation of human remains and bringing closure to those affected by war. It will explore archaeology’s commemorative function, its role and importance in the investigation of past conflicts as well as the use of new (and future) technologies. The conference will also raise questions about how archaeology might reveal the effects of past warfare on society and what role it might play in understanding loss and grief, and shaping ways of remembrance. The conference will highlight new questions posed by recent advances in technology and will look closely at archaeology and the First World War. While Australian archaeology will be a focus, The Archaeology of War is not limited by scope, scale, place or time and encourages international perspectives and examples as well as cross-cultural comparisons and connections with other disciplines.

Please provide a brief abstract for a paper and/or panel session proposal by 1 March 2018

Contact Info:
Dr Nigel Erskine, Dr Stephen Gapps, Dr James Hunter, Australian National Maritime Museum, Darling Harbour, Sydney, Australia
Contact Email: archaeologyofwar@anmm.gov.au
Further information: http://www.anmm.gov.au/whats-on/events/archaeology-of-war

CfP: The Peace Treaties (1918-1923): Making Peace against each other

Place : Paris
Dates : 21-23 March 2019
Deadline : 15 April 2018
Download call for papers : The Peace Treaties – CFP

The historiography of the post-WW1 treaties has evolved significantly in the last 30 years: there is now a general agreement that this less-than-perfect work represented a sincere attempt to rebuild an international system which would apply a number of shared principles and values. The 2019 centennial provides an opportunity to reconsider these treaties which opened a new chapter in the history of international relations.

The conference will be organised in partnership with the Center of Excellence Labex EHNE (Writing a new History of Europe: http://labex-ehne.fr/en/) and the joint research groups SIRICE (Sorbonne-Identities, International Relations and Civilizations of Europe: http://www.sirice.eu/) and CRHIA (Centre de recherches en histoire internationale et atlantique). This project aims to:
– examine the treaties which were signed between 1918 and 1923 – from Brest-Litovsk to Lausanne- as a whole, in a global perspective, and thus, get away from a “Western-centered” chronology.
– decompartmentalize the national historiographies and reveal collective approaches, even transnational ones.
– consider how the treaties were enforced during the first years of their practical application : during this decisive phase which takes us to the signature of the Lausanne treaty and even beyond, the principles set by the Peacemakers had to be applied in the light of realities on the ground. The treaties contain provisions which allow progressive implementation and adjustments in various fields : territorial (plebiscites), military (occupation regimes), economic (definition of the reparations nature and amount), legal (question of minorities in East-central Europe and Middle East, mandate system, experts, League of Nations)… They were a work in progress, in which Great Powers and Successor states, victorious and vanquished belligerents had equal responsibilities.

From this broad perspective, we would like to set out three main lines of discussion that provide a basis for proposals for papers to the conference:
1. Notions and principles which underpin the 1918-1923 treaties, and amongst them: self- determination and minority status; the idea of a legitimate frontier; the question of responsibilities; moral and financial reparations. In each case, how and to what extent do the treaties reach agreements on these issues? Can we regard them as a consistent structure or should we still highlight national specificities? Or how the European notion of « minority » is applicable in the League of Nations universal logic?
2. The treaties reception in Europe and former Ottoman Empire, as well as in colonial territories and the United States. We intend to favour multinational and transnational proposals in order to avoid case studies and to contribute to a global history of the Peace treaties. What does it mean to make peace? How do people manage the period which runs from the armistice to the treaty? How do hopes raised by Wilsonism respond to the actual content of the treaties?
3. The enforcement of the treaties, during the years immediately following their signing. In an approach at various scales and at various moments, we would like to observe the conditions which accompany the organisation of a plebiscite, as well as the conditions which accompany the implementation of the new international order in Geneva. Old and new actors such as diplomats, officers, lawyers, experts, NGO, will receive particular attention. The question of the solidarity –or rather the lack of it‒ among the Peacemakers and victorious nations who were in charge of the treaties enforcement will be looked at: was the eventual failure of these treaties due –at least partially‒ to the collective resignation of the former allies when confronted with responsibilities involved in victory?

Paper proposals, in French or in English, are to be sent to the conference organisers by April 15 2018. A publication is planned.

To apply, please send a 250 word abstract of the proposed paper, together with a short CV, to: paix.paris2019@free.fr. Travel costs as well as accommodation will be paid for by the organisers.

Honorary Committee
Michel Catala, University of Nantes
Olivier Dard, Paris-Sorbonne University
Robert Frank, Panthéon-Sorbonne University
Lothar Höbelt, University of Vienna
Margaret MacMillan, University of Oxford
Hervé Magro, Head of the Diplomatic Archives, Paris
Antoine Marès, Panthéon-Sorbonne University
Marie-Pierre Rey, Panthéon-Sorbonne University
Tomasz Schramm, Adam Mickiewicz University, Poznań

Scientific Committee
Balázs Ablonczy, Eötvös Loránd University
Étienne Boisserie, INALCO
Corine Defrance, CNRS
Frédéric Dessberg, Panthéon-Sorbonne University / Saint-Cyr Military Academy Sabine Dullin, Sciences Po
Frédéric Guelton, History Office of the French Ministry of Defense Jean-Michel Guieu, Panthéon-Sorbonne University
John Horne, Trinity College, Dublin
Ross Kennedy, Illinois State University
Henry Laurens, Collège de France
Marcus Payk, Humboldt Universität
Georges-Henri Soutou, Paris-Sorbonne University
Florin Ţurcanu, University of Bucarest

CfP: Nations and Minorities, Sovereignty and Secessionism, 1918-2018

International workshop, St. Antony’s College, University of Oxford,
23-24 November 2018

The end of the First World War and the resultant international order established the nation-state as the normative basis of global political life. The consequences – for national identity, minorities and the nature of sovereign power – have played out over the subsequent hundred years in ways that continue to trouble the international order today.

The displacement of empire by nation resulted in the identification of (majority) nationals and ethnic ‘minorities’, national religions and religious minorities. While the League of Nations came to be defined by mandates and minority treaties, the institutionalization of majority and minority status, often in the form of religious difference, defined not only the post-WWI post-imperial European order but also identity and difference was conceptualized in places such as India. The nation with its majorities and minorities was thus globalized even before the establishment of nation-states throughout the non-western world.

This largely imperial and non-European pre-history of the nation and its majority and minority provides an alternative historical trajectory outside the European norm that may better allow us to understand the current crisis of the international. This crisis can be seen both in the emergence of new kinds of secessionist and national movements globally, and the so-called “return of religion” to political life in the West.

Secessionism, after many decades of seeming irrelevance, is today a growing global issue. Around the world, from Catalunya to Cameroon, from Kenya to the United Kingdom, seeming inviolable nation-states are being challenged by the threatened breakaway of minorities. How should this growing challenge to existing nation-states be understood? Does it reflect the weakening of the nation-state in the face of globalisation, or the (re)assertion of more powerful, local identities? To what extent do new secessionisms build on historical antecedents and in what ways do they represent something altogether new?

This workshop, supported by the AHRC-funded ‘The First World War and Global Religions’ project, will examine the alternative history of nationality, majority and minority in the context of the new nationalisms of our time. Does today’s crisis of the international order, itself possibly a delayed reaction to the end of the Cold War, permit us to rethink these categories and their future? How might current debates over sovereignty and secularism be understood in the light of such an alternative ‘global’ history of nationalism?

Potential participants should submit titles and paper abstracts of no more than 750 words to the organisers at nationalisms2018@gmail.com by 30 April 2018.

Conference organisers: Paul Betts, Faisal Devji, Miles Larmer, Hussein Omar

‘Lest We Forget’: First World War digitization event, Our Lady’s Abingdon Senior School, 9 March, 13.00-16.00

This project invites local schools, groups, and organizations from across the UK to hold their own ‘Digital Collection Days’. At these events, members of the local community are invited to bring in their Great War stories, photographs, medals, diaries, and letters. These vital objects and memories are then documented and photographed so that they can be saved for future generations. The collected stories and objects are then uploaded to a free-to-use Oxford University database, where they will be freely accessible to all members of the public to discover, research, and learn.

Our next event that is open to the public is on 9th March at Our Lady’s Abingdon Senior School from 1:00 – 4:00pm.

A brief Introductory Guide on what a ‘Digital Collection Day’ is/looks like is available on our website (https://lwf.web.ox.ac.uk/home)
You can also read about a recent, and highly successful, Digital Collection Day that was held at a local Oxford school here:
http://www.oxfordmail.co.uk/news/yourtown/oxford/15670737.Cigarette_case_which_saved_man__39_s_life_in_First_World_War_discovered_at_school/

http://www.oxfordmail.co.uk/news/15581379.School_preserves_First_World_War_memories_for_ever_in_mass_digital_project/

For more information, or to get involved, you can get in touch with the Lest We Forget team at: ww1collections@it.ox.ac.uk