Lecture: “Shell Shock: Understanding Psychological Casualties from the Battlefield”, 25 October, 18.00

The McGovern Lecture 2017, Green Templeton College
6pm, Wednesday 25 October 2017

Professor Edgar Jones
Professor in the History of Medicine and Psychiatry, King’s College London

The scale of the First World War, and in particular the high numbers of killed and wounded, marked the conflict as one of the most significant events of the twentieth century. For the first time, psychiatric casualties were not only a medical priority but also presented as a military crisis. In a protracted war of attrition, shell shock had the capacity to erode morale and undermine the fighting strength of the major combatants. Some senior physicians, such as Gordon Holmes, interpreted shell shock in the absence of a head wound as little more than cowardice, whilst others, including Charles Myers and Frederick Mott, explored ideas of psychological vulnerability and sought to correlate its symptoms with traumatic exposure. Clinical presentations differed between armies. In the UK, shell shock was commonly represented as a movement disorder, characterised by tremor and unusual gaits. This stood in contrast to Germany and Italy where seizures and dissociated, soldier-like actions were more commonly reported. Possible explanations for these national differences will be discussed in the context of combat medical services.

E P Abraham Lecture Theatre
Green Templeton College
43 Woodstock Road
United Kingdom

More information here.

All are welcome, but booking is essential. Book your seat now!

Registration open: Cultures and Commemorations of War: An Interdisciplinary Seminar Series

Workshop One: Why Remember? War and Memory Today

Friday 10 November, 10am – 5.30pm
Rothermere American Institute, University of Oxford
Funded by a British Academy Rising Stars Engagement Award

This interdisciplinary seminar series ‘Cultures and Commemorations of War’ brings together early career researchers and advanced scholars working on the memory of war in a range of disciplines with practitioners, policy makers, charities, and representatives from the media and culture and heritage industries. Through a series of three one-day workshops held in Oxford and London in 2017-18, this series aims to foster an interdisciplinary dialogue about the history and nature of war commemoration across time and its cultural, social, psychological and political iterations.

This first workshop seeks to assess the current field of war and memory studies and consider the impact of recent centenary commemorations, such as the ongoing First World War commemorations and the removal of confederate statues across the US. The morning workshop is led by ECRs and will include discussion of readings circulated two weeks before the event. It is open to everyone.

Registration is free and open to all! Please register here: bit.ly/2ihZd02

Any questions, please email: alice.kelly@rai.ox.ac.uk

10am: Coffee and Registration
10.30-12.30pm: Workshop led by ECRs – Kevin Waite, James Wallis, Emma Login, Alice Kelly
12.30-1.30pm: Lunch
1.30-1.45pm: Opening Remarks for Afternoon Session – Alice Kelly
1.45-3pm: Panel: The Materiality of Remembrance – Jennifer Iles & Layla Renshaw, chaired by Hanna Smyth
3-3.30pm: Coffee
3.30-4.30pm: Keynote – David Rieff, in conversation with Alice Kelly
4.30-5.30pm: Closing Roundtable – Elleke Boehmer, David Rieff, Adrian Gregory, Sara Haslam
5.30pm: Drinks, followed by dinner in college

Conference: Au Coeur de la Grande Guerre: L’individu au croisement du civil et du militaire

Au Coeur de la Grande Guerre: L’individu au croisement du civil et du militaire (At the Heart of the Great War: the Individual at the Intersection of the Civilian and Military Dimensions of the Conflict)
Mons Memorial Museum, Mons, Belgium, 26-28 October 2017

The symposium « In the Heart of the Great War » has been, above all, conceived as an exchange between graduate students and early career researchers in order to construct, via debate and dialogue, coherent interpretations about the individual at the crossroads between military and civilian realities. The desire to organise this conference originates from previous encounters and from the desire to prolong the discussions had during the Summer School « The Face of the First World War », organised by the International Research Centre of the Historial de la Grande Guerre of Péronne.

The symposium theme is merely a guideline, a clue for reflection rather than a well-defined subject. It leads us to question the ways through which individuals – soldiers, civilians at the home front or in occupied territories – integrate and conciliate the military dimension on one side (whether it’s their experience at the front or German presence on the streets of their village) and the civil dimension on the other. In addition to the encounter between the civilian and military « worlds », constituting two separate spheres, we must reflect upon the individual as being at the crossroads between two dimensions, which jointly construct him or her.

Conference website here.
Programme: Programme Mons

Event: ‘Apparitions at Fatima, 1917-2017: A Century after the “Miracle of the Sun”’, 11 October, Pembroke College

11 October 2017, 17:30-19:30, the Harold Lee Room, Pembroke College

The Apparitions of the Virgin Mary at Fatima, Portugal, in 1917 represent one of the most controversial acts of public religiosity in the modern era, highlighting complex interactions of sacred and secular beliefs. From humble local beginnings, the events at Fatima achieved global significance during the course of the twentieth century, with interpretations ranging from mass delusion to proof of the apocalypse.

For the centenary of the 13 October 1917 ‘Miracle of the Sun,’ this interdisciplinary event will feature historical and scientific commentary on the apparitions, including discussions of current events in Portugal and the Vatican as well as the upcoming Hollywood film, Fatima, starring Harvey Keitel and Sonia Braga.

The event is open to the public, hosted by Pembroke College as part of Oxford’s ‘Globalising and Localising the Great War’ project. Featured speakers include Manus Henry, Associate Professor of Engineering Science, University of Oxford; and Patrick Houlihan, Research Fellow in History, University of Oxford.

SOFO: ‘Oxfordshire Remembers’ Exhibition Opening Reception, 18 November

The Soldiers of Oxfordshire Museum (SOFO)’s latest exhibition Oxfordshire Remembers 1914-1918: Part II. Stories from the Closing Years of the Great War opens with a reception on Saturday 18 November 2017 at 16.30.

There will be an opening address by the Duke of Marlborough and music by The Waterloo Band.

Please RSVP by 31 October.

Commemorative event: 100th anniversary of the ordination of Constance Coltman, 21 October, Oxford

Constance Coltman: Pioneer of Women in Christian Ministry; A centenary celebration

Saturday 21 October 2017, 10.30-19.30
Mansfield and Somerville Colleges, Oxford

This special event celebrates the life of Constance Coltman, the first English woman to be ordained as a minister. On 17 September 1917, Constance Todd, together with her fiancé Claud Coltman, was ordained to the Congregational Ministry in London. The following day they married. Constance studied history for her undergraduate degree at Somerville College and theology at Mansfield College. Her ministries included Cowley Road, Oxford from 1924-1932. She was a committed pacifist and suffragist, and promoted women’s ordination.

Provisional timetable for the day:

10.30 – 16.30: Mansfield College, Lecture Theatre
10.30-11.00: coffee
11.00-11.10: introduction
11.10-12.00: talk – Revd. Dr Kirsty Thorpe, Wilmslow United Reformed Church
12.00-12.30: talk – Dr Matthew Grimley, Merton College, Oxford
12.30-13.45: lunch (Mansfield Café)
13.45-14.15: talk – Professor Jane Garnett, Wadham College, Oxford
14.15-14.45: talk – Dr Adrian Gregory, Pembroke College, Oxford
14.45-15.15: talk – Revd. Kate Harford, Ecumenical Chaplain, Oxford Brookes University
15.15-15.45: tea
15.45-16.30: Film showing: Constance, followed by discussion

From 17.30: Somerville College, Chapel and Brittain Williams Room
17.30-18.15: ecumenical service of celebration with music, led by Revd. Mia Smith of Hertford College, Oxford – Somerville College Chapel
18.30-19.30: drinks reception – Brittain Williams Room

Please register here: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/commemorative-event-100th-anniversary-of-the-ordination-of-constance-coltman-tickets-37204116514

Download poster: Constance Coltman poster illustrated

Searchable map of Oxford University: https://www.ox.ac.uk/visitors/map?wssl=1

Conference: Nerves and War. Psychological Experiences of Mobilization and Suffering in Germany, 1900-1933

12-13 October 2017, Friedrich-Meinecke-Institut, Freie Universität Berlin
Organized by Gundula Gahlen, Björn Hofmeister, Christoph Nübel and Deniza Petrova

´Nerves´ enjoyed a central place in German debates about war at the beginning of the 20th Century. Politicians, scientists, the public, and the military discussed the extent to which a future war would strain the nerves of German society. Concepts of ´strength of nerves´ as well as of ´weakness of nerves´ were increasingly used as combat terms during the First World War. The massive scale of experiences of psychological injuries and suffering only added to this phenomenon. The social and political administration of the medical treatment of psychological war disabilities presided over post-war discourses of managing the consequences of war. Simultaneously, a new spiritual mobilization for war followed in the Weimar Republic, which, after 1933, ´synchronized´ almost all aspects of social life in the Third Reich.

Current scholarship has devoted substantial historical research to the treatment and accommodation of psychological war-disabled veterans. This conference focuses on contemporary discourses on nerves in politics, society, science, and the military and aspires to elaborate the interaction as well as their practical consequences of these discourses for the period of 1900 and 1933. At this conference nerves are understood as a code and a construct that are central in negotiating identity. Both, contemporary discourses on nerves as well as individual and collective experiences of psychological mobilization and suffering will be presented and analyzed. The focus of the conference papers is on Germany, but in a wider European context.

Venue: Freie Universität Berlin, Fabeckstraße 23-25, 14195 Berlin, Room: 2.2059

Please register/contact us by October 5, 2017 at: dpetrova@zedat.fu-berlin.de

For further information please visit the conference website: www.nervenundkrieg.de