Postgraduate Forum: Commemoration and Creativity, 10 March 2018

Saturday 10 March 2018, 9am-5pm
Oxford Brookes University, Headington Campus, Headington Road, OX3 0BP

This exciting Postgraduate Creative Forum is part of the Mellon-Sawyer Seminar Series Post-War: Commemoration, Reconstruction, Reconciliation, which explores and compares the ways in which commemorative practices across cultures both contribute to and challenge post-war reconstruction and reconciliation. The one-day event is aimed at postgraduate students across the Humanities and Social Sciences. You are invited to showcase your work in short presentations (max. 5 minutes) and there will also be discussion and activities exploring how creative and sensorial thinking might illuminate and enrich your research.

This is an opportunity for you to experiment with innovative ways of presenting your research in a short format. You might, for example, focus on a question such as: What is the keystone of my argument? Can I summarise my thesis in a sentence? What is my most important finding so far? The rationale is that distilling and presenting the essence of your research will help you to think about it in a new way and thereby produce fresh insights.

We invite submissions on any aspect of post-war commemoration. Please send an abstract of 250 words and a short biography (max. 150 words) in a single Word document to by Monday 29 January 2018. Applicants will be notified of the outcome in early February.

Possible topics for presentations include, but are not limited to:
– The modes and genres of post-war commemoration
– The beneficiaries of post-war commemoration
– The ways in which post-war commemoration contributes to reconstruction and reconciliation
– The future of post-war commemoration, including digital commemoration
– The politics of post-war commemoration
– Post-war commemorative monuments and/or museums
– Post-war commemoration and place/space, ecology and the environment
– Post-war memory
– Post-war commemoration and trauma
– Commemoration in relation to post-war displacement, migration, settlement and belonging
– Diasporic / exilic post-war commemoration
– Post-war commemoration and the body
– Comparative post-war commemoration

‘Post-war’ can relate to any conflict and we welcome submissions addressing commemoration across cultures and time periods. AV equipment will be available and you are welcome to use PowerPoint.

In addition to the presentations, the day will offer two sessions designed to explore how creative and practical activities can extend and transform academic thinking:

Three of our Series poets-in-residence, Susie Campbell, Mariah Whelan and Sue Zatland, will lead a Poetry Workshop, in which they will read their own poems and invite you to think about how the cognitive processes involved in creating poetry might be applied to academic research and writing.

Dr Justine Shaw (University of Oxford) will lead a Candle-Pouring, in which you will create your own memory candle scented with ‘rosemary for remembrance’ (Hamlet). As you do so, you will be invited to explore ways in which an understanding of the senses and the body might contribute to your own academic practice.

The day is FREE to attend and will include lunch and refreshments.

A number of small travel bursaries (up to £50) will be available. If you wish to apply for a travel bursary, please include a short paragraph (max. 300 words) in your application, detailing how your work fits with the themes of the Series and how your research will benefit from attending the Postgraduate Forum.

Cultures and Commemorations of War. Workshop 2: Lest We Forget? Reconsidering FWW Memory. 11 Dec. IWM

Cultures and Commemorations of War: An Interdisciplinary Seminar Series
Workshop Two: Lest We Forget? Reconsidering First World War Memory

Monday 11 December, Orpen Room, Imperial War Museum
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 second workshop will consider the ways that we remember the First World War, focusing on recent commemorative projects as case studies of war commemoration and memory making. The keynotes in the afternoon are Paul Cummins, the artist behind the poppies at the Tower of London, and Jeremy Deller, who devised We’re Here Because We’re Here ( Here’s a 2014 video about making the poppies and a 2017 video about the poppies at Plymouth Hoe on the Poppies Tour (#poppiestour).

The schedule and poster are below. Registration is £15 (standard) and £10 (concession) and includes lunch, coffee and a reception.
Please register here:

For more information, contact Alice Kelly (

9.00-9.30: Registration

9.30-9.45: Opening Remarks – Alice Kelly

9.45-11: Roundtable: What have we learnt from the FWW Centenary?
Emma Hanna, Pierre Purseigle, Anna Maguire, Jane Potter

11-11.30: Coffee

11.30-12.45: Panel: Case Studies in Public Memory and Education
Glyn Prysor, Catriona Pennell, Paul Cornish

12.45-13.45: Lunch

13.45-14.45: Keynote 1 – Jeremy Deller, in conversation with John Horne

14.45-15.15: Coffee

15.15-16.15: Keynote 2 – Paul Cummins, in conversation with Alice Kelly

16.15-17.15: Panel: Conclusions – The Next 100 Years
Lucy Noakes, Ross Wilson, John Horne

5.15-6pm: Wine Reception

Conference: The Home Front: The UK 1914-1918, St Andrews, 20-22 June 2018

Institute for the Study of War and Strategy, University of St Andrews
Wednesday June 20, 2018 – Friday June 22, 2018

The centenary of the First World War has been and continues to be commemorated at national level with events to mark the major military and political waypoints, from the outbreak of war by way of Gallipoli, the Somme and Ypres to the armistice. And yet the war’s scale demanded more than just a major military effort: it required the mobilisation of British society as a whole. Industry was converted to munitions production, and the state intervened directly in fresh areas, from chemicals to forestry, from agriculture to fisheries. This economic effort has not attracted recent scholarly attention, despite its scale and importance. In recognition of the effort made by all the people of Britain and the Republic of Ireland, both the United Kingdom and Scotland Governments are supporting a major conference on the British home front during the First World War, to be held in St Andrews between 20 and 22 June 2018. It will be accompanied by a wider festival addressing the war in its final centenary year.

Registration is now open via the conference website here.

Lecture: ‘The re-conquest of America’: American munitions and British governance during the Great War

Rothermere American Institute, 1a South Parks Road, Oxford, OX1 3UB

American History Research Seminar
Tuesday 21 November, 16:00-17:30

Jennifer Luff (Durham)
‘The re-conquest of America’: American munitions and British governance during the Great War

Event: Christmas in the Trenches: Bells of Hell, Trench Songs of the Great War

Soldiers of Oxfordshire Museum, Park Street, Woodstock, OX20 1SN
13 December 2017 7-8:30pm

Sir Stephen Sedley, who became interested in British trench songs in the 1960s and recorded recollections of veterans, discusses the remarkable body of spontaneous, insubordinate and humorous song with which the troops faced hardship and death. With live music from Dick Wolff, Ian Wheeler and Mark Fry of Three Pressed Men. Guest vocalist, Marie-Jane Barnett.

Enjoy this evening entertainment with mulled wine and a mince pie included!

And take part in an ‘Out of Hours’ opportunity to visit our Heritage Lottery Funded exhibition on the centenary of the Great War Oxfordshire Remembers 1914-1918 Part II

£16 per ticket (includes mulled wine and a mince pie)


Lecture: ‘Business As Usual and Unusual: Commercial Advertising During The Great War’

The 2017 HENG Special Lecture by Andrew McCarthy
Wednesday 1st November, 5.30-6.30
Pichette Auditorium
Pembroke College, Oxford

Pembroke’s Annual HENG “Special Lecture” will be given by Andrew McCarthy, bestselling author of The Huns have got my Gramophone.

Download poster: Business As Usual and Unusual poster

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!