Event: Seeing War: War and Cultural Memory

Friday 25 May, St. Luke’s Chapel, TORCH, University of Oxford

The day will include a morning postgraduate seminar run by Laura Harrison, Rob Page, and Chris Kempshall, with readings circulated in advance. The afternoon includes a panel on Visualising War, with the photographer Jason Larkin discussing his project Past Perfect and the writer Robert Schultz talking about his collaborative project on memory of the American Civil War, War Memoranda. The keynote from Marita Sturken (whose work we read in our first seminar in Oxford) is on 9/11 memory, considering the the 9/11 memorial and the Flight 93 memorial comparatively. There’ll be a closing roundtable as usual featuring Mike Hammond. The venue this time is the lovely St. Luke’s Chapel on the Radcliffe Humanities site in Oxford.

The day is free and open to all and includes lunch, coffee and a reception. Please feel free to tweet about the event in advance using the hashtag #seeingwar

Registration is open; please register here.

10.00: Coffee and Registration

10.15-12.00: Workshop led by ECRs – Rob Page, Laura Harrison, Chris Kempshall

12.00-13.00: Lunch

13.00-13.15: Opening Remarks – Alice Kelly

13.15-14.30: Panel: Visualising Conflict – Jason Larkin and Robert Schultz, chaired by Dominic Davies

14.30-15.00: Coffee

15.00-16.00: Keynote – Marita Sturken, chaired by Lucinda Borkett-Jones

16.00-17.00: Closing Roundtable – Marita Sturken, Michael Hammond, chaired by Alice Kelly

17.00: Wine Reception

For those of you on Twitter, check out the Twitter Takeover by Postgraduates and ECRs happening every week in the run up to this debate, featuring the Bright Young Things of war and memory studies. So far we’ve had week-long takeovers by Hanna Smyth, Louise Bell, Rob Page, Laura Harrison, and currently up is Jan Tattenberg. Still to come are Chris Kempshall, Eleanor Rowley and Doreen Pastor. Follow the conversation @cultcommwar

Talk: Music and Memory: composer Jonathan Dove in conversation with Dr Kate Kennedy

5:30pm to 7:00pm, Friday 27 April 2018
Lecture Theatre 3, Andrew Wiles Building, Radcliffe Observatory Quarter, Woodstock Road, Oxford OX2 6GG

In this conversation, composer Jonathan Dove will talk to Dr Kate Kennedy (University of Oxford) about the relationship of his music to war and remembrance. Jonathan Dove has written works commemorating armed conflict (In Damascus and To An Unknown Soldier) and works invoking collective memory more broadly, as in his TV opera When She Died, a reflection on the death of Princess Diana. The conversation will be illustrated with musical examples.

This event launches the Aural Commemoration strand of the Mellon-Sawyer Seminar Series 2017-18 Post-War: Commemoration, Reconstruction, Reconciliation, which brings together academics, creative practitioners, field-workers and policy experts to explore and compare the ways in which commemorative practices across cultures both contribute to and challenge post-war reconstruction and reconciliation.

This event is free to attend but registration is essential. Please register here.
Event poster: Music and Memory1

Symposium: After the Great War. Challenges for Europe

European Network Remembrance and Solidarity, Bucharest 2018
European Remembrance: 7th International Symposium of European Institutions dealing with 20th Century History

After the Great War. Challenges for Europe.

The seventh European Remembrance Symposium will take place in the centennial year marking the end of the First World War. As citizens of Central and East-Central Europe, we do not wish to be driven by anniversaries or jubilees. Yet, we also cannot ignore the seminar year 1918. The year 1918 and subsequent turbulent years marked a period of empire breakups, wars, revolutions and border delineation. They shaped Europe as we know it. Consequently, it is worth summarising historians’ newest findings on the period in question as well debating the image of that time in our memory knowing that it ranges from a sense of satisfaction and fulfilment to that of pain and defeat.

The century in question, however, makes us not just contemplate the past. It is a fitting platform for reflection on the present and for forecasts of the future. In this context, two issues seem of particular importance: national sovereignty and peace keeping. After the First World War, Europe experienced – over a short period of time – the creation of many new or renewed sovereign states. They all still exist today, yet sovereignty has changed considerably over the last century. Some experts now speak of its twilight or even possible end. This is a topic definitely worth discussing. Equally interesting and pertinent is the issue of tracking the evolution of ways in which peace has been made over the last one hundred years. In today’s Europe and world, we have been enriched by the experience of the 1919-1920 Paris peace conference as well the shift from war to peace in 1945-1947. At the same time, we live in times when international armed conflicts have been and still are steadily present. Yet, wars are rarely declared and peace is hardly ever established by means of a single act of international law, but forged through a tedious peace process marked by twists and turns. Why have the phenomena of war and peace lost their analytical sharpness? How is good peace made? Can peace be bad or defective and, if so, how do we deal with it? These are questions worth discussing at our Symposium.

The organisers of the Symposium wish to open the discussion on the above issues and invite experts in various areas of life and science. In looking back at such intensive, tragic and sublime as well as joyful and depressing experiences of the 1918-2018 century they can try to diagnose contemporary Europe and forecast its future.

Programme here
Registration here
Further information here

WW1 Talk: “Uncertain at Present for Women But May Increase”, 19 April, 18.00


“Uncertain at Present for Women But May Increase”
Thursday 19 April, 6pm

Dr Elizabeth Bruton (Science Museum, London) reveals the little-known history of female wireless telegraphists in World War One and their fight for opportunities to contribute to the war effort alongside their male colleagues.

Please book your free ticket through the Museum’s Eventbrite page at www.bit.ly/mhs-events.


Conference: Reflections on the Commemoration of the First World War

22-23 November 2018 at Tūranga (Central Library) on the corner of Gloucester Street and Colombo Street, Christchurch.

As we approach the end of the centenary of World War One, it is timely to consider the ways in which this conflict has been commemorated. Galleries, libraries, archives and museums around New Zealand and the world have explored old and new narratives of the war and presented these in exhibitions, public programmes and research. Many of these interpretations have been the result of collaborations that have joined repositories with academia, other institutions and the community. This conference invites museum professionals, historians, librarians, academics, students, film makers, artists, writers, researchers, government sector contributors and others to reflect on the commemoration of the war.

Registration is now open. To register click here.

$280 Early Bird Registration (available until 1 August 2018)
$320 Full Registration
$110 Student Registrations (must be currently enrolled in an accredited tertiary institution to qualify) +15% GST = $126.50

A publication featuring a selection of papers from the conference will be produced following the conference.

You can contact the conference committee at ReflectionsWWi2018@gmail.com. An alphabetical listing of all the presentation abstracts is available here.

Keynote speakers:
Dr. Tim Cook, C.M. (Historian, Canadian War Museum)
Entrenched Culture: Soldiers’ Culture in the Aftermath of the First World War

Professor Joy Damousi (Professor of History, University of Melbourne)
Blood, Bodies and Bones: Remembering Violence of the First World War in the 21st century

Dr. Santanu Das (literary and cultural historian, King’s College London)
The Colours of Memory: the racial politics of the centennial commemoration

Further information on conference website.

First World War Study Day: ‘Stories, Myths and Legends of the War’, 5 May 2018, Wolverhampton

The University of Wolverhampton, First World War Research Group, would like to invite you to a Study Day entitled ‘Stories, Myths and Legends of the War’ on 5th May 2018.

Please see here for the programme: First World War Research Group Study Day 5 May 2018 Programme
and the joining instructions for the Study Day: Joining Instructions for Study Day 5th May 2018 External

The cost of the Study Day is £20.00.

Details of registration and payment can be found in the programme. This can now be done online through the internet link, or alternatively you may contact Sue Holden via email to make arrangements to pay by cheque.

Please contact Sue Holden if you require any further advice or information.

Conference: Costs of War – Impact, Meaning and Perceptions

Please join us in Oxford for this one-day conference exploring how the costs of war have been defined by policymakers, combatants, and societies, as well as by scholars and commentators. The papers will reflect comparatively on definitions of cost, as well as examining the impact, meaning and perception of costs in human, social, political, financial, economic, environmental, technological, moral and symbolic terms.

In 1967, Pentagon comptroller Robert N. Anthony, stated before a Senate hearing on the economic impact of the Vietnam War, that ‘we do not have a cost accounting system…I think [that] everyone agrees that one does not set up a cost accounting system for a war’. Recent US Congressional reports on the Afghanistan and Iraq conflicts have also failed to define what constitutes war ‘costs’. This problem has long historical roots. The development of modern capitalism transformed notions of value, encouraging efforts at quantification, especially in monetary terms. Contrary to Anthony’s assertion, early modern states already attempted to calculate war costs in financial terms, not least because central government expenditure was largely consumed by paying for current conflicts and servicing the debts incurred in previous ones. The changed relationship between state and society during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, the transformation of warfare, and the evolution of soldiering increased awareness of human costs, eventually marked most graphically in the erection of memorials to war dead. The emergence of new forms of social history in the mid-twentieth century encouraged greater efforts to consider war’s economic and medical impacts, but discussions have remained largely dominated by quantitative approaches, such as the well-known ‘Correlates of War’ database. The cultural and linguistic ‘turn’ of the 1990s challenged this by suggesting that costs are socially and politically constructed, contingent on circumstances, rather than timeless, universal categories.

Please see here for a full conference programme and registration information.

The event will take place in the Wharton Room, All Souls College, Oxford, and is sponsored by the OxPo exchange, the Oxford Centre for European History and the Center for History at Sciences Po, with the support of All Souls College. Papers will be around 20 minutes and the day will conclude with a roundtable discussion led by invited panelists.