CfP: Aftermath: German and Austrian cultural responses to the end of the First World War (1918-1933)

The international workshop ‘Aftermath: German and Austrian cultural responses to the end of the First World War’ will be held at King’s College London on 13-15 September 2018.

The end of World War I marked the beginning of a period of political turbulence and social upheaval in both Germany and Austria. Contrary to popular belief, the conflict did not end overnight with the signing of the Armistice on 11th November 1918; instead, a lengthy series of peace negotiations took place, concluding with the Treaty of Lausanne in 1923. These negotiations and treaties resulted in considerable losses for both Germany and Austria: national boundaries were redrawn and colonial territories removed, reparations were imposed, and Germany and her allies were compelled to accept full blame for the conflict. In their early years, the Weimar Republic and the First Austrian Republic were buffeted by revolts and uprisings from both right and left, as different political groups sought to assert their competing visions of post-war society.

In spite of these turbulent events, the years after World War I saw the development of a flourishing cultural scene. As major centres of European modernism, Germany and Austria became associated with writers, musicians, artists and filmmakers who engaged in radical formal experimentation and rejected conventional values and aesthetic norms. Yet the post-war period also saw the resurgence and reinvention of more traditional modes of representation through movements such as Neue Sachlichkeit [new objectivity] and the ‘return to order’. Recent scholarship has highlighted the falsity of the traditional dichotomy of the ‘progressive’ and the ‘anti-modern’, showing how the co-existence of plural and seemingly contradictory cultural practices reflected specifically modern anxieties about language, culture and politics. However, questions still remain about the impact of war and defeat on post-war cultural production: in what ways did ‘the double wound of war and defeat fester beneath the […] surface’ [Anton Kaes] of interwar culture? And to what extent did the need to come to terms with experiences of loss and defeat result in what Jay Winter terms the ‘recasting of traditional language’ in an ‘attempt to find collective solace’ after 1918?

The approaching centenary of 1918 offers a timely opportunity to assess the impact of the end of World War I on German and Austrian cultural production in the interwar period. This interdisciplinary workshop aims to shed light on ways in which German and Austrian literature, art, music and film were shaped – both directly and indirectly – by experiences of wartime defeat and political unrest in the period up to 1933. How did cultural practitioners respond to the various peace settlements of 1918-1923, and how did they engage with the associated political turmoil and social upheaval? What role did culture play in envisioning and shaping a new, post-war society? And in what ways did the legacy of the war continue to influence the cultural production of the interwar years?

Scholarship on this area has often tended to concentrate on certain left-wing intellectuals and pacifists, regarding the experience of military defeat and the consequences of the peace treaties of 1918-23 as a taboo subject for all but a few individuals. The workshop seeks to broaden this focus by exposing the rich variety of cultural responses to the end of the war and considering their significance for our understanding of the cultural climate in which the Weimar Republic and the First Austrian Republic came into existence. Its comparative, interdisciplinary scope will enable similarities and differences to be traced across various forms of cultural practice, allowing light to be shed on the shifting relationships between politics and aesthetics in this period.

We invite proposals for papers of 20 minutes in length. Possible topics include, but are not limited to, cultural engagement with the following:

– Peace and (ongoing) conflict
– Experiences of defeat, questions of war guilt and individual/collective responsibility;
– Revolutionary politics and revolution(s);
– Territorial losses and the reshaping of national identity;
– Internationalism and the foundation of a new global order;
– The return of war veterans and their adaptation to civilian life;
– Women’s responses to the end of the war and their emergence as political subjects;
– Commemoration, memory and memorialisation;
– Modern vs. ‘anti-modern’ aesthetic practices;
– Visions of a post-war society.

Please send a 300-word abstract and a brief biographical note to Catherine Smale (catherine.smale@kcl.ac.uk) by 31 January 2018.

The workshop will include a guided tour of the exhibition ‘Aftermath: Art in the wake of WW1’ at Tate Britain, as well as a screening of G. W. Pabst’s film Westfront 1918 – Vier von der Infanterie (1930) held in collaboration with the German Screen Studies Network. Keynote talks will be given by Ingrid Sharp (Leeds) and James Van Dyke (Missouri). Conversations are underway for the publication of selected papers in a journal special issue in 2019.

CfP: Close Encounters in War Journal – n. 0

Extended deadline to 30th November 2017

Special Issue: “Close encounters in irregular and asymmetric warfare”

Close Encounters in War Journal is a new independent and peer-reviewed journal aimed at studying war as a human experience, through interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary approaches ranging from the Humanities to the Social Sciences. The launch issue (n. 0) of Close Encounters in War Journal will be a Special Issue dedicated specifically to irregular warfare and titled “Close encounters in irregular and asymmetric warfare”.

Wars in general are cultural phenomena, among the most ancient and deeply rooted aspects of human cultural evolution: investigating their meaning, by reflecting on the ways we experience wars and conflicts as human beings is therefore essential. Conflict is deeply intertwined with language, culture, instincts, passions, behavioural patterns and with the human ability to represent concepts aesthetically. The concept of “encounter” is therefore fundamental as it involves experience, and as a consequence it implies the idea that the fact of encountering war shapes and develops our minds and affects our behaviour, questioning habits and values, prejudices and views of the world.

One of the most ancient types of warfare is what today is referred to as ‘irregular warfare’, as opposed to ‘conventional warfare’, which is a relatively more recent development. The combat strategies and tactics used by tribal warriors, modern guerrillas, resistance fighters and terrorists have recently been attracting the attention of military historians, strategists and intelligence experts due to the widespread terror threat, but how do human beings experience this particular type of warfare? Does it seem more threatening and scary because it can involve civilians more deeply? or because it blurs the traditional idea of war as open confrontation with a recognisable enemy? What drives non-combatants to arm themselves and become fighters? Is irregular warfare more violent, brutal and dehumanising than conventional warfare and if so, why? What is their cultural, linguistic and anthropological impact? And finally, is irregular warfare adopted also by regular armies? What is the impact of such warfare on the war-experience of the combatants involved?

For the launch issue (n. 0) of Close Encounters in War we invite articles which investigate irregular and asymmetric conflicts from ancient times to modern and contemporary periods, reaching beyond the study of military tactics and strategy and focusing on the way human beings ‘encounter’ with and within this type of armed conflict. Contributions are invited to promote discussion and scholarly research from established scholars, early-career researchers, and from practitioners who have encountered irregular warfare in the course of their activities.

The topics that can be investigated include but are not limited to:

· Irregular, asymmetric and unconventional warfare
· Insurgency and counterinsurgency
· Resistance and partisan war
· Terrorism and counter-terrorism
· Violence and trauma
· Cultural encounters and identity
· Representations of otherness, race, and gender
· Religion and politics
· Testimonies, witness-representations, oral history and memory studies

The editors of Close Encounters in War invite the submission of 3-500 words abstracts in English by 30th November 2017 to the following addresses: simona.tobia@closeencountersinwar.com and gianluca.cinelli@closeencountersinwar.com. Decisions will be made by 2nd January 2018 and the completed articles (6000-8000 words including footnotes, bibliography excluded, in English) will be expected by 15th May 2018. All contributions will go under a process of blind peer-review.

CfP: Middle Eastern and Balkan Mobilities in the Interwar Period (1918-1939)

13-14 September 2018, Cambridge, UK

Following the first conference in the series on the Middle East in the Interwar Period, Middle Eastern Societies 1918-1939: Challenges, Changes and Transitions, organised jointly with the Middle East Technical University in Ankara and held in Ankara in 2015, the Skilliter Centre for Ottoman Studies, Newnham College, University of Cambridge, is organizing a conference on Middle Eastern and Balkan Mobilities in the Interwar Period (1918-1939) to be held on 13-14 September 2018 in Cambridge, UK.

The period 1918 to 1939 saw much mobility into, out of and within the region that had once formed the Ottoman empire. Examining such mobility both in the context of states which had separated from the empire before the First World War and those new nation states which emerged after the empire’s collapse in 1918, the conference aims to consider the factors behind such movements of population and their impact both on the countries to which people moved as well as on those they had moved from. It will also consider the ways in which populations maintained contacts with, or were involved politically, socially or culturally with, the countries they had left behind.

Preference will be given to papers which are case study focused and demonstrate use of primary source data. Papers will be 20 minutes in length with ten minutes for discussion. As the aim of the conference is to generate as much discussion as possible and to encourage the construction of new ideas, the number of papers will be limited and there will be no parallel sessions. It is intended to publish selected papers from the conference in a volume to be published by an international publisher.

Those interested in participating in this conference should submit an abstract (including affiliation and contact details) of between 400 and 500 words to Professor Ebru Boyar (boyar@metu.edu.tr or eb271@cam.ac.uk) by 2 February, 2018. Participants will be selected and contacted by 23 February, 2018.

Speakers’ food and accommodation will be covered by the Skilliter Centre for the duration of the conference but participants are expected to cover their own travel costs. The language of the conference will be English.

CfP: Sites of Interchange: Modernism, Politics, and Culture in Britain and Germany, 1919-1951

CFP Submission Deadline: 15 November 2017

The Courtauld Institute of Art, conference to be held: 2-3 November 2018

Early twentieth-century Germany was a site of extremes, in which art and architectural production were entangled in the swiftly changing political and social landscape. Radical utopias and pragmatic solutions for art and life were proposed, creating a crossroads of unparalleled burgeoning cultural outpouring in the midst of extreme politics. Britain in the same period could be characterized as comparatively stable, a nation often wedded to established traditions in the face of economic, political and social developments. Yet throughout the period, there remained a lively interchange between the two countries. This conference proposes to look anew at the complicated and entangled cultural relationship between Britain and Germany in the first decades of the twentieth century.

With the end of the First World War, Britain was in the position of victor – yet it was Germany which was given the opportunity to forge a new society and a progressive republic, in which culture was to play a central role. The foundation of the Bauhaus in 1919 became perhaps the most influential articulation of this new optimism – distinctly German, it was nonetheless born from both British Arts and Crafts ideas and a desire to answer British nineteenth-century industrial dominance, as displayed at the Great Exhibition of 1851. During the 1920s and ‘30s, British figures from both ends of the political spectrum were drawn to Germany for inspiration. Many from the British art world were fascinated by Germany’s Weimar Republic, with its breaking down of social, cultural and artistic barriers. In the following decade, many in Britain were intrigued by the new National Socialist regime. With the arrival of émigrés fleeing Hitler in the years after 1933, Britain was exposed to a cross-section of German culture, in particular modernism. Britons and international artists – not limited to those holding German passports, but including those who had worked there – formed new groups and collaborations. By 1939 the countries were once again at war. Following World War II, modernism in Britain flourished in the arts with renewed vigour. The Festival of Britain in 1951, in which many of the German émigrés who had settled in Britain were involved, marked a high point of modernism in London.

This conference sets out to explore the connections between British and German culture during the period 1919-1951, in the fields of art, architecture, design and craft, photography, art history and theory, and art pedagogy. How did the British learn from and influence the Germans in these areas? How did the Germans learn from and influence the British? And what is the significance of these cultural connections today? We solicit 20-minute papers from scholars and museum professionals (at any stage of their careers) that set out to explore these questions.

Topics for proposed papers may include but are not limited to:
– The influence of British ideas in the culture of the Weimar Republic, and the extent to which Weimar ideas reached Britain
– Displacement of German artists, architects, designers, photographers to Britain after 1933, and the significance of time spent in Britain (including German émigrés who later emigrated elsewhere)
– The cultural impact of émigrés from National Socialism in Britain
– British official and individual responses to National Socialist cultural policy in the period 1933-1945, and attitudes towards British culture in National Socialist Germany
– The impact of Germany on post-war British culture
– The impact of Britain on post-war German culture, particularly in areas under British occupation
– German practitioners who studied, travelled or worked in Britain, or who drew influence from the country, and vice versa
– The impact of the German experience on a subsequent British work of art, building, or object, and vice versa
– Displays of German culture in Britain, and vice versa (governmental, museum, commercial, private)
– Collectors, patrons and supporters of German culture in Britain, and vice versa
– The awareness and impact of German cultural theory in Britain, and vice versa
– Perception of German culture in Britain, and vice versa
– The prevalence of ideas of “shared cultural heritage”

The conference will take place at the Courtauld Institute of Art, London, on Friday 2 November and Saturday 3 November 2018.

Submissions are to be made by midnight GMT, Wednesday 15 November 2017, by email with the subject line “Sites of Interchange” to both of the organisers: Dr Robin Schuldenfrei (robin.schuldenfrei@courtauld.ac.uk) and Dr Lucy Wasensteiner (lucy.wasensteiner@courtauld.ac.uk).

Please combine in a single PDF file:
– A proposed title and abstract (max. 400 words) for a 20-minute paper
– A current CV

The conference is being organised on the occasion of the exhibition London 1938: A Statement for Modern German Art / London 1938: Ein Statement für die deutsche Kunst which will take place at the Wiener Library in London from 13 June to 31 August 2018 and at the Liebermann-Villa am Wannsee in Berlin from 7 October 2018 to 14 January 2019.

Funds will be available towards travel and hotel costs. The accepted papers may be considered for publication in a forthcoming edited volume.

Supported by the German Federal Cultural Foundation.

CfP: Close Encounters in War – Special Issue

Close Encounters in War Journal is a new independent and peer-reviewed journal aimed at studying war as a human experience, through interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary approaches ranging from the Humanities to the Social Sciences. The launch issue (n. 0) of Close Encounters in War Journal will be a Special Issue dedicated specifically to irregular warfare and titled “Close encounters in irregular and asymmetric warfare”.

Wars in general are cultural phenomena, among the most ancient and deeply rooted aspects of human cultural evolution: investigating their meaning, by reflecting on the ways we experience wars and conflicts as human beings is therefore essential. Conflict is deeply intertwined with language, culture, instincts, passions, behavioural patterns and with the human ability to represent concepts aesthetically. The concept of “encounter” is therefore fundamental as it involves experience, and as a consequence it implies the idea that the fact of encountering war shapes and develops our minds and affects our behaviour, questioning habits and values, prejudices and views of the world.

One of the most ancient types of warfare is what today is referred to as ‘irregular warfare’, as opposed to ‘conventional warfare’, which is a relatively more recent development. The combat strategies and tactics used by tribal warriors, modern guerrillas, resistance fighters and terrorists have recently been attracting the attention of military historians, strategists and intelligence experts due to the widespread terror threat, but how do human beings experience this particular type of warfare? Does it seem more threatening and scary because it can involve civilians more deeply? or because it blurs the traditional idea of war as open confrontation with a recognisable enemy? What drives non-combatants to arm themselves and become fighters? Is irregular warfare more violent, brutal and dehumanising than conventional warfare and if so, why? What is their cultural, linguistic and anthropological impact? And finally, is irregular warfare adopted also by regular armies? What is the impact of such warfare on the war-experience of the combatants involved?

For the launch issue (n. 0) of Close Encounters in War we invite articles which investigate irregular and asymmetric conflicts from ancient times to modern and contemporary periods, reaching beyond the study of military tactics and strategy and focusing on the way human beings ‘encounter’ with and within this type of armed conflict. Contributions are invited to promote discussion and scholarly research from established scholars, early-career researchers, and from practitioners who have encountered irregular warfare in the course of their activities.

The topics which can be investigated include but are not limited to:

Irregular, asymmetric and unconventional warfare
Insurgency and counterinsurgency
Resistance and partisan war
Terrorism and counter-terrorism
Violence and trauma
Cultural encounters and identity
Representations of otherness, race, and gender
Religion and politics
Testimonies, witness-representations, oral history and memory studies

The editors of Close Encounters in War invite the submission of 3-500 words abstracts in English by 15th November 2017. Decisions will be made by 2nd January 2018 and the completed articles (6000-8000 words including footnotes, bibliography excluded, in English) will be expected by 15th April 2018. All contributions will go under a process of blind peer-review.

Contact Info:
The editors of CEIW Journal can be contacted via the website
or at:
simona.tobia@closeencountersinwar.com
gianluca.cinelli@closeencountersinwar.com

CfP: A Holiday from War? “Resting” behind the lines during the First World War

Université Paris III – Sorbonne Nouvelle
June 22 & 23, 2018
Maison de la Recherche

Organised by Sarah Montin (EA PRISMES) et Clémentine Tholas-Disset (EA CREW)
Confirmed Keynote Speaker: Tim Kendall (University of Exeter)

What do the soldiers do when they are not on the battlefield? The broadening of the definition of war experience in recent historiography has transformed our spatial and temporal understanding of the conflict, shifting the scope away from the front lines and the activities of combat. Beyond the battlefield and its traditional martial associations emerges another representation of the warrior and the soldier, along with another experience of the war.

In order to further our understanding of the historical, political and aesthetic concerns of life at the rear, long considered a parenthesis in the experience of war, this interdisciplinary conference will address, but will not be limited to, the following themes:

The ideological, medical and administrative construction of the notion of “rest” in the First World War (as it applied to combatants but also auxiliary corps and personnel).
Paramilitary, recreational and artistic activities at the rear; the organisation of activities in particular leisure and entertainment, the role of the army and independent contractors (civilian organisations, etc.)
Sociability between soldiers (hierarchy, tensions, camaraderie); the rear area as meeting place with the other (between soldiers/auxiliary personnel, combatants, locals, men/women, foreign troops, etc.), site of passage, exploration, initiation or “return to the norm” (“rest huts” built to offer a “home away from home”), testimonies from inhabitants of the occupied zones
Articulations and dissonances between community life and time to oneself, collective experience and individual experience
The historic and artistic conceptualisation of the rear area, specific artistic and literary modes at the rear by contrast with writings at the front
Staging life at the rear: scenes of country-life, idyllic representations of non-combat as farniente or hellscapes, bathing parties or penitentiary universes, the figure of the soldier as dilettante, flâneur and solitary rambler, in the productions (memoirs, accounts, correspondence, novels, poetry, visual arts, etc.) of combatants and non-combatants;
Cultural, political and media (re)construction of the figure of the “soldier at rest” (war photography, postcards, songs, etc.); representations of the male and female body at rest, constructions of a new model of masculinity (sexuality and sport), and their place in war production

Full details here.

In order to foster dialogue between the Anglophone, Francophone and Germanophone areas of study, the conference will mainly focus on the Western Front. However proposals dealing with other fronts will be examined. Presentations will preferably be in English.

Please send a 250-word proposal and a short bio before November 20, 2017 to :
montin.sarah@gmail.com and clementine.tholas@univ-paris3.fr
Notification of decision: December 15th 2017

CfP: Global War, Global Connections, Global Moments, Zurich, 2018

A century after the First World War, this conference wants to reflect on international relations and entanglements during the global conflict. The aim is to bring together an international group of scholars working on transnational and international fields and aspects of the war, such as diplomacy, rivalry between war partners, secret diplomacy or commemoration.

Core topics:
– International Relations
– Cooperation and Rivalry between War Partners
– Alliances
– Networks, NGOs, Red Cross, Transnational companies
– Visions of Post-War Future, Peace and Order
– Transition from War to Peace (Global War, Local Peace)
– Global War – Global Actors – Local Actors
– Commemoration (transnational)
– Revolutions, Ruptures and Turning Points
– Knowledge transfer, secret diplomacy and intelligence services

Confirmed keynote speakers are Prof. Dr. Maartje Abbenhuis (University of Auckland, New Zealand) and Prof. Dr. Fischer-Tiné (ETH Zurich, Switzerland).

Please send an abstract of 300 – 400 words until 10th November 2017 to the following email: global.war.conference@gmail.com.

Organized by Thomas Schmutz (University of Zurich/Newcastle) and Gwendal Piégais (Université de Bretagne Occidentale, Brest).

Programme
Part of the conference is also a workshop for PhD students and early career scholars.